Skin bleaching, a dangerous trend in Kano By Usman Usman

Skin bleaching, a dangerous trend in Kano
By Usman Usman

AREWA AGENDA – Taking a good care of the skin among females is an age-old desire and culture for years. They do develop various practices for skin care in order to look beautiful and attractive. Girls of all generations have been involved in the art of such beautification. One area of focus, recently, may be skin bleaching, which seems to have become a major trend among Kano females.

Skin bleaching is considered as the act of purposefully and deliberately changing one’s skin colour through the application of substances or solutions on the skin, with the sole intent of making the skin colour to look lighter and brighter.

Skin bleaching is an ongoing trend and practice among Nigerians irrespective of gender, class, age or region.

Many reasons have been adduced as to why people bleach their skin, including self-identity, self-esteem, and the desire to look “more beautiful.” According to some, they bleach their skin to remove skin imperfections such as rashes, dark spots and pimples and make or maintain softer skin so they can meet the westernized standard of beauty; make themselves look “more attractive” in the eyes of their potential partners, and impress or meet their friends’ approval.

Today, it is hard within Kano to see females without some form of skin bleaching. It has become a tradition that even light-skin females bleach themselves with the sense that their bride price will be high or their class will increase when it comes to courtship or marriage.

Wives too are not left behind in this act. They engage in it in order to maintain their husbands out of fear that those ladies that bleach might snatch them and in another way round, to help them maintain their marriages. Men too are not excluded. They engage in it for the purpose of becoming attractive to their female counterparts, celebrities, or copying local and western musicians/actors. Bleaching, as research shown, has no benefits but harm.

Economically, instead of users to spend their hard-earned income on something beneficial, they end up squandering it on harmful bleaching-products. A body that has been bleached becomes very light, fragile and tears easily. Bleaching also leaves spots on the skin after being scratched or hard hit by an object. Such spots make the skin to look rough and unattractive. The use of skin bleaching has also been reported to be responsible for skin cancers, skin discoloration, depression among users leading to negative outcomes. Other risks include skin damage and serious depigmentation.

It is important therefore that before one starts using bleaching cream, he or she should contact a dermatologist or visit a hospital. It has also been advised that such people should eat fruits as they contribute immensely in treating and whitening skin, and so safer to using bleaching cream.

Usman Usman wrote from Kano. [email protected]

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