Medical doctors under the aegis of the Nigerian Association of
Dermatologists, say they have begun the process of meeting with some
lawmakers at the National Assembly in order to formulate laws that will
regulate the manufacture and use of bleaching cream.
The Chairman of the Abuja Dermatology Society, Dr. Mohammed Danmallam,
who spoke on behalf of NAD, said this during a press conference held in
commemoration of the World Skin Health Day in Abuja on Thursday.
“Speaking of legislation, what we are trying to do now is to try to talk
to the health committees so that we can see how they can help us in
formulating laws and one of the ways to do that is that we are currently
conducting an investigation in collaboration with some African
“We are trying to come out with statistics and facts so
that when we sit down with these legislators, we will be able to give
them facts that can convince them and so we can move ahead. You will be
surprised by the level and number of people and highly placed people
that are currently bleaching unnecessarily.”
“Countries of the world have banned a lot of substances for example,
hydroquinone which is the most abused chemical component used in
bleaching the skin. It is banned in Europe.
“About two per cent of
its use was the limit but now it has been banned completely. It is still
allowed in the United States but only based on prescription.
Unfortunately, we live in a country where everything is
“As dermatologists, there are conditions we treat.
We treat blemishes but we know the dosage, the side effects and when to
stop but in our environment, people go out of their way to use it in a
manner that is not seen anywhere in the world.”
The chairman said there was no difference between skin toning and bleaching as they both made the skin susceptible to infection.
He explained that when people bleach, they kill off matured cells and
leave baby cells at the top layer of the skin which are not strong
enough to protect the body from infection especially skin cancer.
“Imagine leaving your house in the hands of your five-year-old child.
Of course, you know there will be chaos. So, this is particularly what
happens and this corrosive agent changes the architecture of your skin
completely. That is exactly what happens and that is where the problem
starts and at some point, it becomes irreversible and the defense
mechanism of the skin has becomes useless.”
He urged Nigerians to stop self-medication, adding that they should seek
the help of a dermatologist whenever they have problems.