Nigerians have been told that bleaching and toning their skin could be very dangerous and capable of leaving them with serious skin disorders.
Dr Eshan Henshaw, a Consultant Dermatologist with University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, said most skin disorders on humans were largely caused by bleaching and skin toning creams used on the body.
Henshaw, who is the Chairperson of National Association of Dermatologist in Cross River, said this on Monday in Calabar when she led members of the association on a courtesy visit to the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Inyang Asibong.
Henshaw said the visit was to inform the commissioner of plan to hold the association’s General Meeting and Scientific Conference from July 11 to July 14 in Calabar.
According to her, there is a changing paradigm in skin disease in Nigeria due mainly to the large scale use of bleaching and skin toning creams.
She added that “most skin disorders are self inflicted by the use of bleaching and toning creams. Most of those creams could tomorrow be the cause of one’s skin cancer or kidney failure.
“The conference, which has the theme “Expanding the Frontiers of Dermatologist in Nigeria”, shall bring in experts in skin disease care from home and abroad.
“These experts shall brainstorm on the skin, particularly the black skin and how best to treat them.
“In view of this, we have come to intimate you (the commissioner) about the conference and to also solicit government’s support toward the success of the conference.”
Responding, Asibong said that the conference theme was apt, adding that Nigeria had been the dumping and trial ground of many skin care products by some foreign countries.
She added that “the rising cases of cancer and kidney failure have become a challenge to medical experts and the Cross River Government is particularly concerned about this.
“We are thankful to the skin disease experts for choosing the topic and the ancient city of Calabar for the venue of the conference.”
She advised the conference organisers to expand the frontiers of skin care and to pay attention to mainstreaming the knowledge and management of skin disease.
Dr Ernest Ochang, the Public Relations Officer of Nigeria Medical Association, Cross River Branch, said that the conference was timely in view of the need to educate people on the dangers of bleaching the skin.
Ochang informed the commissioner that the Association of Radiologists of West Africa (ARAWA) and Medical and Dental Association of Nigeria would later in the year hold their conferences in Calabar.