This past Wednesday, Ivory Coast officials announced the ban of skin whitening creams after concerns of long term health issues were raised. The ban specifies creams and lotions which contain mercury, hydroquinone (in 2% or more), cortisone or Vitamin A.
Christian Doudouko, a member of Ivory Coast’s pharmaceutical authority cited widespread concern over the use of skin whitening creams:
“The number of people with side effects caused by these medicines is really high.”
Skin cancer, hypertension, mercury poisoning and diabetes are just a few of the ailments that have been linked to long-term use of skin whitening creams.
The concept of skin whitening/bleaching is not new. It has grown increasingly popular especially in West Africa over the past decade. The World Health Organization reported 77% of women in Nigeria actively use skin bleaching products.
What do you think of the Ivory Coast ban decision? Should more be done to regulate these products in other parts of the world?