A Nigerian talking drum drummer, Aralola Olumuyiwa, popularly known as Ara, has called on the Federal Government to place a ban on the sale and use of skin-lightening products in the country.

Ara told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Thursday that skin-lightening soaps and other such cosmetics would always have adverse health implications on users.

She said that the decision by the Government of Rwanda to ban the products was a step in the right direction to ensure the sound health of its citizenry.

According to her, placing a ban on the sale of the products may not eradicate its use completely, but it will minimise the rate.

“This is a good development, which should be replicated in Nigeria. We have seen many people who have developed skin cancer, irritation and other ailments as a result of using skin-lightening products.

“The Federal Government should work on this and ensure that most of these products are not produced in the country and ban their importation as well. This may not eradicate their use, but it will definitely minimise it.

“People who use these dangerous products do not bear the brunt alone, as it also affects their loved ones when users begin to feel the effects of the creams or soaps,’’ she said.

Also, a medical practitioner, Dr. Ayopo Adeyemi, said that the use of skin lightening creams and soaps could result in skin cancer.

Adeyemi said that such products could expose the endothelial cells of the skin to wear and tear.

She explained that the endothelial cells form a one-cell thick-walled layer called endothelium that lines all the blood vessels such as arteries, arterioles, venules, veins and capillaries.

According to her, some other dangers associated with skin bleaching include burning or redness, skin diseases, liver and kidney damage, among others.

“Bleaching of the skin is dangerous because it always has various adverse effects on the health of those doing it.

“We must stop using creams with dangerous chemicals and go for moisturisers, instead,” she said.

Adeyemi said that suturing a bleached skin after an accident is always difficult, adding that even if the skin could be sutured, it would continue to break down.

NAN reports that the Government of Rwanda announced the ban on use and sale of cosmetic products for skin-lightening.

“Love the skin that you have,” is the message from the Government of Rwanda in its fight against skin-lightening products.

Francois Uwinkindi of the Cancer Unit in Rwanda’s Ministry of Health said, “We are now putting more efforts into educating people, going around and seizing those illegal products.

“We are joining those countries which are also into the fight against the use of illegal skin-lightening cosmetics,” he said.

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