In recent years, skin bleaching treatments have emerged as a hot trend among local youths, however, its effects remain confusing.
Brothers in critical condition after bleaching skin
One method to have “desirable” skin, using chemicals to whiten skin, called “white bathing,” is very popular.
In late June, N.V.M, 23, and his brother N.V.T, 20, were hospitalized at Vinh Long General Hospital in critical condition with burns on their arms and legs. According to their family, the two had difficulty breathing, vomited and had their skin burned after using an unknown exfoliating cream which had been recommended by their friends. M and T were diagnosised as allergic to chemicals in the cream. Fortunately, the two recovered and were discharged from the hospital early this month.
Accoring to local dermatologists, “white bathing” actually is a method in which people use chemicals to remove the dead and black cells at the skin’s top layer. Meanwhile, skin colors are based on the quantity of melanin cells located in the bottom layer of the skin’s epidermis. They help to protect the body from UV light. When the skin is exposured to sunlight, the amount of melanin cells will increase to protect the body, and make the skin look darker.
For that reason, there’s no way that “white bathing” can create real white skin. This kind of therapy only makes the skin look brighter for 27-28 days, and then things will return to normal. Moreover, experts said the method itself includes many health risks.
First of all, the chemicals used in “white bathing cream” can cause allergic reactions as well as burns on the skin. After that, when the top layer of skin is removed, people will be susceptible to irritants, dermatitis and infection. If an infection is not treated right, it will leave scars on the skin. Moreover, people who use chemicals to whiten skin also face a high risk of liver failure, kidney failure or even death.
Stem cells – perfect way for spotless skin?
Many young women are using stem cell therapy services that cost up to US$10,000 to give their skin a perfect look, but doctors have warned them to be careful.
On July 5, the Hanoi Health Department’s Inspectorate conducted inspections at several beauty shops, including Mimi Clinic’s Hanoi Branch on Trich Sai Street, and detected that the beauty salons boasted in their advertisements that they could provide skin whitening services using stem cells from abroad, but clients actually received normal skin care services using common cosmetics.
On examining Mimi’s invoices, inspectors found that these documents only showed common cosmetics and vitamin supplements for skin care that can be found at any beauty salons, and no stem cells were indicated in them, which means that no stem cells had been used.
Deputy Chief Inspector of the Hanoi Health Department Dang Thi Hoa said that the use of stem cells to whiten skin is not yet allowed in Vietnam.
So far, the Health Ministry has only allowed Bach Mai Hospital, Viet Duc Hospital, the Central Hematology and Blood Transfusion Institute, and the Ho Chi Minh Hematology and Blood Transfusion Institute to use stem cell technology in treating knee joint degeneration, some cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Dr. Mai Trong Khoa, deputy director of Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi, called for caution in using stem cells on humans.
“If stem cells are not properly controlled when they are implanted or injected into the human body, they may cause malignant diseases,” Khoa warned.
Whiten your skin naturally
Diet is one of the most important factors to pay attention to if you want your skin white and healty, doctors advised. The list of should-do things includes drinking plenty of water, eating vegetables, and exercising, as well as avoiding staying up late, eating sweet and fatty foods, canned foods and carbonated beverage. Besides, covering your skin to protect it from direct sunlight is also an essential thing to remember.