The Practice of Skin-Bleaching for a Cosmetic Purpose in Immigrant Communities

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Abstract

Background.

Using skin-lightening compounds for a cosmetic purpose that are normally restricted to medical use or forbidden has become a world-wide practice. Complications are numerous. Immigrant communities often import their practice from their original country.

Methods.

A review of the literature on the subject of complications of cosmetic skin-bleaching, with special focus on data concerning immigrants originating from highly endemic countries, was conducted.

Results.

Complications of cosmetic skin-bleaching are common, involving mainly the skin although some general complications are also reported with a growing incidence.

Conclusion.

The high frequency of this practice, added to the frequency of various complications, suggests it might be considered as a genuine public health problem currently.

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