Women at risk of dangerous cosmetics

Some skin care products. In major towns in East Africa, skin medications are used as cosmetics without supervision due to ignorance by the users. {Photo: Courtesy EA Destination }
Some skin care products. In major towns in East Africa, skin medications are used as cosmetics without supervision due to ignorance by the users. {Photo: Courtesy EA Destination }

Kenya women, especially those young ones who want to look pretty and appealing are using different cosmetics to add beauty on their faces and skins despite the dangers posed by these products.

Despite the serious dangers most of the products in the market, most women are still easily hooked into using these cosmetics.

In major towns in East Africa, skin medications are used as cosmetics without supervision due to ignorance by the users.

Skin treatment ointments and lotions are potent substances used to treat only certain skin diseases. Therefore, they have absolutely no indication for cosmetic usage.

According to dermatologists, the potency of these preparations varies from one formulation to another.

“They are strictly prescription products that are used to treating certain diseases, which means a doctor decides when, where and for how long a particular product is to be used,” says Dr. Melanie Miyanji, a consultant dermatologist and venereologist.

Dr. Miyanji, who is the chairperson of the Kenya Society of Cosmetology and Allergology, observes that there are serious consequences if these skin products are used wrongly and used for longer than specified time.

She says that even during the short specified time of use, it was better a medical doctor monitor patients as they go about with treatment with these cosmetics.

“It is most distressful to see these products being used as to embellish one’s face,” she adds.

Women are therefore reminded that the creams are only given for specific skin diseases and can cause problems where not indicated.

“Corticosteroid preparations may indeed cause skin problems, explains Dr Nicholas Ochieng a dermatology lecturer at the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC).

Dr. Ochieng talks of thinning of the skin which consequently breaks easily and does not heal well, stretch marks are also induced.

He says that the toxin can easily damage the upper layer of the skin as well as forming rashes on the skin.It can also flare up or cause exacerbation of other skin infections like bacterial, growth and spread of skin infections such as bacterial, viral and fungal.

The worst effect is that they can be absorbed into the blood stream hence causing problems to the rest of the body systems.

The products can mask skin diseases impeding or delaying diagnosis and hence appropriate treatment if a disease is not given proper treatment thus leading to adverse progression of the same to an irreversible state.

“The more magical, the more immediate the effects and the more satisfying the product may appear, the more potent it is and this should alert women to its toxicity.”

It is recommended that women seek a doctor’s consent before using these cosmetics.

The cosmetics are marked as Dermovate, Diprosone, Betnovate, Nerisone, Mediven, Hydrocortisone and others.

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