Super User

Super User

Skin Lightening Side Effects Can Be Corrected – Says Dermatologist

By Michael Kanaabi Dollar

Skin lightening or what is commonly referred to as bleaching is a phenomenon that is here to stay according to those doing it and those selling products that aid it. With new trends coming into the practice like injectables and pills, it is imperative to interrogate the practice from a medical and safety point of view to ensure health and safety are kept intact while at it.

“The gentlemen keep looking at the ladies with lighter complexions first so when we the rest get a chance to lighten up, we go for it too because we want the same attention” Jane Nadunga a saloon owner says.

However skin lightening according to Dr. Ronald Katureebe a skin specialist shouldn’t be done by people without any medical knowledge about the skin. “Reason is these people doing this kind of bleaching using mixed creams put fast results ahead of customer health often ending in disaster and many times they carryout procedures involving injectables which can be disastrous when mishandled.”

What goes wrong?

To achieve quick results chemicals like Hydroquinone which if used in small concentration under 4% in skin products are considered safe are instead used in larger dangerous concentrations in mixed creams to achieve quick lightening results. “ Being a carcinogenic chemical, it’s long term use in skin lightening can lead to cancer among other side effects.

Mercury is another chemical used in lightening creams that can be hazardous.  Mercury can lead to kidney damage, cause neurological disorders and lead to abnormalities to unborn babies when it gets into the expectant mother's blood stream during pregnancy and reaches the foetus.

Topical steroids which are prescription creams used in treatment of skin ailments like allergic rashes and eczema are also added to these mixed lightening creams.

“These ones when used continuously for more than 3 months can cause thining of the skin (atrophy) which results into stretch marks and poor wound healing. In case usage is prolonged much longer, they can lead to serious medical complications like Cushings disease, abnormal weight gain and diabetes as well.”

Namakula (Exogenous Ochronosis)

This is one of the most prominent and common side effects of skin lightening or bleaching gone wrong. It manifests with darkening of the skin especially around the cheek bones and is very hard to treat because it is a result of pigment deposition in the lower layer of the skin known as the dermis.

However when detected early Dr. Katureebe says it can be treated with some level of success using laser treatment and medical peels available at Kampala Dermatology clinic Bugolobi.

Extra sensitivity to light is another side effect of lightening when it does go wrong.

Correcting the Effects

On a personal level Dr. Katureebe recommends putting on a sunhat for those with sensitivity to Sun rays and light, use of sun screen and avoiding direct exposure to the Sun.

On top of that a visit to a Skin specialist or Dermatologist is recommended as well to have an extensive review of the case and offer possible treatment.

According to Dr. Katureebe one may need to carry out other internal body tests for blood sugar, kidney tests and cancer to ascertain the extent of damage then treatment can be offered.

While skin lightening is often done voluntarily, there are a number of medical conditions that may require skin lightening as treatment. These mainly fall under pigmentation disorders which include post inflammatory hyper pigmentation (PIH), Melasma and photo sensitivity all requiring treatment that disrupts the formation of melanin, the dark pigment in skin. This leads to skin lightening as a result although done medically.

 How can Skin lightening be done safely?

Firstly whoever may require any form of lightening for medical reasons or voluntarily needs to see a Skin specialist first and avoid doing it underground.

Secondly Dr. Katureebe recommends a number of plant based alternatives available at Kampala Dermatology clinic which can be used to lighten one’s skin safely with no adverse effects in the long term.

There are also a number of safe cosmetic procedures that can be done to improve and lighten one’s skin tone. These include use of medical peels, laser treatment and medical facials to mention but a few.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @michaelkanaabi WhatsApp: +256701133509


Sembabule Community Gets Health Boost From Racer

Rajiv Ruparelia Rally Team was in Sembabule district as their lead racer Rajiv Ruparelia took part in the Sembabule SMC Rally 2021 over the past weekend.

The Team led by Rajiv managed to make time to visit and donate to the maternity ward of Sembabule Hospital.

Daniel Kahiu, the team manager, said they delivered to the hospital 50kgs of sugar, 3 boxes of bathing soap, 3 dozen of cotton wool and 4 boxes of gloves.

"As Team RR, we took a moment to give back to the community of Sembabule and Sembabule Hospital,” Kahiu said.

Rural hospital like this in Sembabule continue to be underfunded by the government and for them to get such support from the sports fraternity is a big boost.

INTERVIEW: Prudential’s Mallik Discusses Effect Of Covid-19 Pandemic To Employee Mental Wellness

The COVID-19 pandemic resultant ebbing lockdown periods have been a stressful time for people all over the world including in Africa. The emotional wellness of people should be at the forefront of most companies’ plans.

While businesses are grappling with how to sustain themselves, they should simultaneously be taking care of their employees. In this interview, Arjun Mallik, Managing Director Prudential East Africa, an insurance company operations in eight countries in Africa, discusses simple initiatives that businesses of all sizes can take to start addressing mental wellness, especially among employees.

What key learning lessons has Prudential Africa attained as a result of operating in the COVID - 19 pandemic?

Collective trauma as a result of COVID-19 happened at a societal level while making individuals more inward-looking. Our employees in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda are experiencing heightened trepidation due to everyday uncertainties, less interaction with colleagues and concerns for family safety. Inevitably, employee pressure equals business pressure.

We find that it requires more mindful work within our workplace to balance business objectives and life’s normal needs and responsibilities.

With 60% of its population under the age of 25, Africa is the youngest continent. The continent continues to offer businesses the best prospects for future growth. Human capital is a vital prerequisite for capitalising on opportunities ahead. 

To fully unlock the potential of the vast human resources available it is paramount that each individual is provided with an atmosphere to develop, maintain and grow their mental wellness, which has taken a knock during the pandemic.

Our experience shows that for employees to reach their potential, to contribute meaningfully and to create value in a workplace they must be in the right state of mind.

Shareholders and managers demand a lot from staff and excess stress of this kind leads to mental and physical break downs and sometimes burnout. If someone is anxious, stressed or depressed, they become less attentive and less productive and it sets back their growth potential. Awareness and acceptance of this stress is part of the key to the mental fitness of employees and should never be overlooked.

Although COVID has negatively impacted our lives, it has given people the confidence to admit that they need help and support and to recognise that mental wellness is a priority.

Moreover, at Prudential Africa we have realised that if we give our employees the opportunity to be heard and to heal emotionally, we create an atmosphere for them to bounce back quicker.

Prudential Africa, believes that the first step is to bring the conversation about mental wellness into the open – to acknowledge it, talk about it and, finally, in unison with staff, find solutions to improve. 

What has Prudential Africa invested in to support building staff emotional wellness? 

Prudential Africa has invested in a dedicated programme that ensures the following:  

  • Alleviates stress and builds tool and resources to help staff and managers recognise and act on emotional wellness issues.
  • Exhibit management commitment by providing holistic and sustainable solutions in order to foster a sense of community
  • Create a culture of openness for all staff to perform at their best.
  • Encourage all employees to be accommodating, to listen and to assist with the emotional issues their colleagues are facing.
  • Ensure that the programme transcends beyond the COVID pandemic.

What other tools has Prudential Africa inputted into the staff emotional wellness program to ensure its success?

  • Third party experts presenting on topics such as gratitude and how to balance work and play.
  • Provide staff with tools such as meditation techniques to handle stress.
  • Train managers to identify warning signs within their team or among colleagues - provide them with a toolkit to help them conduct a conversation around emotional wellness.
  • Introduce flexi hours which allow staff to do their work and remain in a safe environment – to be with their families and deliver at work.
  • Install a 24/7 confidential counselling line run by a professional third party for staff and their dependants.
  • Host more teambuilding activities that increase bonding among staff in and out of office to increase collaboration and to keep motivation high.

The ultimate message to staff should be – you are not alone – everyone has mental challenges in different ways and we are all in this together. You should be able to show up to work in the best possible form of yourself.

Fresh Dairy Enlightens Families On Boosting Health And Nutrition

Fresh Dairy, the leading dairy products producer in Uganda has once again enlightened families to maintain a healthy balanced diet, with an aim of boosting health and nutrition.

A healthy balanced diet is one that helps maintain or improve overall health while providing the body with essential nutrition.

Marketing Manager, Fresh Dairy – Vincent Omoth said, ‘Fresh Dairy being a family brand believes that everyone in the family should benefit from Fresh Dairy’s nutrient – rich products that range from Fresh milk, flavoured milk, Long life or UHT milk, powdered milk, Yoghurt (both flavoured and Brookside fruit yoghurt), Butter, Ghee and Cream. All our dairy products are nutrient-rich with Energy, Carbohydrates, Protein, Fat and Calcium among others, crucial nutrients to support the body with essential nutrition.

At Fresh Dairy, we are encouraging families to blend our dairy products as part of their daily meals because a growing body of recent research suggests that enjoying three servings of dairy foods a day is part of a nutrient-rich and balanced diet, he added.

Omoth further said, ‘At Fresh Dairy, we produce dairy products but our business interest is the health and nutrition benefits for the end consumers of our products. At Fresh Dairy, we believe that good quality milk products are made from good quality milk. To this end, we have invested in stringent milk testing procedures both upstream and downstream along the entire value chain to ensure that we use high quality milk in all our products.’

Omoth concluded by noting that Fresh Dairy and Brookside products are available countrywide in Shops, Duukas, Kiosks, Supermarkets and Tricycle Agents located near consumers. Customers can also place orders for home delivery by calling our Customer care toll free line on 0800100020/21 or Whatsapp 0715744664.

Subscribe to this RSS feed