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Dilemma of a black woman who wanted to be light skinned
A British medical team recounts the misfortunes of a young woman of African origin who was obsessed about the colour of her skin. She wanted to lighten it, whatever the cost. And, after using a great many so-called adapted creams, she final found herself … very seriously ill.

A British medical team recounts the misfortunes of a young woman of African origin who was obsessed about the colour of her skin. She wanted to lighten it, whatever the cost. And, after using a great many so-called adapted creams, she final found herself … very seriously ill.

Uncontrollable weight gain, impossible pregnancy, streaky colouring, ecchymoses … The medical team at Hammersmith Hospital in London were taken aback. This 28-year old woman also presented with muscular weakness and inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and pharynx.

In the light of this disturbing clinical presentation, the patient had no choice but to come clean: for 7 years she had been applying a depigmenting cream to her skin, a cream sold – illegally of course – in grocery stores! And this cream was found to contain clobetasol – a very powerful democorticoid normally used in very low doses for the treatment of atopic dermatitis and plaque psoriasis and which should never be available without prescription. And far less, from anywhere but a pharmacy!

This problem also exists in France. And according to Dr François Desruelles, a dermatologist in Nice, it is definitely underestimated. These creams are bought outside legal channels by people of African origin. They are very often imported products made by small industries abroad. They usually contain dangerous corticoids. Of course there are depigmenting creams that are sold in pharmacies, but although they are guaranteed to be harmless their effectiveness is limited.

It’s important to remember that medication is not the same as other products. It should be purchased in a pharmacy and nowhere else. Certainly not in a grocery store. And last but not least … let’s remember that we’re fine the way we are … just as nature intended!

Destination Santé


France

 

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