Skin bleaching on the rise in Senegal

Dangerous chemicals can cause infection, cancer, experts warn

In the Western African country of Senegal, skin bleaching products are increasingly popular despite the dangers they pose, ABC News reports. Featured everywhere from highway billboards to marketplace stalls, the cheapest ones cost about $5 per tube, and contain chemicals that harm the skin’s natural defense mechanisms: risks include everything from infection, acne, and facial hair growth, to cancer. Pregnant women are especially at risk—and yet they’re some of the biggest buyers, as it’s fashionable to look fair when the baby is presented to friends and family. Fair skin is a status symbol across Western Africa and Asia, ABC reports: as one Senegalese woman said, “Women who lighten their skins are part of a group. Those who don’t, belong to another group.”

ABC News

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