Hidden Steroids, Hypertension And Other Scary Reasons To Stop Using Fade Cream
We all know that skin bleaching is a no-no. But what about using fade cream? Millions of women of color use fade cream, or skin-lightening cream, for less drastic reasons: to lighten up acne scars, dark patches and other problem areas on our skin.
But now some doctors are saying that any amount of spot management should happen at your dermatologist’s office. Why? They’ve been treating a lot of patients with serious skin and health problems from stubborn acne to mercury poisoning. And these problems don’t just happen to women buying the strong stuff from suspect sources: over-the-counter fade creams and skin bleach can be at fault too — especially after long-term use.
Your best bet? Doctors say if you want to be sure to avoid these side effects, it’s best to see a dermatologist to get effective lightening or fading without the risk.
One woman reported that hers was so thin, her face would bruise whenever anyone touched it.
Typically only a problem for older women, some former fade cream users claim spider veins are another side effect of using it.
And not just a breakout, but the stubborn kind that sticks around for quite a while.
High Blood Pressure
Many skin-lightening creams like Fair & White and Hyprogel contain powerful steroids that should only be used with a doctor’s supervision. Without it, they can lead to high blood pressure, high blood sugar and interfere with your body’s natural steroids.
Shopping online for strong fade cream? Lots of retailers sell counterfeit versions that have undisclosed but dangerous ingredients that doctors say cause a host of permanent problems.
One of those undisclosed ingredients? Could be mercury. One doctor said that he treated women with damage to their nervous system from using skin-lightening cream.
Blue-Black Darkening Of The Skin
That’s what one doctor describes seeing in his patients who use “bootleg” versions of Fair & White. It’s due to high levels of the skin lightener hydroquinone. And because it hasn’t been banned in the U.S. yet, he’s seen an increase in cases in the past few years.
Lies On The Label
Most products have to be truthful about what’s in them. But one Hampton University dermatologist revealed that such honesty is “a false assumption for the skin-lightening market.” Lack of regulations mean there could be almost anything in a tube or container, which might make it hard for your dermatologist to fix the problem.
Skin-lightening creams don’t always lighten evenly, leaving you with permanent blotches of lighter skin over time.
Over-The-Counter Products Aren’t Always Safe
Doctors have said it’s wrong to assume that fade cream you buy over the counter is safe. Lots of the goods sold in stores, like the one a woman found in a Korean grocery store, aren’t necessarily medically approved and could contain dangerous ingredients.
Growing pains and childbirth do not always cause stretch marks. Doctors report finding them “all over” patients who use fade creams with steroids, and they’re often permanent.
Irritability, Forgetfulness, And Depression
Symptoms of mercury poisoning that doctors report seeing include tingling in your hands or feet, insomnia, weight loss and numbness. Doctors have said that if you experience any of these symptoms after using an unlabeled fade cream, it’s time to make an appointment with the doc.
Kids Can Be Affected Too
Some doctors report treating the children of women who use skin bleaching cream. When mothers touch or breastfeed their children, the mercury is transferred to them. It can stay in your system for up to two months after you stop using the cream.