The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned Nigerians against the indiscriminate use of bleaching creams, saying that the formulation and agents of most of the creams are dangerous to the skin.
The agency added that the abuse of cosmetics could lead to internal damage to body organs.
Dr Monica Eimunjeze, the acting Director-General of the agency, gave the warning at a workshop organised by NAFDAC, in collaboration with the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists in Abuja.
She also noted that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control said it will reinforce a nationwide clampdown on the manufacturers and sellers of bleaching creams.
"We will be moving to full-time enforcement so we have Nigerians on notice.
"We have had some operations in the past, so we are going to look very closely again.
“When the full-time enforcement starts, everybody will understand the reason we are doing what we are doing. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.
“We see dangers inherent in using these cream products that are not in our regulatory process, so we are collaborating with health journalists to help us increase awareness on the products that have not gone through the regulatory process on the impacts these could have on their health.
“When you use a product that has chemicals that could affect the body in many ways or systemically cause a reaction on the skin, there are many consequences such as kidney failure, and liver damage from an accumulation of toxic chemicals within the system.
"Although people have the right to make choices, you need to make informed choices that will guide you and not the ones that will hurt you,” she stressed.
She noted that the use of bleaching creams is not only endemic in Nigeria but is global.
“The Asians bleach more than us. If you are observant, they make the Asian version and make the European version, so it’s not only within this area.
“Most people do not do skin care. When you do skincare, you protect your skin, you use sunscreen, you exfoliate, which is not bad.
"But when you use harmful chemicals that are dangerous to the layers of the skin and you go to the sun without protection, you begin to burn,” she added.
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