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Don’t use face creams without consulting experts, warns MoH
October 29, 2017
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ABU DHABI: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP), has warned the public against the hazards of using some facial skin care whitening creams without consulting a physician, particularly products marketed on social media, as they could pose grave health hazards and permanent damage to the skin, including facial bleaching and occurrence of dark spots.

Dr Amin Hussain Al Amiri, Assistant Under-Secretary of Public Health Policy and Licensing at MOHAP, said there is a growing demand among teenage girls to use skin whitening products which has led some social media influencers who have a considerable following to promote creams that should be administered by medical prescription or in which chemicals should be used only after consulting with specialists.

“These influencers present their personal experiences in videos they publish to their followers and encourage them to do the same,” Dr Al Amiri explained, adding that such information dissemination, whether or not it was done in good faith, could lead some manufacturing companies or local distributors to contract social influencers or ‘fashionistas’ to promote their products to increase sales.

Such actions have prompted the Ministry, particularly the Health Empowerment and Compliance Department, to put a system of monitoring the content of these social media accounts and form a team to track some of the suspected accounts on social media, he explained.

Dr. Al Amiri cited the video of a GCC lady who showcased her skin whitening experience after mixing three creams, the first one is Dermovate, a preparation that contains a cortisone derivative ‘Corticosteroid’ used to treat symptoms such as skin inflammation, itching, which occur in some skin diseases such as Psoriasis, some allergies and superficial dermatitis. These types of creams should be dispensed by a medical prescription and under the supervision of a specialist, he explained.

Corticosteroids have side effects which usually occur after prolonged use or high dose or lack of medical supervision such as skin numbness, skin atrophy, burning, itching, skin stinging, acne-like pimples, hypopigmentation, skin perspiration disorder, and secondary skin infections including bacterial, fungal, and viral and some skin lesions, which render the skin thin and easily bleed.

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