Bleaching is simply the act of altering the natural tone or colour of something through the use of artificial chemicals and materials. Now while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with bleaching if it’s what pleases one, except in countries like South Africa where there are laws regulating its use, it’s allowed in most parts of the world. However, there are a couple of things that must be considered before the decision to bleach one’s skin is made.

First off, although it’s yet to be confirmed, there are claims that bleaching with the wrong products can have very harmful and harsh effects on the skin. It’s been said that cancer can be an after effect of using bad bleaching products. Now, like I said, it’s not really an authoritative statement, but it’s a claim and you must be careful of what products you use if you’re going to bleach, so you don’t end up doing yourself harm in the process of trying to look better. Always consult with a dermatologist or one who understands how skin care products work for good advice before you use them.

The other negative that can arise from bleaching is an awful odour. Certain bleaching products have been proven to contain a substance known as hydroquinone, which if used for prolonged periods can yield side effects such as exogenous ochronosis. This is a condition that causes paradoxical grayish and bluish skin hyperpigmentation.

Finally, a study in the International Society of Dermatology years ago discovered that the individuals on long time hydroquinone skin lightening therapy may suffer from what you call a “fish odour syndrome”. A  smell resembling to decayed fish is due to the discharge of a chemical called trimethylamine in the saliva, vaginal, sweat and urine secretions.

Like I mentioned before, bleaching isn’t illegal or criminal, but if you have to, be very careful and mindful of the products you use, so you do not suffer any of the aforementioned side effects.