SKIN BLEACHING: Government strongly warns citizens


THE Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) has once again warned the public about the dangers of using skin lightening products such as injectable Glutathione and injectable Vitamins.

MCAZ said it’s concerned that several beauty salons, wellness and beauty shops are offering all kinds of beauty enhancement services and skin treatments.

MCAZ acting director-general, Richard Rukwata, said it’s their duty to protect the public’s health by ensuring that all medicines, and medical devices on the market are safe, effective and of good quality.

“It is alarming that these beauty salons also offer services such as intravenous drips or infusions using skin lightening agents, including Glutathione tablets or injectables combined with injectable vitamins.

“As the authority responsible for protecting public and animal health, MCAZ enforces adherence to the use of registered medicines and will exercise its statutory mandate against perpetrators of these criminal acts.

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“To date, there are no published clinical trials that have evaluated the use of oral/injectable Glutathione and injectable vitamins for skin lightening.

“There are also no published guidelines for appropriate dosing regimens and duration of treatment.

“Glutathione and Vitamins are registrable products and MCAZ has not approved or registered any injectable products for skin lightening.”

He said the products have serious side effects.

“Side effects from the use of injectable Glutathione for skin lightening include toxic effects on the liver, kidneys and nervous system.

“The side effects may also include severe skin reactions such as Stevens Johnson syndrome, hives or allergic reactions, weight gain, losing pigmentation of hair, eye infections and disorders.

“Glutathione also affects the production of melanin, the pigment that gives the human skin, hair and eyes their colour.

“Injectable Glutathione is sometimes paired with intravenous Vitamin C and Vitamin C injection which may form kidney stones if the urine is acidic.

“Large doses of Vitamin C have resulted in hemodialysis in patients with glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.

“Other potential risks include transmission of infectious agents such as HIV, hepatitis C and B.

“This is of particular concern when non-medical practitioners administer these treatments,” he said.

— HMetro

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