clock December 24,2023

Medical expert attributes increases in kidney diseases to widespread use of substandard whitening creams

One of the main reasons for an increase in the incidence of kidney diseases can be linked to the use of skin whitening creams containing mercury, Dr. Indira Kahawita, a Consultant Dermatologist, said at a press conference at the Health Promotion Bureau on Thursday.

Dr. Kahawita warned that some of those creams could even cause cancer.

“Some of these creams contain mercury, which is extremely toxic to the human body,” she said.

Dr. Kahawita said the World Health Organization and the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health had launched a joint programme to prevent the use of products containing mercury in Sri Lank. Despite those efforts, harmful substances continue to be applied widely, leading to serious health issues, including kidney failure, Dr. Kahawita said. “In a 24-hour period, I examined approximately 60 patients across 40 clinics. About 10% had problems directly related to whitening creams.”

She also noted that she had come across a lot of people with blackened palms and nails turning brown or orange. “These are signs of exposure to mercury,” Dr. Kahawita said.

“These short-term side effects are appearing more frequently than before and pose significant health risks,” Dr. Kahawita warned.

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