Perceived risk and consequences of bleaching practices among university students in Southwest Nigeria
Despite the social, pathological, physiological and psychological effects that skin bleaching presents, it has become a widespread practice among different groups in Nigeria. This cross sectional study involving two selected universities in Osun State, Nigeria, assessed the perceived risks and consequences of skin bleaching among undergraduates in higher institutions in Osun State, Nigeria. Data was collected from 400 undergraduates using a validated self-administered questionnaire with a Cronbach’s alpha value of 0.78. The data was analyzed descriptively and inferentially. Findings showed that almost half of the respondents (41.5%) had used bleaching agents, and 70.5% have a negative perception of its risks and consequences. Reasons for the use of bleaching product included removal of facial pimples or scars (79.8%), skin lightening (58.3%), spot removal (79.5%), fashion enhancement (67.0%) and to become more attractive (65.8%). There was a significant difference in the perception of the risks of skin bleaching based on institutional affiliations (t=3.57, p=.000). This study concluded that skin bleaching was prevalent among the studied population and that the participants had a negative perception of its risks and consequences.
Key words: Adverse effects, bleaching, bleaching agents, cosmetics use, undergraduate students