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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

UAE Ministry warns against misuse of skin whitening creams made popular online

Dr Amin Al Amiri said the creams being used in videos posted on social media should be used under medical supervision 

The Ministry of Health and Prevention issued a warning on Saturday against using skin lightening creams promoted by social media influencers online.

The Ministry said using some of the skincare products without consultation from a doctor could pose serious health risks.

Dr Amin Al Amiri, assistant undersecretary for public health policy and licensing at the ministry, said there was a growing demand among teenage girls to use skin whitening products which has led some social media influencers to promote creams that should be administered by medical prescription.

“Some companies contact fashion bloggers or influencers to promote their products to increase their sales. Thus, there has been a new monitoring method for fashion bloggers, influencers and suspected accounts on social media,” said Dr Al Amiri.

He said he had seen a video of a woman online who used three creams to whiten her skin.

One of the products, Dermovate, contains a cortisone derivative used to treat skin diseases but Mr Al Amiri said the cream should only be used under the supervision of a specialist.

"The creams used by the woman contained cortisone that is used for inflammatory skin diseases,” said Dr Al Amiri.

The woman also used Differin Gel which contains Vitamin A and is used to treat acne. The final cream used was Hi-Queen which Mr Al Amiri said is not registered in the UAE and is therefore not regulated.

He said misuse of these creams could lead to loss of skin sensation, skin atrophy, itching, change in skin colour and skin ulcers.

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