December 07, 2018 (GSN) - South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011. The country has been in the midst of a civil war since 2013.
During a moment of calmness in the capital city of Juba, the colonial roots of colorism and the practice of skin bleaching become worrisome.
Unregulated backstreet skin-bleaching injections have become increasingly popular with South Sudanese women a trend that health professionals find alarming.
But for many in South Sudan, the practice is about more than skin color. It's about identity after independence.
Medical professionals warn the increasing popularity of these unregulated injections could cause health problems in the long term.
Dr. Adam Friedman, a dermatologist at London's Harley Street Dermatology Clinic, agrees that the increasing popularity of the injections is a worrying trend.
"With bleaching creams from places like China and Africa, there is no quality control. Bleaching creams contain dozens of chemicals, most of which are not labeled. Unregulated creams could and often do contain powerful steroids. They can cause thinning and skin damage."
Friedman says badly administered injections of unregulated substances could also result in HIV, Hepatitis C, TB, permanent disfigurement, inflammation or critical infection but those seeking whiter skin continue to purchase them if they hear of short-term positive results by word of mouth.
Dr. Pranav Pancholi, a Harvard-trained dermatologist who works at Kenya's Shah Hospital. "The products are packaged and marketed to look attractive, but anything could be inside. Injecting products containing AHAs is abnormal. It can kill body tissue and cause serious infection." Source: (AJ)