Tuesday, 3 December 2013


Hey guys,
A very good morning to you. Surprised right? 

I know this topic may sound very much like a beauty tip, but I'm sticking to my comfort zone here and that's talking about the health affects of it. Because some topics I choose to write about and my style of writing have ruffled some feathers, I'm going to say right now that this is not meant to deride or promote any company as the case may be. I am writing this based on some cases of serious illnesses I've seen in many of our youths today that could have been easily avoided (okay, maybe not so easily avoided). Some beauty products are actually detrimental to our health and can cause kidney problems.

Of the many variety of patients I see at the hospital each day, young adults are coming down with renal problems everyday. The statistics are becoming so scary, a kidney function test is one investigation I have been tempted so many times to prescribe whether it is necessary or not. Then I remember my ethical code of conduct and soft-pedal. Despite my best intentions, Nigeria is still a country with over 50% of its population living in poverty and the kidney function test is not particularly cheap.

Since I couldn't do a routine test for all my patients, I went into a retrospective study of what may have caused the renal pathology in those young adults. For the older patients, prolonged uncontrolled hypertension and diabetes mellitus were the major causative agents. For the young ones however, it was mostly hypovolemia (reduced volume of the blood) which may be due to bleeding, severe  dehydration e.t.c.; severe, overwhelming sepsis (infections); toxins from substance/drug abuse or beauty products. (This is excluding genetic and idiopathic diseases of course).

A bit on the other causes briefly, if you please before we zoom in on the skin products. Almost all the causes listed above have one thing or the other to do with your lifestyle and habits. Acute blood loss may result from trauma and accidents. We do not need to be told that young adults have risk-taking behaviours right? You say, "if it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger". Well I say, "not all the time". Many youths prefer to drink soda and juice instead of plain water. I'm afraid that's not a very bright idea. It only dehydrates you. I actually had an experience with this in my second year. I drank 3 bottles of soda (mineral) and less than half a litre of water everyday. When I started having flank/back pains, I resorted to pain killers. Thank God for saving my life through a senior colleague. All he did was insisted I take 3 litres of water on the spot. It annoyed me because I kept going to the bathroom to wee. The good news, the pain stopped immediately and never came back. I have helped many of my patients with this method since then

Another very common cause is severe sepsis. Any infection that affects the blood can easily spread to the kidneys and shut it down. Don't forget that these organisms emit dangerous toxins. The mechanism of how this happens is still unclear though. Substance and drug abuse also affect the kidneys as they act as toxins to it. Alcohol dehydrates you further by increasing diuresis (increased urination).

Now to the main dish. During my dermatology posting, a few times, I've s saw young girls come to see the consultant in search for a body lotion that would make them fairer (light-skinned) or even out the spots and blemishes. His answer was same as always - "use a mild soap or lotion or just use baby products". When they insisted, he told them the reasons for not encouraging them in their pursuit for "happiness". I tried it out for some time, got teased mercilessly by my friends that I'd end up sharing products with my children. I went in search of the "big girl" designer products. i reacted violently to them with rashes all over my face. I "jejeli" (gently) packed myself back to my mild beauty products and baby products. I have wonderful results plus my kidneys are intact. Thank God. 

The moral of the story is not for you to start using baby products, but to watch carefully before changing from one product to another. Make sure your products don't contain HYDROQUINONE or ALOE VERA. They are toxic to the kidneys. Especially oral ingestion of aloe.

Stay healthy..

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