MCAZ warns against illegal skin lightening products

Illegal skin lightening products

THE Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) has urged citizens to be on high alert for skin lightening products that come in the form of oral or injectable glutathione and injectable vitamins, and warned that their administration by unqualified personnel could result in the transmission of HIV and other diseases.

In a statement yesterday, MCAZ acting director Richard Rukwata said the authority has not approved or registered any injectables or oral products for skin lightening.

“To date, there are no published clinical trials that have evaluated the use of oral or injectable vitamins for skin lightening products. There are also no published guidelines for appropriate dosing regimens and duration of treatment,” Rukwata said.

“Side effects on the use of injectable glutathione for skin lightening include toxic effects on the liver, kidneys and the nervous system. Furthermore, the side effects may include severe skin reactions such as Stevens Johnson’s syndrome, hives or allergic reactions, weight gain, losing pigmentation of hair, eye infections and disorders.”

He said illegal skin lightening products contained harmful ingredients that have toxic effects whose potential risks include transmission of infections agents such as HIV, hepatitis C and B.

“This is of particular concern when non-medical practitioners administer these treatments,” he said.

Rukwata warned beauty salons to stop distributing unregistered medicines as they are illegal.

 “The Authority has noted with concern that several beauty salons, wellness and beauty shops are offering all kinds of beauty enhancement services and skin treatments. It is alarming also that these also offer services such as intravenous drips or infusions using lightening agents including glutathione tablets combined with injectable vitamins. It is an offence to sell unregistered medicines without authorisation,” read the statement.

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