Various pictures have been circulating on social media of dark-skinned people using strong chemicals to peel off layers of their skin to reveal significantly lighter skin. However, doctors are warning Jamaicans not to engage in the practice which can cause irreversible damage.
Skin peeling is a beauty treatment in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin, causing it to “blister” and eventually peel off to reveal fresher, newer skin. This treatment is not new and is quite commonly practised in Jamaica by dermatologists and at spas.
However, the pictures circulating on social media show a form of deep skin peel, which dermatologist Arlene Rose does not recommend for Jamaicans with dark skin.
“There are different types of skin peeling and some, such as the phenol and TCA peels, are not to be done on black skin at all because they go too deep and damage the layer that produces melanin (the dark pigment). When this happens, the person can get unsightly dark patches and irreversible skin damage,” she said.
Rose stressed that skin peels are not intended to be a form of skin bleaching and is not to be used for that purpose.
“Skin peeling is a way of refreshing the outer layer of the skin, which normally sheds so you get a fresher, newer look, however, skin peels do not bleach at all – they simply remove the damaged dead cells,” Rose said.
Since the pictures have surfaced on social media, many Jamaicans have strongly criticised the practice of using extra-strength skin peels to attain light skin.
Some Facebook users comments on the pictures are:
Nikeisha Johnson: This real tho omg no sah Jamaican poeple nuh fool so as much as we love tone dem try nuh bring dat here.
Kay Dian: Believe or not.. Dem [Jamaicans] soon start doing it!! That suppose burn to like 10 fire side
Lorraine Smith: What the hell is wrong with we people why we cant satisfy with the damn colours wea God give we? Lord have mercy on some of us.