Stop bleaching – GOA cautions pregnant women

Pregnant Women

The Ghana Optometric Association (GOA) has cautioned pregnant women against skin and hair bleaching as it has the potential to cause irreversible blindness to unborn babies.

Dr Alfred Gardemor, GOA Public Relations Officer, said certain chemicals when absorbed into the body could go a long way to have effects on the unborn baby.

Dr. Gardemor who is a Principal Optometrist and Head of the Optometric Center at the Nsawam Government Hospital said this at the fifth Ghana News Agency-Tema Regional Office and the Ghana Optometric Association fortnightly public sensitization initiative “GNA-GOA: My Eye! My Vision!

The fortnight initiative is a collaborative public education advocacy campaign to promote access to eye care and also to draw attention to vision health.

The GNA-GOA: My Eyes! My Vision! initiative also seeks to challenge the public and policymakers to focus on vision as a health issue, which forms a critical component of mankind’s wellbeing.

Speaking on the topic “Children’s Vision and Eye Health”, Dr Gardemor explained that pregnancy changed the hormone level and that could make the skin more sensitive than normal, leading the skin to react easily to certain chemicals applied to the body.

The PRO indicated that chemicals in bleaching cosmetics could cause inflammation, scarring, and abnormalities among newborn babies if used during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

He noted that during the process of bleached hair, some of the harmful substances penetrate the skin to the body and that could go a long way to affecting the baby.

Dr Gardemor said it could lead to premature babies, giving birth to babies with low birth weight, taking longer to conceive, and pregnancy loss, among others.

He added that skin bleaching agents increase the susceptibility to infections and viruses making it easy for the skin to react.

Dr Gardemor expressed concern that most eye infections among babies were usually not detected early and that led to major issues during the growth of the child.

“If you are pregnant, the chemical you apply gets to the baby, and anything that you take, because of the placenta, whatever the mother takes the baby will take because of that connection and that does into the baby’s bloodstream,” he stated.

He cautioned pregnant women to avoid using chemicals that would be harmful to themselves and their unborn babies.

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