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Keywords: KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICE OF SKIN BLEACHING AMONG STUDENTS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The art of beautification of the body is not a new practice. The science of beautificationand beauty contest have been in existence since olden days where natural endowment like tiroo, powder, bracelets and so on, are been used to beautify the body. Among these area are hair dressing aesthetic, facial look and general body movement (Adebayo, 2002). However, the degree to which attention is been focus on skin beautification specifically is skin bleaching which calls for a special concern, the act of body beautification has progressed form ordinary maintenance of the natural complexion to complete skin bleaching, which is an act of changing the colour of the body skin to become lighter. Olumide (2006) stated that skin bleaching has taken over all other patterns of the body beautification, this is because it causes skin cancer, skin rashes, tender and rough skin.
Skin bleaching can be considered to be a process of permanentor temporary alternating of the outer (upper most layer) of the skin, otherwise known as epidermis. Andrew and Adeleye (2007) viewed it to be a process of permanent and purposeful lightening of the skin, which is most common among adolescents.
The constituents of skin bleaching creams are hydroquinone and ammoniated mercury. By implication of body bleaching involves the application of substances or solution that are capable of removing the upper surface of the skin, thereby making the colour of the body lighter. Andrew (2007) view is that irrespective of the reasons that may be adduced by those that engage in the practice, it is always clear that the dire effects of skin bleaching in some cases overwhelm the benefits. Youths of nowadays are fond of skin bleaching and toning of the skin because the cream is very cheap and accessible with alternative packages. It is also economical for them to purchase without knowing the health consequences.
Some use it to clear enzyme of pimples invariably it becomes addiction and results into skin bleaching.
Adebayo (2008) established the fact that there is high incidence of skin bleaching and hair dyeing among adolescents. However, what agitates the mind most are the dire consequences of skin bleaching and hair dyeing on these young individuals all in the name of socialization.
The World Health Organization (2002) released a report of the danger of mercury in skin lightening soaps and creams, which revealed that Nigerian youth especially are the highest users of such products, this is followed by Togo with 59%, South Africa 35% and Mali 25%.
The health report shows that health implication of skin bleaching form skin irritates to skin cancer, skin rashes, swelling of the skin, seizure, numbness, pain tremors and memory loss.
The potential risk of hair dyeing includes bladder, cancer, breast cancerand skin cancer, ovarian and cervical, malignancies. In essence, if the adolescents are not well enlightened on this they might be exposed to the saying that, ‘such health’ risk listed above (Adegoke, 2005). According to the saying that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow.
Skin bleaching and hair dyeing is not what the youth supposed to dwell on in order to groom a responsible adult. Skin bleaching, whitening or lightening has been define by Christopher (1991) as any process in which pigment is removed from the skin which can be done using soap, pills, cream and even laser and also surgical treatment. The importance of skin bleaching is considered and harnessed in the treatment of certain health skin abnormally high pigmentation abnormal conditional, example specific zones of abnormal condition are high pigmentation such as moles and birth marks may be depigmented to match to the surrounding skin conversely in cases of viligo unattended skin may be lightened to achieve uniform appearance (Blay, 2009). There are different types and classes of chemical bleaching product or reagents for example: tryrosinase, exfoliants, homemade treatment, mercury hydrogeninoneetc. skin bleaching or lightening has a long history in Asia stemming back to china and japan where the saying “One white covers up three ugliness were passed through generation. Hodge (2011). A white complexion in South East Asia, where the sun was always out, only those rich enough could afford to stay indoors, while peasants backedin the rich fields. (Keith and Herring, 2002).
In their early bid to lighten up, Chinese ground pearl from sea shell into powder and swallowed it to whiten their skin, says Chinese ground university chemical pathology, Professor Christopher lam mai-kai while across the yellow sea geisha girls powdered heir face chalk white (Japan).
Rodriguez (2000) and Thomas (2008) stated that this obsession with witness has not faded overtime. Another history have it that skin bleaching creams were first purchased on the market in the United State for African women encouraged to keep their skin light in an effort to emulate the Caucasian ( a member of any of the races of people who have pale skin women, who was put on pedestal as the ultimate measure of human beauty (Jill, 1997) expanded to apartheid South African and then on ward East African until it eventually ended up in West African where it has taken root, from Senegal to Cameroon (Hall, 2000) and (Rome,2004).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Adolescent stage is a very curios stage of maturity which needs to be handled fervently, this is the stage where children are being exposed to a lot of social vices so as to be sincerely and sexually attractive not aware of the fact that they are deteriorating their health status gradually and exposing their skin to infection, irrespective of the method of applied in carrying out the (skin) bleaching, the part of the body affected usually becomes unnecessarily exposed to infections. This is because there is exposure of inner parts of the skin to infection. Naturally, the uppermost part (surface) of the skin is potentially protective because it is resistants’ to foreign attack. The part of the body that has been bleached becomes very light, fragile and tears easily. Bleaching also leaves spots on the skin after being scratched or hard hit by an object. Such spots make the body surface to look rough and unattractive.
Unfortunately, students of Federal College Of Education Abeokuta that partake in this act lack the knowledge, love negative attitude and practice skin bleaching in review of these claims, this research is to examine the knowledge, attitude and practice of skin bleaching and health implication on students of Federal College Of Education Abeokuta, Ogun State.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to find out the knowledge, attitude and practice of skin bleaching among students in Federal College of Education Abeokuta, Ogun State. The specific objectives of the study is to:
1 Examine the knowledge of students Federal College of Education Osiele, Abeokuta, on skin bleaching.
2 Examine the attitude of students of Federal College of Education Abeokuta towards skin bleaching.
3 Examine the practice of skin bleaching among students of Federal College of Education Abeokuta.
4 Examine the ways the school authority could curbing the practice of skin bleaching among students Federal College Of Education Abeokuta, Ogun State.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research question were to be answered in the course of the study.
1. Do students of Federal College of Education Abeokuta have knowledge of skin bleaching?
2. What is the attitude of students of Federal College of Education Abeokuta towards skin bleaching?
3. Do students of Federal College of Education Abeokuta practice skin bleaching?
4. How can the school authority curb the practice of skin bleaching?
1.5 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study was delimited to the following:
1. Knowledge, attitude and practice of skin bleaching among students of Federal College of Education Osiele, Abeokuta.
2. Students of Federal College of Education Osiele, Abeokuta.
3. Simple random sampling techniques for the selection of the research sample.
4. Use of self-structured questionnaire to get information from the respondents.
1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The following challenges were faced by the researcher during the course of this research work.
Insincerity of some of the respondents in answering the research question.
Paucity of literature.
Limited time for carrying out the research.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This work will help to contribute to the existing literatures on the “knowledge, attitude and practice of skin bleaching”. It will also create awareness on the various psychological, biological and physiological negative effects that accompany skin bleaching so that people can dissociate themselves from the practice.
Finally, this work will provide the students, the community, the school, and the Government with an effective way to curb the menace of skin bleaching among students.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
i. Knowledge: The information, understanding and skills that you gain through education or experience.
ii. Attitude: personal ways of thinking, feeling or behaviors towards somebody or something.
iii. Practice: it is the regular training of a personal activities to improve your skills.
iv. Health: It is the state of complete, physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of diseases or infirmity.
v. Implications: The acts of implication or the condition of been implication simply means acts of implying, effects or consequence that may happen in the future, it is also the state of being something bad.
vi. Skinbleaching: skin bleaching is the process of using bleaching agents to lighten the skin pigments, it is a term that can also be regarded as the lightening of the area of the skin darkened by hyperpigmentation, pregnancy or acnes.
vii. Adolescents: This is the stage between childhood and adulthood. That is, it is the period that mark the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood.
Keywords: KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICE OF SKIN BLEACHING AMONG STUDENTS