Knowledge, attitude and practice of skin lightening among female students at Kampala International University Western Campus, Uganda

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Kampala International University, Faculty of Clinical Medicine and Dentistry
Introduction: Skin lightening is the act of lightening the skin complexion by using substances that are applied on the skin or administered into the body by other means The use of skin lightening agents has its drawback in terms of causing harmful effects such as skin disorders like de-pigmentation, rashes, pimples, discolorations, kidney damage, cancer, neurological and psychiatric disorders depending on how the agents for skin lightening are used Objective: The paper examines the knowledge, attitude and practice of skin lightening by female university students at Kampala International University, where some dark skinned women in particular tend to lighten their skin Method: A cross sectional descriptive study Results: The awareness level of the students about skin lightening agents and their harmful effects was found to be high among the students and more than half of them are already users of such agents mainly for beautification. Few of them think the use of skin lightening agents can be addictive and lead to social stigma but they don‟t believe that the use of such agents should be restricted to medical uses only. Conclusion: the female students in Kampala International University –Western Campus who apply skin lightening products on their skin with potentially dangerous chemical agents meant for other reasons do so mainly to attract the opposite sex despite having high knowledge of the harmful effects. Recommendation: Many students are using skin lightening agents. They seem to have knowledge of the harmful effects of these agents. The best way to curb the use of skin lightening agents is for government to restrict and ensure information that is used for advert and education in regards to skin lightening agents is correct. We recommend further studies on the effects of skin lightening agents currently in use by students or other group of people.
A research thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at Kampala International University
Knowledge, skin lightening, Female students, Uganda