Whitening creams highly unsafe for skin: Dr Osman Tahir

Published: April 27, 2011
Plastic surgeon says local creams can do irreversible damage to the skin. PHOTO: FILE

Plastic surgeon says local creams can do irreversible damage to the skin. PHOTO: FILE

Dr. Osman Mushir Tahir, a plastic surgeon, talking on The Morning Show with Huma Amir Shah on Express 24/7 said that using various local creams to whiten your skin tone can be highly unsafe and can do irreversible damage to your skin.

Tahir who has qualified from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh said, “These creams have mercury and various other chemicals in them which damages the skin badly and makes it paper-thin.”

He stressed that it is not the whitening of skin that matters, rather it is the restoration of healthy skin and evening the tone of the skin which is important.

Commenting on the aesthetic medical procedure, he said, “aesthetic medicine includes procedures that take up to only 40-45 minutes to complete and it lasts for at least two years.”

He added that it is helpful for people who do not want to go through the strenuous process of surgeries.

Tahir also pointed out that as nothing works over-night, this process also requires a lot of homework and a few visits to be carried out successfully.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Maria
    Apr 27, 2011 - 11:29PM

    I don’t think that these skin whitening creams are as big a problem in Pakistan as in India. It’s good for people to be comfortable with the way they look but it goes both ways. In Karachi there may be more people using such creams but I know of girls in KPK and Northern Areas who wish their skin were browner or more tanned.Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Apr 28, 2011 - 3:55AM

    This is not true. I know a lot of Pathans and Pathanis who are very fair. Because of their fairness they are more desirable in Pakistan and out of Pakistan. Europeans go after the women like anything. They don’t want brown skin tone. Recommend

  • Saleem Ali
    Apr 28, 2011 - 11:46AM

    I don’t understand pakistani women’s obsession with fair complexion. Wheatish/brownish skin is way better than white skin.
    And btw, not many women in Pakistan know how to use make up. Most do so much make up that it actually make them look like female versions of dracula. Recommend

  • sameera
    Apr 28, 2011 - 3:19PM

    The effects of british colonialism shine through with this “we want to be white” mindset.
    the truth is that South Asia, esp Pakistan and India, fall prey to these whitening creams because thats what beauty is defined as here. Tall, slim and white = beautiful whereas not so tall, slim but not obsessed with a size 0 and a darker complexion = umm yeah.

    Women and men need to accept themselves as they are. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder- beholders too need to change their ideas of whats beautiful and whats not.

    Be happy the way Allah made you and be grateful for what you have. Recommend

  • Ali
    Apr 28, 2011 - 3:41PM


    Europeans like more dark skinned people and go out of the wya to tan themselves!

    I hate this whitening culture and it has to be countered!Recommend

  • Jamal Shah
    Apr 28, 2011 - 11:16PM

    instead of advising people not to use such dangerous whitening creams, why dont we eradicate this cheap mentality of White Chauvinism??? when your interviewers will consider your skin complexion while considering you for the job, how can you expect that people should not fall prey to such noorani creams???Recommend

  • Munazza Sami
    Apr 29, 2011 - 2:34PM

    @Billoo Bhaya:
    too much fairness is not also attractive weatish tone looks attractive.m saying this bcoz i’ve too much fair skin which does not look good Recommend

  • Andrea
    Apr 29, 2011 - 6:57PM

    @sameera: I am sure that the fair skin thing comes from before the British. I recall hearing from my grandmother that if you are dark skinned, it means that your ancestors were converted Hindus but if you are fair skinned, it meant your ancestors were likely Turks or other Central Asian Muslims who invaded and ruled. Just like pictures show the Mughals fair and the ruled people as being darker. But the Arabs who took over Sind under Bin Qasim were probably just as dark as the Sindi people. The British came along much later and didn’t stay long enough to bring skin colour stereotype in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Zain Ali Raza Siyal
    Apr 30, 2011 - 2:55AM

    @ Maria: I’ve a Pathan friend from KPK. He is so white but still he uses such whitin’ cream and feels proud of his whiteness. We have a White Chauvism in real as someone has already stated.Recommend

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