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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6-11

Knowledge, pattern and determinants of the use of skin-lightening creams among University Undergraduates in Southwestern Nigeria

1 Department of Community Medicine, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria
3 Catholic Relief Service, Abuja, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Wasiu Olalekan Adebimpe
Department of Community Medicine, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/phmj.phmj_11_19

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Background: Fair skin has been associated with beauty and sexual attraction. Aggressive marketing of skin-lightening products to unsuspecting members of the general population continues despite their numerous side effects. Aim: This study assessed the knowledge and pattern of the use of skin-lightening creams (SLCs) among undergraduates in Osun State, Southwestern Nigeria. Methods: This is a descriptive, cross-sectional study among University undergraduates. Three hundred undergraduates were selected using multistage sampling method. The research instrument used was a semi-structured, self-administered, pretested questionnaire. Data were analysed using the SPSS version 23.0 software. Results: The mean age of the students was 21.0 (±3.4) years. Most (283, i.e., 94.3%) of the students were aware of SLCs, with the Internet being the most common source of information. About 69.0% had good knowledge, while 67.0% had a poor attitude towards the use of SLC. Eighty-one (27.0%) respondents knew that SLC had side effects, 114 (38.0%) had ever used SLC, 69 (60.5%) still use SLC now, while 45 (39.5%) have stopped. Among those who had ever used, 108 (94.7%) said that they knew the chemical ingredient in SLC, 34 (29.8%) usually checked the label before use, 108 (94.7%) usually obtained SLC products from the supermarkets/shops. Predictors of the use of SLC in this study were female and age older than 19 years. Conclusion: Good knowledge but poor attitude characterised the significant proportion of SLC users under the study, and this underscored the need for improved public awareness in this regard and targeting this young, vulnerable population.

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