The Medicines Control Council has now started the process of labelling certain skin lightening creams as illegal and dangerous.
Stephen Grootes spoke to Dr Denga Makhado, a dermatologist at the Sandton Medi-Clinic who said that these creams can be very dangerous. Makhado says that she is concerned that this issue of skin lightening is not a priority for the medical agenda.
The most common creams that are deemed dangerous are: Betasol cream, Epiderm, Diproson cream or lotion, Lemonvate cream, Dermo Gel Plus, Tempovate and Top Gel 30g.
Most of them contain corticosteroids, which Dr Makhado says should only be used under provision of a dermatologist or not at all.
She lists a number of other skin ailments that are side effects of these illegal creams.
Most of these creams are bought on the black market. The government can help with the control of this.— Dr Denga Makhado, Dermatologist at Sandton Medi-Clinic
Listen to the full conversation below: