A rise in the number of people in Australia’s Asian community using skin whitening products is alarming dermatologists, local media reported Wednesday.

“I use this one (whitening product) in the morning and at night … it can make your skin look very healthy, very clear, it’s very popular,” a 30-year-old retail assistant in Sydney’s Chinatown told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Worldwide, the industry of cosmetic skin lightening is worth around 23 billion U.S. dollars and members in Australia’s Asian community are bringing the trend down under.But medical experts and dermatologists have warned the practise can be potentially dangerous.The predominant ingredient hydroquinone, although legal in Australia, is banned in Europe, for it can cause skin irritation and other side effects.Apart from health concerns, a broader issue of how society views the colour of skin and race is also causing concern for some health experts.”It does beg a wider more philosophical question about darker-skinned people trying to look Anglo-Saxon, which is a concern I think, It is very worrying,” said Ritu Gupta, a specialist dermatologist based in Sydney.

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh