The lives of pupils and students of basic and senior high schools within the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (KEEA) Municipality in the Central Region are in danger following the continuous practice of lips bleaching.
The practice, according to investigations conducted by our affiliate TV station, Ocean 1 TV in Elmina in the Central Region, has become a grave concern to parents, many of who are alarmed by the upsurge of lip bleaching amongst pupils.
In the course of Ocean 1 TV’s findings, it was established that “conshore,” was a term used for the mixture of toothpaste, bleaching cream and sometimes Ghanaian local alcohol popularly known as “akpeteshie.”
However, it was observed that pupils (both boys and girls) usually applied this mixture mainly on their lips with the aim of bleaching to make them look pinkie or reddish.
This, our affiliate TV station learnt, was a popular practice amongst pupils and students of both basic and senior high schools in the municipality.
Some students with bleached lips being interviewed Interacting with some pupils who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, they indicated that they explained that bleach their lips to purposely make them look beautiful and handsome.
The pupils said the “conshore” is mostly applied two times in a day, to attain that result.
Knowing the possible dangers associated with swallowing a bleaching cream, one of the pupils said she washes her mouth with soap and water before eating after which she applies the “conshore” to continue with the bleaching process.
They also indicated that for rapid response, one could use a toothbrush to brush the area where the bleaching cream has been applied.
They, however, warned that the lips, if not brushed well, could develop into sore or get swollen if care was not taken.
However, the desire to look beautiful superimposes the challenges associated with the use of “conshore.”
With a burning desire to look beautiful and possibly please their peers, the pupils disclosed that they do collective savings until they get the needed funds to purchase buy the lips bleaching items.
This, they normally do at blindside of their parents and teachers.
Meanwhile in an exclusive interview with the Central Regional Director of Food and Drugs Authority, Mr Odai Tettey, said his office has been hinted on the lips bleaching cream and was on the look out to bring persons selling such unregistered products to face the law.
He said since students had also discovered ways of mixing chemicals to attain pinkie lips, his outfit would be meeting with the education authorities to warn students to guard against such products since the consequences were risky.
For his part, a Mental Health expert, Dr Isaac Newman Arthur, advocated for counselling programmes with the object aim of enhancing individuals’ self-esteem.
He said people go into such acts mainly because they do not feel good about themselves and want to do something extra to attract attention or feel accepted and appreciated by all.
According to Dr Newman Arthur, parents, teachers and the community at large must redefine their values to encourage young ones.
He hinted that the current environment seems to reward and applaud pornography and songs that promote shameful acts and warned that until we take a closer look at some of these, issues of this sort will keep rising.
He, therefore, warned that most bleaching creams were not edible so the dangers in using them with a mixture of alcohol on the lips were enormous.
He advised all to stay away from such products.