English World

Deadly beauty treatments: Risking life and limb for ‘white skin’

KUALAL LUMPUR: DOCTORS, who have seen first-hand the gruesome effects of chemically-laden beauty products on patients coming through their emergency doors, often in critical condition, want the illicit products taken off the shelves immediately.

They cautioned that by allowing the homegrown industry to run with little or no check-and-balance in place would result in a massive spike in the number of Malaysians getting chronic illnesses.

Worst still, the effects would last for generations, they warned.

A doctor at Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia shared on his Facebook account his nightmare scenario when a woman, in her late 20s, was wheeled into his consultation room with a heart rate of 138 beats per minute.

Dr Ahmad Zakimi Abdullah remembered the chaos as the woman was being resuscitated. The extremely pale woman was sweating profusely.

Her blood pressure had plummeted dangerously low to 82/38. Blood tests were carried out immediately and the results suggested that she had haemolytic anaemia with haemogoblin of 7g/dL, and was suffering from acute kidney failure.

After much prompting, the woman told Dr Zakimi that she had just been administered a deadly cocktail intravenously by a “medical personnel” from a private clinic.

She proceeded to show him an online photo of the vials of banned substances that had been mixed into a deadly cocktail and injected directly into her veins.

Like the patient, Dr Zakimi was clueless as to what the ingredients of the vials were as they were in Korean.

The doctor told the New Straits Times’ Special Probes Team that he immediately called a South Korean colleague to help him translate.

What he heard over the phone shocked him. He knew that the woman was in deep trouble.

“It was a cocktail of high levels of Thiotic acid, glutathione, Vitamin C and chondroitin sulfate sodium.

“The woman, like many others, had fallen for the myth that cocktails like that can help with whitening the skin and anti-ageing, although there have been no clinical nor medical evidence to suggest that.

“I don’t even know why chondroitin sulfate sodium (Chondnal) is used in the concoction as I only use Chondnal for osteoarthritis.

“The side effects include asthma attacks for asthma patients, bleeding (blood clotting disorder) and many more,” he told the team.

Dr Zakimi also said the Philippine Food and Drug Administration had warned of the side effects of glutathione, which included the deadly Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis and kidney failure.

“And we haven’t even touched on the possible infections.”

The doctor demanded action to be taken against irresponsible medical personnel, who administered such beauty products and sold them for profit with scant regard for public health.

Dr Zakimi then dropped a bombshell which he hoped thousands hooked on Vitamin C injections would take note of.

“In recent weeks, my hospital alone has seen three cases involving patients wheeled in with anaphylactic shock (an extremely severe and life-threatening allergic reaction).

“They all swear by Vitamin C injections.”-nst

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