Skin Lightening: Knowledge, Attitude, Practices and the Motivations for its Use Among the Residents of Ikeja Local Government Area, Lagos


  • OQ Bakare Lagos State University College of Medicine
  • EO Oluwole Lagos State University College of Medicine Ikeja
  • EH Anyanwu-Iyah Lagos State University College of Medicine
  • OG Aworinde Lagos State University College of Medicine
  • EO Lawal Lagos State University College of Medicine



Background: Skin lightening has become one of the strongest desires of Nigerian women and men, and its practice keeps increasing despite its numerous side effects.

Objective: To determine the knowledge, attitude, and practices of skin lightening and the motivations for its use among the residents of Ikeja Local Government Area (LGA), Lagos State.

Methods: A community-based, descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted among 296 residents of Ikeja LGA, Lagos state, using a multistage sampling technique and an electronic, self-administered questionnaire in the Google form format.

Results: The mean age of the respondents was 25.92±6.15 years, with 64.0% being females, 75.0% being single, and 75.2% had at least, a tertiary education. Most (98%) respondents demonstrated a high awareness of skin lightening; 66.9% had good knowledge, while 72% had a positive attitude. About half (52.7%) of the respondents had used various skin-lightening products, while most (71.8%) claimed the main reason for their use was to treat skin disorders. Age, gender and educational level were significantly associated with the use of skin-lightening products (p = 0.001).

Conclusion: There was relatively good knowledge and a positive attitude towards skin lightening but a fair practice. The commonest reason for using skin-lightening products was for self-treatment of skin disorders. Healthcare providers should provide extensive public enlightenment on the adverse effects of skin lightening.

Author Biography

OG Aworinde, Lagos State University College of Medicine

Department of Community Health & Primary Heath Care


House officer


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Original Research