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New Delhi: Dark skin is not so beautiful in India or so it seems from the flourishing business of skin-lightening and whitening creams, demands for “fair and beautiful girls” on matrimonial sites, and mockery of the dusky skin tone.

But those reaching out for skin-lightening solutions beware, experts warn against excessive use of such products and therapies. It can lead to life-long complications, they say.

“Many creams contain steroids and they can cause permanent damage to the skin from long-term use,” Kuldeep Singh, Senior Consultant Plastic, Cosmetic and Reconstructed Surgery at Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, told IANS.

He said that healthy skin can be achieved regardless of complexion and that skin treatments cannot lead to lasting or permanent change in complexion.

“Glutathione is a drug which has been advertised all over the Internet as a skin-whitening agent. The truth is that glutathione is a very strong antioxidant present in our body which gets depleted with age or illness. The only scientifically-documented efficacy of glutathione injections is to reduce toxicity of certain anti-cancer drugs.