Use of skin-whitening products by sudanese undergraduate females: A survey

Anwar E. Ahmed*, Mohamed E. Hamid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background Although skin-whitening products are commonly used among dark-skinned women of African descent, research on the frequency with which Sudanese women use skin-whitening products is lacking. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted at the University of Gezira, Sudan, on the use of skin-whitening products among a sample of Sudanese undergraduate females (ages 16–33 years), Sociodemographic characteristics were collected, and students were asked whether they had used skin-whitening products in the past 12 months. Results Of the 348 undergraduate females surveyed in this study, 74.4 % reported using skin-whitening products within the past year, Of this group, 2.7 % reported using injections, 2.4 % pills, 30.6 % bleaching cream, and 76.2 % soap, Illegal sources (e.g., people selling on the sides of roads) of skinwhitening products were reported by 22.8 %, The use of skin-whitening products was common in females who were not satisfied with their skin colors more so than those who were satisfied with their skin colors (83.7 vs, 70.5 %, P = 0.010), Undergraduate females who had mothers, sisters, or other relatives who bleached reported a greater frequency of using skin-whitening products than those who had no family member who bleached (100, 87.7, or 77 % vs, 67.5 %, P = 0.003, respectively), The odds of using skin-whitening products in females who had mothers or sisters bleaching were 7.8 times higher (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 7.8; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 2.572, 23.828) and two times higher in females who had other relatives bleaching (aOR 2.4; 95 % CI 1.159, 5.115), compared with females who had no family members who bleached. Conclusion It was estimated that a majority (7 out of 10) of Sudanese undergraduate females have tried skin-whitening products, However, because the university population is an elite group, a population-based survey is warranted to address the use of skin-whitening products among the general population of Sudanese women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Dark-skinned
  • Hydroquinone
  • Skin-bleaching
  • Skin-whitening
  • Sudan
  • Undergrads


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