Skin lightening has taken off in a big way, both locally and internationally. People do it for a variety of reasons. Under the careful eye of a dermatologist, skin lightening is a safe procedure. We commonly use this technique to combat uneven skin tone, certain medical conditions like melisma and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Unfortunately, skin lightening products are not very well regulated in South Africa. Patients will commonly buy these products at convenience stores, where the ingredients added are way above safe standards. This often leads to side effects such as exogenous ochronosis, which in many regards is irreversible. In my opinion, if a patient wants to undergo a skin lightening regime, it would be best to do so under the trained eye of a dermatologist.