The study examinedinternet risk communication and skin lightener an assessment of Nigeria female University student’s exposure’s and Health action. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted and a sample size of 400 was used in the study. The sample size was derived from a population size of 22,125 using Taro Yamane formula. Four hundred copies of the questionnaire was used as instrument for data collection. The questionnaire was distributed using a probability cluster technique.  Findings showed that Nigerian female University students are aware of internet risk communication and  skin lighteners. The findings also showed that there are a lot of risk communication associated to the use of  skin lightener among female University students.Findings also showed that  internet risk communication and  skin lighteners  has both positive and negative implication for female  University student depend on the attitude of the study on skin lightener. Therefore, the study recommended that       Nigeria female students should harness the potential of the internet to source information associated to skin lightener as this will enable them have full knowledge of health implications of the use of skin lightener and        Nigeria female students should adhere strictly to the precaution of using any skin lightener so as to enable them avoid possible danger to their health.




Internet risk communication and skin lighteners is the practice of communicating health information, such as in public health campaigns and health education, to the masses(Beato, Ricardo & Jana,2010). The purpose of disseminating health information is to influence personal health choices by improving health literacy. Effective health communication must be tailored for the audience and the situation based on the health situation of the audience. Research into health communication  have  sought  to refine communication strategies to inform people about ways to enhance health or to avoid specific health risks using different communication channels such the internet(Beato, Ricardo & Jana,2010;Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.,2013

The overall aim of internet risk communication and skin lightener is to provide the public with meaningful, relevant, accurate and timely information in relation to health risks in order to influence choice made by the audiences (Edgar, Timothy,James& Hyde, 2014). All risk communication operates in a realm of certainty or uncertainty and ‘facts about the situation or event may be clear or unclear in that science  underpinning such information may be perfect or imperfect(Edgar, Timothy,James& Hyde, 2014). Internet risk Communication associated with skin lighteners in themselves are complex, dynamic and uncertain in its phenomena. For example, new viruses emerging; diseases previously considered eradicated re-emerging; and influence by geography, diet, occupation, population growth, global travel, and countless of other social and cultural behaviours and practices may a times, influence the choice of risk communication. In addition, risk communication frequently operates in emotionally-charged environments as ‘fear, anxiety, distrust, anger, outrage, helplessness, and frustration’(Tabbaa,Emerging& zoonoses,2010). Subsequently, Covello,Peters,Wojtecki,Hyde& Risk,(2010) quoting Tabba said that these are common reactions to the health risks associated with  some skin lighteners . It is on this bases that this study investigates  internet risk communication  and skin lighteners; An assessment of Nigerian female  University  students exposure and health action.

1.1 Background of the study

In 1721, health risk communication was used to mitigate  smallpox epidemic in Boston.  Further in the same year,Cotton Mather, a political leader, used pamphlets and speeches to promote inoculation of smallpox. In the 19th century, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union led a movement against alcohol abuse (Beato, Ricardo & Jana Telfer,2010). They utilized mass communication medium such as News papers and magazines to communicate the desired message of the risks associated to alcohol abuse. Letter in the 70’s  health risks associated to cardiovascular problem( Heart problem) and its causes among middle-aged men were communicated to the audience via television, radio, newspaper, cookbooks, booklets, and bus cards (Edgar, Timothy, James & Hyde,2014).   The use of this medium to communicate health risk to the audience was observed to be effective. Using the entertainment industry as a platform for advocating health information and education is a communication strategy that has also become increasingly popular.  Later, some health organizations manage the internet and text messaging services to help people avoid smoking. Media advocacy used strategic mass media tools combined with widespread organization in order to advocate for healthy public policies or lifestyles (Brauser& Deborah,2011). As technologies expand, the platforms for risks health communication expand to cover the use of the internet in educating  and informing the mass on the risk associated to some lifestyles such as the use of skin lightning creams and some other practices among the audience. Based on this progressive trend on the use of various health communication channels, this study investigates internet risk communication and skin lighteners; an assessment of Nigerian female University students exposure and health action.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The use of skin lightening cream has taken common place in our modern day society. More especially among University female students. It has been observed that due to the lifestyle and the general norm among most female University students, to be admired by people, they now make use of skin lighteners  without knowing the health risk associated with the use of it. It has also become a very serious problem among female students as this skin lightener is having serious health implications on them ranging from skin cancer, alteration in skin colouration, irritating sore on the skin and other serious health complication. On the other hand, some of the student also have being found to source information on skin lightener from the internet yet fail to abide by the information they obtained or inadequately adhere to it. All these have led to several health communication risk among females especially University female students. Hence, in recent time, no current studies have been done on the internet risk communication and skin lightener impact on female Nigeria University student which has created a very big gap in knowledge. Due to this backdrop, this study therefore investigates internet risk communication and skin lighteners; an assessment of Nigeria female University students’ exposure and health action.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the level of internet accessibility, exposure and influence of internet risk communication on the use of skin lighteners among female University student. In line with this, the specific purposes are

  1. To ascertain if Nigeria female University student have the accessibility to internet usage.
  2. To determine if Nigeria female University student seek health information associated with skin lightener from the internet.
  3. To ascertain the level of internet risk communication information associated with skin lighteners possessed by Nigeria female University students.
  4. To determine the kind of impact  internet risk communication on skin lightener have on Nigeria female University students?
    • Research Questions

In other to guide the conduct of the study, the following research questions were posed;

  1. Do Nigeria female University students have access to internet usage?
  1. Do Nigeria female University students seek health information associated with skin lighteners from the internet?
  2. What is the level of internet risk communication information associated with skin lighteners possessed by Nigeria female University students?
  3. What kind of impact does internet risk communication on skin lightener have on Nigeria female University students?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study will be of benefit to both Nigeria  female University students, Nigerians at large  to fellow researchers. The study will benefit  them in the following ways;

First, the study will elucidate the various channels  to assess health communication information. Secondly, it will also give more detailed information on the makeup of skin lighteners and  the health risk associated with it, it will further broaden the knowledge of Nigeria female University students and Nigerians at large on some of the skin lightener that contains highly harmful chemical which carries along with it serious health risks.

Thirdly, the study will highlight some of the influences of internet risk communication and skin lightener on Nigeria female University students.

Finally, the findings of the study will serve as reference material for fellow researchers on related subject or for further studies.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The scope of the study covers only female University student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University.

1.7 Definition of Term 

Undergraduate: Students who are still undergoing their academic studies in higher institutions.

Skin lightener:  refer to the practice of using chemical substances in an attempt to lighten skin tone or provide an even skin complexion by reducing the melanin concentration in the skin.

Internet: It is a worldwide web base platform used for  sharing content, information and for communication.

Communication:This is simply the passing of information from a source(sender) to the receiver which could be individual or the masses

Health communication: This is the study and practice of communicating promotional health information, such as in public health campaigns, health education, and between doctor and patient