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Skin Lightening: The Causes and Effective Treatments

Skin colour is decided by nature. SkinCity does not believe in changing the natural skin tone from dark to fair or vice versa. Healthy skin care routines, use of sun protection and optimum use of skin brightening agents like peels & lasers advised by an expert, can enhance the natural beauty of your skin.
All kinds of skin shades whether white/ brown/ yellow/ black are beautiful, but dark patches, uneven skin tone, pigmentation, under eye dark circles can definitely lower one’s confidence as the face is the first thing the world notices.
At SkinCity, Dermatologists will analyze your skin and customize a treatment for your pigmentation, ranging from medicines to procedures. Procedures for pigmentation include Fractional Q switched NdYag laser and an array of peels such as Glycolic peels, TCA peel, Yellow peel, Obagi peel, Nomelan peel, Cosmelan peel and much more.
Skin is the largest organ of the body. It is made up of two layers, the upper ‘epidermis’ and the lower ‘dermis’. The epidermis and the dermis are further divided into other layers. The lowermost layer of the epidermis is known as the basal layer and it contains organelles called ‘melanosomes’. These melanosomes contain cells called melanocytes which produce a pigment called ‘melanin’. The color of skin depends mainly on this melanin and the amount of melanin present in the other layers of the epidermis. The thickness of epidermis and vascularity of the epidermis are other factors affecting the color of skin.

Causes of Hyper Pigmentation

Hyper pigmentation may either be due to increased melanin deposition in the epidermis or dermis. Epidermal pigmentary disorders respond well to treatment while dermal pigmentation may take a long time to lighten.

Photomelanosis: This is increased pigmentation due to sun exposure. The pigmentation occurs on the exposed skin, commonly on the face, neck, and the back. The pigmentation may be patchy or as diffused darkening of the exposed skin.

Sun burn(tan): A condition commonly encountered in fair skinned people due to excessive sun exposure.
Post inflammatory hyper pigmentation: It may be seen after healing has occurred, like in acne, eczemas, contact dermatitis etc. Drug-induced pigmentation is caused due to cosmetics especially those containing fragrance.

Melasma: Seen as brown patches on the face, it is more commonly seen in females. It occurs due to hormonal changes in the body. The pigmentation increases on sun exposure.

Peri-orbital Melanosis: Also known as ‘dark circles’ may be hereditary, due to stress or eye strain.

Freckles and Lentigines: These are tiny black spots on the face and are genetic in origin.

Macular Lichen Amyloidosis: It occurs over the years due to dryness of skin, friction, sun exposure, mainly on back, arms, legs.

Nevus or ‘Birthmark’: Usually seen at birth but may also appear at a later age.

Tattoo: Tattoos are pigments inserted into the skin for a decorative purpose which may at times be a part of the tradition. Usually, these artificial pigments are inserted deep into the dermis which makes them permanent and stubborn.

Treatment Options for Hyper-pigmented Disorders:

Melasma, Photomelanosis and post inflammatory hyper pigmentation can be treated with topical creams such as hydroxy quinine, tretinoin, topical steroids, alpha hydroxy acid creams, azelaic acid, arbutin, licorice, kojic acid. Medications are usually combined with chemical peels, dermabrasion, IPL, Nd YAG laser procedures for getting best results.

Chemical Peels

  • Chemical peeling is a application of a solution/gel on the treatment area for a particular time period. It is an office procedure. It does not require any hospitalization. After properly studying the skin type and its sensitivity, the dermatologist decides on the type of peeling agent and their concentration. The skin is first cleansed. The peeling agent is then applied gently onto the lesion or on the full face till the ‘end point’ is achieved. During or shortly after the procedure, the patient might experience warmth or stinging sensation for a few minutes. the procedure can be repeated after 2- 3 weeks.
  • Glycolic acid peel : it is an Alpha hydroxy peel .it is derived from sugarcane extract. It is done to remove blemishes and superficial acne scars.also to give an even skin tone. it is also used as an anti aging peel since it stimulates collagen thus reduces and prevents fine lines & wrinkles.
  • Lactic acid peel -AHA from fermented milk: Helps maintain skin pH and also useful in adjusting the pH of formulations.Moisturizes skin as is the skin’s own natural moisturizer done in those people who have acne or pigmentation but have a sensitive skin.
  • Arginine peel derived from Brown sugar used to treat dark circles
  • Kojic Acid peel produced by mushrooms of family Aspergillus and Penicillium
  • Glow peel – Reduces blemishes & pigmentation
  • Beta hydroxy peel – salicylic acid peel done for acne ( whiteheads& blackheads).
  • Obagi blue peel – Trichloroacetic acid peel : should be done with extreme caution by a dermatologist.done to reduce pigmentation & fine lines.
  • Cosmelan peel – is a whitening peel. To be done by a professional
  • Yellow peel : vitamin A peel done for skin lightening and brightening.
  • Black peel : excellent for acne which doesn’t respond to conventional medical treatments.
  • Nomelanpeel : done to treat increased pigmentation.

Advantages of peel:

  • Safe office procedure
  • Easy availability
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Compliments the drug therapy & brings about faster
  • Therapeutic effect, reducing the downtime to treatment
  • Excellent cosmetic results

Dermabrasion:
It involves Mild to moderate exfoliation of superficial dead skin layer, thus helping in better penetration of medication/ peeling agents/ laser light.
It improves the texture of the skin as well as the results of the pigmentation reducing procedures.

IPL/ Nd YAG Laser:
These Laser technologies help in breaking the melanin pigment responsible for hyper pigmentation. It gets destructed and scattered by the laser light rays and discarded from the body with metabolism process. They are safe techniques and downtime is minimal.
They give excellent results when combined with medications and sun protection.

Skin Brightening or Rejuvenation:

  • Medifacials include various modalities such as microdermabrasion, cavitation, RF skin tightening, water jet, oxygen therapy with misoporation. These techniques cause mild exfoliation of the superficial dead skin layer, collagen stimulation, deliver concentrated oxygen, stimulation of metabolic process of the skin. The cells remove metabolic products more efficiently with the dead and dull cells from the surface of the skin and hence the skin seems fresher and glowing.This is followed by application of skin brightening solution on the face and helping its movement through the skin to its deeper layers with a misoporation device. This device helps open channels in the skin through which the absorption of the skin brightening solutions would be enhanced. These solutions, a cocktail of vitamins, micronutrients, amino acids and antioxidants, then work where they are most effective and the end result is a rejuvenated and a smoother looking skin with a reduction in the fine lines and open pores. This procedure can be repeated every 15days to maintain the effect.
  • Restylane vital/mesolis :procedures with longer lasting results are the newer injections that have been introduced. these are the skin booster injections. Here, the skin is injected with hyaluronic acid, a natural constituent of the skin lost with aging. Hyaluronic acid has the property of binding and holding water in the skin, hence it improves skin hydration giving it a glowing complexion by naturally smoothening the skin from within. Multiple tiny injections are given in the skin after numbing the skin for 45mins to an hour, reducing the discomfort to a maximum. Injections are spaced at 3-4 weeks for three sessions and repeat sessions are needed no earlier than 6 months. so with just 3 sessions brides can sit back and relax, without having to worry about their skin and further visits to the clinic.
  • PRP (platelet rich plasma) or the vampire face lift is called so because your own blood is taken and after separation of different constituents, red cells from the plasma, it is reinjected into the skin. This plasma is rich in platelets and it contains growth factors which stimulate skin regeneration. As a result skin regains vitality and becomes more smooth and elastic. there is improvement in skin colour and best of all its all natural without any risk of allergic reactions. Sessions are repeated at an interval of 4-8 weeks as per the requirement and existing damage of the skin.

Our comprehensive guide above tells you all that you need to know before getting a skin lightening treatment. Skin City’s timeless skin care services offer best and effective Skin Lightening Treatment that helps to rejuvenate and lighten your skin tone. Contact and book your consultation with us today.

About The Author

Skin Specialist in Pune

Dr Niteen Dhepe is a Board Certified Dermatologist and has developed himself as a pioneer in field of Cosmetic Dermatology and Lasers in India. He is the biggest entrepreneur in contemporary dermatology world of India.

Number of Entries : 150

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