What Treatments Are Good For Skin Lightening?

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skin whitening treatmentSkin lightening is also known as skin whitening and skin bleaching. These are terms that are used to describe the practice of using chemicals to make the skin tone lighter or to even the appearance of the skin tone. This is done by reducing the amount of melanin that is in the skin.

Many skin lightening treatments have proven to be extremely beneficial, while other treatments have been deemed questionable and toxic due to their effects on different ethnic groups.

How Skin Lightening Products Are Used?

These products and treatments are used on specific areas of the skin that have an abnormally amount of hyperpigmentation. This can include moles, birthmarks and vitiligo.

However, long term use of skin lightening products can increase the amount of pigmentation that is around the joints. The skin can become thinner and lighter around the eyes causing a person to have a ‘bleach panda’ look.

The Different Types Of Skin Lightening Treatments

skin bleaching productsMost skin lightening products reduce melanin production by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase. Most treatments are a combination of gels and lotions that can be applied to the skin.

These treatments usually contain melanin reducing properties along with sunscreen. Depending on how the skin reacts to these treatments, additional methods may be used to exfoliate the skin. These methods include:

  •  Cosmetic peels
  •  Chemical peels
  •  Laser treatments

Tretinoin has been proven to be effective at reducing the amount of discolorations on the skin. Patients who use this treatment are advised to stay out of the sun as much as possible. The skin becomes more sensitive to UV rays and can actually become darker when exposed to the sun.

Hydroquinone is considered one of the most well-known topical treatments for skin lightening. It inhibits the production of melanin in the skin, and also has antioxidant characteristics. Over the counter treatments have a 2% concentration, while prescription treatments have a 4% concentration. The treatment has been shown to reduce the hormone and sun induced melasma.

Hydroquinone does not bleach the skin because it does not have bleaching properties. The treatment helps to lighten the skin, but it can also disrupt the production of hyperpigmentation that is caused by melanin. The treatment has been banned in many areas of the world due to an increased cancer risk.

SkinbrightArbutin is considered an alternative skin lightening treatment because it is derived from a natural source. The treatment is extracted from the leaves of several shrubs including: cranberry, mulberry, blueberry and bearberry. It can also be extracted from different types of pears. It is considered safer to use on the skin than other chemical treatments.

Kojic acid is a product that results when rice is fermented. It is commonly used to make sake. It is effective for melanin reduction, but it considered an unstable treatment because it loses some of its effectiveness when exposed to the air or the sun. Although it has not been determined that the treatment is carcinogenic, it can cause minor skin irritation in patients.

These are only a few of the treatments that are good for skin lightening. Some treatments work better than others for certain conditions and skin tones, and you can experiment to find the treatment that works best for you.

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