Skin lightening is a cosmetic procedure that helps to lighten the dark areas of the skin. This helps to achieve the original tone of the skin. The procedure works to reduce the concentration of melanin pigment in the skin. The level of the pigment increases in the skin if it is damaged. The damage may be caused due to exposure to the sun, acne, dehydration, etc. This darkens the skin and creates black spots.
The main techniques used in skin lightening treatment are:
- Laser treatment
- Skin lightening creams
There are powerful creams available in the market that help to cure hyper pigmented skin. However, they should compulsorily be used with a doctor’s prescription. This is because, when the creams are not used in right quantity they lead to permanent damages. It can be formation of blue-black patches on the area of application. Since they are to be used on faces and hands irreversible damages can be catastrophic.
Avoid using banned products like hydro quinone, mercury or corticosteroids.
How to use skin lightening creams?
- Use the creams once or twice a day only on the darkened area of the skin.
- Take good care to prevent the cream from spreading to the surrounding skin especially near eyes, mouth or nose
- Never apply the skin lightening cream like that of meladerm with hands. Use a cotton bud. Such creams in fact come with an applicator. This is because, when the germs in the hand infest the cream, it might cause serious irritation and burning on the affected area. In such cases, splash water gently and remove the cream immediately.
- Avoid touching the treated area against others. Maintain this at least for a few hours. This is because, when applied over acne, the bacteria searches for an opportunity to transfer to a safer location. Hence, it can be contagious.
- Some cream after usage of a day or two creates burning sensation while exposed to sun. This is mainly due to the UV rays. Use a sunscreen lotion to subsidize the burning.
What are the possible side effects of using the skin lightening cream?
- Skin irritation
- Redness and swelling
- Burning and stinging sensation
- Itchy and flaky skin
What are the catastrophic or irreversible damages that could possibly arise?
On using the skin lightening cream, the following catastrophic damages occur.
- Skin turns into permanent dark color
- The skin thins down in affected area alone
- Possibility of visible blood vessels as the skin starts becoming more transparent
- Nerve damages
What are the solutions to such problems?
- Stop using at early stages even when the minutest abnormality shows up
- Contact the prescriber. Cross check with a second opinion.
- Approach an emergency room in case of nasty rash, increase in pain or swelling.
LASER skin lightening
The treatment is either used to lighten the blemishes or dark patches of the skin. The treatment involves removing the outer layer of skin. The results are variable. It differs from person to person. Also, it is temporary. When the person is exposed to the sun, it reappears.
The costs are charged on session basis. The number of sessions depends on the size of the darkened area.
What happens during the session?
A test is carried out before the beginning of the session. This is to check the reaction of the affected skin. If there are no bad experiences or results, the session might start in a day or two.
On the other hand, some patients experience stinging or pricking sensation. For such persons, a local anesthetic cream may be used to numb the skin.
During the session
- The person is provided with special goggles. These are to protect her eyes from the LASER beam
- A small hand held device is held against the skin. This gives the feel of a rubber band snapping at the skin.
- Some professionals use a cold air blower to keep the skin cool throughout the process.
What recovery actions should be carried over?
- It might take a week or two to recover. One should definitely take a few days off from the work
- The skin will be swollen for a few days. It might also be bruised or crusty.
- The skin will start to return to its original color in a few days.
How to aid speed recovery?
- Wash the treated area with unperfumed soap. Dab it carefully to dry the area
- Apply aloe vera gel to cool the treated area.
- Do not pick the scabs and crusts that develop
- Holding an ice pack and taking mild pain killers like paracetamol helps.
- Apply sun cream or skin whitening cream like meladerm to the treated area at least for 6 months after the treatment. This protects the skin from aggravating effects.
What are the benefits of LASER skin lightening treatment?
- Fast and effective
- One can see drastic improvements unlike other treatments. Especially the ablative LASER procedure gives results right away.
- Improvement in overall appearance of the skin. Apart from removing dark spots, it also improves the overall complexion of the skin
- It fastens the process of formation of new skin. This is because the treatment uses focused and concentrated light beams that are absorbed by the skin instantly. This aids in the creation of fresh, healthy and balanced skin tone.