April 15, 2018
How to lighten skin tone?
Skin pigmentation is one of the common problems seen in our consultation daily. There are many options for skin lightening available nowadays. After consultation with your dermatologist and after analyzing your skin type or condition and type of pigmentation, a doctor can suggest you proper treatment to lighten your skin pigmentation.
Just for your understanding, human skin contains melanin which gets synthesized by cells called as melanocytes, so melanocytes + other cells keratinocytes distribute this pigmentation to an upper layer of skin.
Some of the basic factors which aggravate the process of skin pigmentation are:
- Hormonal changes – hormones secreted by endocrine glands.
- Inflammation-related factors, like trauma, injury to the skin, various skin diseases etc.
- Genetic factors
- Ultraviolet rays, sun exposure
Any of these factors may cause an increase or decrease in skin pigmentation.
Must Read:- What are the causes of Skin Pigmentation
Some commonly seen type of skin pigmentations are
- Melasma: most commonly seen in females, hyperpigmentation occurs especially on check, forehead & bridge of a nose. Mostly seen in females post pregnancy. Even male get this type of pigmentation but the percentage in a male is less than in females.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation: this type of pigmentation is caused due to inflammation of the skin caused by some disease, irritants, friction. Eg:- atopic dermatitis, burns, psoriasis, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, neurodermatitis, lichen planus, post acne pigmentation, photosensitivity etc.
- Freckles: Brown spots that occur on the skin when there is repeated history of sun exposure, mostly noted in fair skin people.
- Vitiligo or Leucoderma: hypopigmentation, white spots or patches are noted, it is caused due to underproduction of melanin that leaves skin lighter than other skin, the melanocytes are destroyed in the skin the reason is not yet found why this occurs or may be autoimmune.
- Acanthosis nigricans: it is associated with hormonal changes, insulin resistance, skin tone gets darker, mostly seen on the neck, axilla, face, groins.
Also, many other types of pigmentation are seen in day to day practice of dermatology. So according to the type of pigmentation, there are various combinations of treatment done. The basic rule to reduce pigmentation is
- Avoid direct sun exposure and ultraviolet rays
- Use of sunscreen & physical protection from the sun is must when you are planning to reduce your skin pigmentation.
- Also, Treatment maintenance is required to keep your skin tone nicely.
Then according to your skin type and sensitivity doctor can do the following treatment with reduced pigmentation:
- Oral & topical medicines
- Medicated peels
These are alpha & beta hydroxy medicine peels which are safe for use on the skin are applied to the affected area. It helps to exfoliate the skin layer mildly without causing any discomfort to the patient. Depending on the level of pigmentation various types of peels are used for good results.
- Laser therapy
Different types of advance laser are used for reducing the skin pigmentation. The new advanced FDA approved laser treatment are very much helpful for pigment reduction. Lasers like Q switched Nd Yag 1064 laser, Intense Pulse Light(IPL), Co2 laser & Erbium glass laser have shown good results when done under the supervision of an experienced dermatologist.
- MDA + hydra + Bs
Microdermabrasion is used to exfoliate the dead skin layer then electroporation with hydra and brightening solution help to give an even tone.
- Tranexa therapy for melasma & pigmentation
Tranexamic acid can be electroporated on the skin which helps to reduced pigmentation.
Many more treatments are done using different combinations as per patient skin type and a requirement to get good results. Multiple session may be required according to the type of pigmentation and post-treatment care is also required. So oral and topical medications are suggested as required and to get good results.
Dr. Dhananjay Chavan