June 23, 2018
How to remove tan from face and hands?
Thank you for your question. As per your question description, we understand that you are worried about pigmentation on your face, neck, hands & legs. This is a very common problem with a patient. Nobody likes to have tanned skin. Photo pigmentation is very common in people with darker skin types as this patient has more melanin pigment in their skin. Whereas patient with pale or fair complexion doesn’t tan more easily, because of less melanin in their skin.
To avoid these types of consequences it is very important to follow strict photo pigmentation measures throughout the year with the application of broad-spectrum sunscreen 15 to 20 min before stepping out. This sunscreen needs to be reapplied every 2 hourly in your continuously in sun. Sunlight contains UVA & UVB rays. UVB rays in sunlight are responsible for tanning as melanocytes which are pigment-producing cells located in lower part of epidermis gets charged & produce more melanin when exposed to UVB. This causes darkening of the skin on the exposed areas. UVA rays penetrate deeper in the dermal layer of skin & slow down the action of collagen & elastin fibers, in the skin which is responsible for normal, youthful appearance of skin. This often leads to wrinkling, sagging of skin, age spots, liver spots & photoaging. A continuous sun exposure without photoprotection for a longer period of time leads to permanent damage to the skin in terms of fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation etc.
In order to avoid these complications we always recommend our patient to use a broad spectrum sunscreen throughout the year which will protect them from both UVA UVB rays.
Let’s talk about your concern now. As you have mentioned you have a sensitive skin, we advise you to follow strict photoprotection all the time with regular use of broad-spectrum sunscreen & physical protection like the use of sun coat, wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, shoes to protect your body from harmful effects of sun & to avoid acceptable tanning. Usually, immediate tanning after continuous sun exposure usually gets subsided on its own after 1 or 2 weeks time. But if it lasts for longer period of time, then few treatment measures can be tried. Consult your nearby dermatologist to know your type of pigmentation & according to that he can guide you for certain treatments like topical depigmenting creams such as vitamin C serums, a good sunscreen, pigment reducing peels; if required Lasers like Q switched Nd Yag laser can also be tried. This variety of treatments will help you to reduce your pigmentation.
Dr. Dhananjay Chavan