Skin Tan Removal
Sun tanning occurs as a result of the overexposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Melanin protects the skin from the suntan. The melanocytes produce more melanin in dark-skinned people. Hence, they tan more than light-skinned people.
Tanning is the process by which your skin protects itself from harmful ultraviolet rays. Moreover, tanning may cause permanent or temporary skin damage which may result in wrinkles, saggy skin and permanently darkened skin. As a result, this may cause age spots and skin discolouration.
Sunburn is the acute inflammation of the skin due to excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. At 3-4 hours of exposure, the skin starts reddening. The skin will also be warm, painful, tender, and itchy. The inflammation may cause it to appear swollen and there may also be small fluid-filled blisters.
Any area exposed to the sun, including earlobes, scalp, lips, and eyes can undergo sun damage. Therefore, the best way to prevent sun tanning or sunburns is to protect your skin. In fact, you should wear scarves, full-sleeved clothes or wide-brimmed hats, and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30.
There exists 2 types of tans that relate to 2 types of ultraviolet (UV) rays - UVA and UVB. These tans form at varying time periods as well. The skin’s ability to tolerate overexposure to the sun is determined by how much pigment the melanocytes can produce, and the speed of the same.
Do & Don't for Getting Tan
DO: Visit your dermatologist in the initial stages.
DO: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (> SPF 30).
DO: Use sun protection like scarves and hats.
DON’T: Overexpose yourself to the sun.
DON’T: Step outdoors without sunscreen.
DON’T: Ignore sunburns as they may lead to skin cancer
Fitzpatrick Skin Types
- Pale white skin - Always burns, does not tan
- Fair skin - Burns easily, tans poorly
- Dark white skin - Tans after initial burns
- Light brown skin - Tans easily after minimal burns
- Brown skin - Easily tans darkly, rarely burns
- Dark brown or black skin - Always tans darkly but never burns
Types of tanning
1. Immediate pigment darkening
- This tan develops immediately after UVB and/or UVA exposure and maximises within a few hours. Therefore, this results in free radicals gathering on the skin and damaging the DNA.
- The pigment that is already present in the skin is redistributed and no new melanin granules are produced. Moreover, the thickness of the dead skin cells’ layer ends up increasing.
2. Delayed pigment darkening
- This tan develops immediately after overexposure to UVB rays that cause sunburns. In fact, this type of tanning begins 2 to 3 days after the overexposure and maximises after two weeks.
- It occurs when the skin cell’s DNA has been damaged by the UVB. The skin produces more melanin pigment granules and spreads them out in the living layer of the skin, thereby forming the tan. This tan also causes an increase in the dead skin cell layers, hence thickening it and providing some sun protection.
Skin problems caused by sun tan
Skin conditions associated with overexposure to UVA and UVB rays include:
- Fine lines
- Dark spots
- Premature aging of skin
- Skin cancer
Tanning is a result of overexposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays. Moreover, these rays penetrate the skin and affect the DNA. In fact, this can often cause long-term damage.
Tanning causes an accumulation of pigmented cells. Moreover, it also causes an increase in the dead skin cell layers. This makes the skin look dull and dry. In addition, it may also result in the formation of sunspots, fine lines and wrinkles. However, skin tan removal is possible. There are different topical applications, home remedies and certain medical procedures to reduce skin tanning.
Topical creams and gels that contain retinoids, vitamins C, E, and other antioxidants are a good option. They help to increase collagen & lighten spots. Moreover, alpha and beta hydroxy acids help to exfoliate dead skin cells to stimulate faster skin cell turnover.
Chemical peels help to exfoliate dead skin cells. They also aid the regeneration of skin cells by removing tanned skin layers. Moreover, these peels come in different concentration strengths and remove the superficial dead skin layers that have excessive melanin. Chemical peels may be superficial, medium or deep can be performed as indicated. They require longer recovery time.
Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive, non-chemical procedure that involves manual exfoliation of the top layer of the epidermis. Therefore, it improves the appearance of sun-damaged skin by removing the outermost layer of dry. In fact, it also exfoliates dead skin cells to reveal younger, healthier-looking skin.
Moreover, microdermabrasion should not be performed if the patient is taking tretinoin for acne in the past 6 months, or anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) in the past week. In fact, this procedure can suit any skin type. Moreover, it is completely painless. Microdermabrasion increases cell turnover, reduces scarring and smoothes skin.
Stubborn tans and pigmentation can be removed using laser therapy. Laser therapy uses light to repair and regenerate damaged skin cells. In fact, it is a non-invasive treatment. Laser tan removal exposes the damaged skin to laser light. Laser therapy for pigmentation and tan removal, improves the healing response of skin, stimulates collagen production. It increases the blood circulation to the skin and reduces inflammation. This procedure uses a low level red laser to treat sun damaged skin. This light penetrates the skin up to three inches.
Laser therapy removes damaged skin cells and induces the skin to produce fresh and healthy skin cells, thereby improving the skin’s aesthetic appeal. Dermatologists use the Fractional Q switched 1064 Nd YAG laser for skin tan removal.
Intense pulsed light (IPL):
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) delivers a light emission which removes pigmented spots. The device coagulates and evacuates the blood vessels present beneath the skin surface and stimulates collagen production from fibroblast cells. A gel is applied to the skin after which intensely bright light is pulsed through a chilled sapphire gem which is connected to the face.
IPL can correct many skin conditions with minimal downtime. Moreover, it helps to create clearer, more vibrant and youthful skin through a process called photorejuvenation. In fact, dermatologists usually recommend one to five sessions.
Tanning is a result of UV rays that penetrate the skin. UV rays damage the DNA. Tanning also carries the risk of sun burn. This may even result in skin cancer. READ MORE
A normal tan generally lasts for six to ten days. Overexposure to the sun can make the tan can last up to two months.
Skin Tan Removal – Q&A
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