Skin lightening treatment has found great acceptance across India. It is the best solution for skin tanning, which is primarily caused due to sun exposure. Unfortunately, many people still people do not use sunscreens to protect their skin.
According to a study from mintel.com, “65% of consumers in India have not used any form of sunscreen in the last twelve months.”
Now, before we understand more about skin lightening treatment, it is important to know the different skin types in India.
Different types of skin in India
Most people think that a vast majority of Indians have a wheatish skin tone. However, this is far from the truth. Being a diverse country, India is home to people of various skin colors.
The Indian skin color expands to the extremes on both ends of the fairness spectrum. In other words, you will find extremely dark people and those who are extremely fair.
In the Fitzpatrick scale, the Indian skin is found to be of type III-VI. It is considered to be thicker than people from other regions, less prone to sunburn, but more prone to tanning.
Let us now understand everything about skin lightening treatment, the best solution for skin tanning and pigmentation issues.
What is skin lightening treatment?
Skin lightening is a cosmetic procedure that helps you to –
- Achieve a lighter skin complexion
- Lighten the darkened patches of your skin (pigmentation)
In the latter, only the dark areas of the skin are made lighter to match the original skin color. This will ensure that you have an even and smooth skin.
Your skin color is predominantly decided by the amount of melanin produced in the skin. The more melanin you have, the darker your skin color. There are multiple factors like pollution, sunlight, hormones, chemicals, and genetics responsible for the amount of melanin produced in the skin.
The skin lightening treatment helps control melanin production, thus making your skin lighter and improving its texture.
Types of skin lightening treatments in India
There are different types of skin lightening treatments in India. Your dermatologist would choose the best treatment for you based on your skin type and the expected results. Here are the different types –
1. Glutathione Injections
Glutathione is a skin-lightening agent that indirectly reduces the level of melanin in your body. It works by inhibiting the production of an enzyme called tyrosinase, which has an important hand in determining melanin levels.
Apart from this, the compound glutathione is an antioxidant that helps detoxify your body and protects it from the harmful effects of sun rays.
2. Chemical Peel
As you would have guessed, this skin lightening treatment works by peeling off a layer of your skin. The dermatologist applies a chemical like alpha-hydroxy acids on the affected area, which eliminates the melanin buildup and helps to achieve an even-colored skin.
There are three types of peels: light, medium, and deep, named based on how deep the chemical penetrates your skin. The peel type will be chosen based on the severity of your pigmentation condition.
3. Laser Treatment
In this treatment, the dermatologist will use the heat from a laser to damage the cells that produce melanin or remove the outermost layer of the skin that is pigmented. This treatment is best suited to get rid of blemishes or dark patches on your skin.
Though more effective than other treatments, it doesn’t react the same way to all types of skins. So the dermatologist would usually conduct multiple tests to check if the treatment is effective for your skin type or not.
4. Vampire Facial
This treatment is the latest kid on the block and is all over the internet. The Vampire Facial is a combination of Platelet-rich plasma treatment and Microneedling treatment. In this, micro needles are first used to penetrate the upper layer of the skin, which causes injury to the cells.
Then the PRP is introduced to boost the healing process, resulting in totally regenerated skin.
Skin lightening treatment side effects
Here are some side effects you might face in skin lightening treatment, especially when not performed by a licensed dermatologist –
- Itchy skin
- Stinging or burning sensation
- Skin turning too light or dark
- Visible blood vessels in the skin
- Thinning of skin
- In some rare cases, kidney, nerve, or liver damage.
What to do before coming for the treatment?
Here are the different things you will be asked to do before coming for the skin lightening treatment –
- List out all your medications and allergies to your doctor. You might have to stop a few medications for the treatment.
- Apply certain topical creams to prepare your skin for the treatment.
- Stop the consumption of alcohol and smoking for at least a week before the treatment.
- Clean your face and apply no makeup while coming for the treatment.
Aftercare tips for skin lightening treatment
To maintain and achieve the expected results, you must take good care of your skin by following the below tips –
- If your skin feels itchy, use a cold compress to help with the same.
- Avoid exposure to sunlight for at least 24 hours.
- Do not massage the treated area.
- Do not touch or pick any scabs as it could lead to a permanent scar.
- Keep your skin hydrated and healthy by drinking a lot of water
- Use soaps that have salicylic or glycolic acid to wash the treated area
- Consume a healthy diet with fibers and fruits to aid in the healing process
Skin lightening treatment is one of the best solutions if you’re looking to lighten your skin tone or wish to achieve a smooth and even skin tone. All the types of skin lightening treatment covered in this post are minimally invasive or non-invasive, making them extremely safe.
But as pointed out earlier, if you want to avoid side effects or achieve 100% results, it is important to select an experienced dermatologist to perform the treatment. Dr. Renu Nair has more than 10 years of experience in performing skin lightening treatments and has helped lighten the skin tone of numerous patients in the past. To book an appointment with her, click here.
Skin Lightening Treatment FAQs
1) Is skin lightening treatment painful?
Most of the skin lightening treatments are painless as only the top layer is treated, penetrated, or removed. However, few treatments might cause discomfort, pain, or a burning sensation. To avoid the pain completely, dermatologists apply a numbing agent to the area.
2) How long do the results of skin lightening last?
This totally depends on the type of skin lightening treatment chosen. But broadly speaking, it would last anywhere from a few months to a few years.
3) Can the skin lightening treatment cause cancer?
This is a myth that has been circulating in the world of cosmetic treatments. None of the above treatments can cause cancer. Very rarely, some inexperienced skin care personnel might suggest topical creams containing hydroquinone, mercury, or corticosteroids during the treatment. These ingredients can increase the risk of skin cancer, but that too is only for those who are prone to skin cancers.
4) When to avoid skin lightening treatment?
Though this treatment is considered suitable for all types of patients, people with very dark skin tones are recommended to consult with their dermatologist before the treatment, as there is a risk of hyperpigmentation for them. Pregnant women, children, and breastfeeding women should also avoid this treatment.
5) How is skin lightening treatment different from skin whitening treatment?
Skin lightening helps you achieve a lighter skin complexion and lighten darkened patches of your skin. Skin brightening, on the other hand, chemically lightens your skin, beyond its natural tone.
6) Which treatment is best for skin lightening?
This totally depends on your skin type and the expected results. Some treatments might work and some might not. The best skin lightening treatment for you will be decided by your dermatologist.
7) How much does skin lightening treatment cost in Bangalore?
The cost of skin lightening treatment varies between 1800 to 40,000 based on the type of treatment selected. Give us a call to know the actual prices.
8) Is laser skin lightening treatment permanent?
No. However, the treatment can give you semi-permanent results as the effects can last anywhere between a few months to a few years.
9) Which skin lightening treatment is permanent?
None of the skin lightening treatments are permanent. However, they all give semi-permanent results. This means you might need multiple sessions to maintain the skin tone.
10) What is the skin lightening treatment duration?
On average, it takes around 2-3 hours for the entire procedure, but it mainly depends on the type od treatment embraced. You can go back to your normal routine after the treatment.