How Skin Lightening Procedures Work
Skin lightening is fast gaining popularity among men and women. It is also referred to as skin bleaching. However, what is skin lightening and why do so many people want to undergo the procedure?
Skin lightening or skin bleaching is a procedure that is used to address skin problems such as:
• Uneven skin tone;
• Unsightly birthmarks;
• Unwanted skin conditions such as melasma or the appearance of dark skin patches.
How do these procedures lighten or balance out the colour of your skin? Melanin is the pigment that serves 2 purposes. First, it protects your skin from the sun’s rays and second, it gives your skin its colour.
- 1 There are 2 main methods:
- 1.1 Laser Treatment Procedure
- 1.2 Skin Lightening Creams
There are 2 main methods:
1. Laser Treatment Procedure
2. Skin Lightening Products
What is your reason for wanting to have skin lightening procedure? Whether the reason is medical or for aesthetic purposes, it would be a good idea to get professional advice from your doctor. He/she may ask you to undergo a few medical tests to see if a skin lightening procedure will be safe for you.
Keep in mind that these types of procedures may lead to negative side effects. It is also to experience complications from treatments. For example, people who have darker skin colour appear to be more at risk.
Let’s discuss how these methods of skin lightening procedure differ from one another.
Laser Treatment Procedure
Laser treatments work by taking out the outer layer of your skin or by destroying the cells that create melanin. The cost of having laser treatment varies and the procedure may entail several sessions in order to produce the desired results.
Some people have found great success with laser treatments. However, for others, it was ineffective. There have been cases were positive results where only temporary,
How Are Laser Treatments Performed?
The doctor who will perform the laser treatment for skin lightening may ask you to undergo preliminary testing to check if you are qualified for the procedure or not. The test will involve doing the laser treatment on a small area on your skin. If there are no problems, the doctor will schedule you for treatments.
Here is a rundown of what to expect during your Laser Treatment procedure:
• A local anaesthesia in cream form may be applied on your skin to numb any painful sensation you might feel during treatment.
• The doctor will ask you to wear goggles. This will protect your eyes from the laser.
• The doctor will use a handheld laser that will be pressed against your skin.
• Treatment will feel like a rubber band that has been snapping on your skin.
• The doctor may blast your skin with cold air to cool it down.
• The entire treatment should last 30 minutes. Once it is finished, you can go home.
How Long Is The Recovery Period From Laser Treatment?
After the Laser Treatment session, you will notice that your skin will appear swollen and red. This appearance will last for a few days. Sometimes, bruising might appear and last for 1-2 weeks.
It would be a good idea to schedule a leave from work after treatment. All in all, expect your skin to look lighter in 1-2 weeks’ time. Keep in mind that the treated area of your skin will be sensitive to the sun for a period lasting 6 months.
Here are a few tips on how you can fast-track your recovery from Laser Treatment:
• Use only unperfumed soap when washing the treated area.
• You can apply aloe vera gel or Vaseline to keep the treated area cool.
• If scabs develop, do not pick on them.
• You can use an ice pack to reduce swelling.
• If you feel pain and discomfort, feel free to take painkillers.
• If you have to go out, apply sun cream to keep the treated area protected from the sun’s rays.
Does Laser Treatment Have Side Effects?
Yes. Skin lightening via Laser Treatment procedures can have side effects such as:
These side effects may last for up to 2 weeks. There are also possible complications arising from Laser Treatments. These complications are as follows:
• Possible scarring of the skin
• Infections on the skin
• Skin turns too dark or too light
If you experience these conditions, address the matter right away with the doctor or the clinic that performed the Laser Treatment procedure.
Skin Lightening Creams
If you plan on applying Skin Lightening creams, the first step is to get a professional recommendation from your doctor.
Several of the most popular skin lightening creams on the market contains Hydroquinone or corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone which has known side effects. These substances including mercury are banned in several countries including the United Kingdom.
Your doctor will most likely prescribe skin lightening creams which contain natural ingredients. Many of these brands can be bought online or from your local retailer without the need of a prescription. Even though these products are legal and contain only natural ingredients, there is no assurance they will produce the desired results.
How Skin Lightening Creams Are Applied
The product you buy will have a set of application instructions on the label. However, your doctor may likewise provide his/her instructions. Generally, skin lightening creams are applied as follows:
• Apply the cream on the affected area 1-2 times a day.
• Do not get the cream on other areas of the skin.
• Avoid getting cream in your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Do not let anyone get in contact with the area that has the cream on.
• If you have to go outside, first apply sun cream. This will protect the treated area from the rays of the sun.
Skin lightening through the use of creams may require 3-4 months of continuous treatment. Further, your doctor may give advice on how to continue with the treatment procedure.
Do Skin Lightening Creams Have Side Effects?
Yes. Even if these skin lightening creams are popularly sold in the market, they can have the following side effects:
• Skin irritation
• Burning Sensation
• Itchy Skin
If you use products that contain Hydroquinone, corticosteroids or mercury, the side effects can be more damaging to your skin:
• Appearance of blood vessels on the skin
• Thinning of the skin
• Skin becoming too dark
• Skin becoming too light
• Problems with your liver, kidneys, or nerves
• Pregnancy issues; birth abnormalities
Once these side effects are felt, contact your doctor right away. If the symptoms are getting worse, have yourself checked into the nearest hospital immediately.