Skin whitening is the process by which people reduce the melanin pigment in the skin to give a whiter complexion. Those with dark complexion have more melanin and the quantity of melanin determines the colour of a person’s skin. Melanin is manufactured by cells called melanocytes. The melanin quantity of person’s skin depends upon the genetic buildup. The production of melanin is affected by exposure to the sun, the degree of damaged skin, and exposure to chemicals.
Often people take recourse to skin whitening methods to deal with problems such as freckles, age spots, scars, moles, acne, birthmarks and also by people who wish to have fair skin, especially those with a darker tone of skin. People use whitening or lightening products such as bleaching creams, fading creams, chemical peels and laser treatment. These products work by disturbing the tyrosinase enzyme which is instrumental for the melanin production and thereby reducing its amount in the skin. The melanocyte cells which manufacture melanin are situated at the very bottom of the skin’s epidermal layer. Sometimes the over-production of the melanin pigment could lead to various hyperpigmentation problems.
How is the treatment done?
The first step towards a skin whitening procedure would be to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist and tell him/her what kind of skin tone you have in mind. To get a clearer idea across it would be best if you carried a picture with you of the person with the desired skin tone that you have in mind. After discussing with your dermatologist, you may go and talk to the plastic surgeon. You can also show him/her the picture so that he/she knows what it is you exactly want. After consulting with both the dermatologist and plastic surgeon you decide on the option that you want based on your health, requirements and financial position- you can go for a skin bleaching treatment or something as expensive as a surgery. Aside from being extremely expensive skin whitening procedures are also very painful and you need to be prepared for both.
You need to plan out the recovery time after you complete your treatment; laser treatments and chemical peels take a few weeks and permanent skin whitening surgery takes more time. After treatment you need to take care of your skin by using certain maintenance products. Sunscreen is very important to prevent you from getting sunburns and also lower chances of your skin getting darker.
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Everyone is eligible for a skin whitening treatment.