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Overview

Skin Whitening: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

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.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

People having a history of heart-related disorders, recurring fever or cold sores and a tendency to scar should avoid undergoing chemical peel treatment for skin whitening. Those with really dark skin are not recommended for deep chemical peel treatment as well.

Are there any side effects?

If you are undergoing laser whitening treatment you can expect to experience the following side effects such as bruising, skin dryness, sensitivity to sunlight, tightness, swelling, scarring, skin infections, skin texture difference, pigmentation, skin redness and irritation. Deep chemical peel treatments can cause permanent damage such as hyperpigmentation (skin darkening) or hypopigmentation (skin lightening). if you undergo very aggressive treatments to whiten your skin it may become raw and ooze forming crusts all over.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The post-treatment guidelines for skin whitening treatment include washing the concerned area with chemical free soaps and dabbing very gently. For your full recovery it is advised that you make use of certain maintenance products such as regularly apply aloe vera gel or petroleum jelly to give a soothing and cooling effect. A layer of scabs and crusts may form on the treated area so it is advised that you do not touch or pick these areas. Take painkillers to reduce swelling. Apply sun screen for at least a period of six months to prevent darkening or sunburn because the skin at this stage becomes extremely sensitive.

How long does it take to recover?

The time to recover depends on the type of treatment you undergo for skin whitening. If you go for non-ablative treatment methods then it may take only a day or two to recover. But if you go for surgery such as a laser one then it may take up to 2-3 weeks to recover, following which you will need to adhere to certain post-treatment guidelines to prevent darkening, irritation or sunburn.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Cost of laser treatment varies somewhere between Rs. 30,000-60,000 in India.

The cost of skin whitening creams would range between 200 rupees to 3000 rupees.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Skin whitening creams only give you temporary results and do not have very lasting effects however, laser surgery as well as chemical peel treatment methods promise to give permanent solutions.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Alternatives to skin whitening creams and surgery comprise of home remedies such as application of face packs made at home from sandalwood, turmeric, milk or tomato, yoghurt, oatmeal or milk, lemon juice, honey or dried orange peels and yoghurt, etc.

Safety: High Effectiveness: High Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Low Side Effects: Medium Time For Recovery: Low Price Range: Rs. 200 - Rs. 60,000

Popular Health Tips

Microdermabrasion For Skin Polishing: What To Expect?

D.V.D, MBBS
Dermatologist, Delhi
Microdermabrasion For Skin Polishing: What To Expect?

For glowing, bright skin, it is important that it is maintained well. The skin has multiple layers, and over a period of time, due to constant exposure to pollution and dust, the top layers become worn out and lack lustre. Once these top layers are removed, the underlying layers which are fresher can help in giving the skin a much younger and brighter look.

Removal of the dead cells is one of the important aspects of skin care, and microdermabrasion does just that and gives a younger, glowing skin.

Microdermabrasion – What it Does?
There are tiny particles, which are abrasive in nature, which are used on the skin. These by their abrasive and cleansing nature, remove the top layers, making way for fresher skin from the subsequent layers. It is very similar to a facial, except that an instrument is used, which will generate mild heat, which helps in removing the top dead cells.

This procedure, which takes about 45 minutes, creates a gentle vacuum which removes dead cells. In addition,

  1. It improves circulation so that the cheeks turn rosy again
  2. It reduces wrinkles and fine lines that appear as part of ageing. In fact, microdermabrasion is one of the most widely used anti-ageing treatments currently.
  3. It improves dullness, by removing the top dead layers and provides skin with a fresh lease of life (and cells!)
  4. It reduces appearance of age spots which are due to increased pigmentation and makes skin even and less rough
  5. Reduces damage caused by the sun
  6. Scars (from any injury)
  7. Removes blackheads and whiteheads

What to Expect:

  1. It is usually done in the outpatient setting, and no anesthesia is required
  2. Any chemical treatment to the affected area should be stopped 2 days ahead
  3. Discuss with your doctor about your regular medications, which might require change
  4. Continue using the sunscreen
  5. Do not wear makeup on the day of the treatment
  6. There is heat generated during the process, so there could be redness, mild swelling, and tenderness
  7. After the procedure, avoid direct sun exposure for at least 2 to 3 days
  8. Do not use any chemicals on the area for at least 3 days
  9. Do not use saunas or steam for about a week
  10. Face should be washed multiple times, either with plain water, or with a gentle face wash
  11. Repeat sessions, if required, will be done after 3 to 4 weeks depending on the condition and your response

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3463 people found this helpful

How Is Laser Skin Tightening Beneficial?

MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Ghaziabad
How Is Laser Skin Tightening Beneficial?

Ageing is often the harshest foe to the skin. The years will take its toll on the skin’s tightness, resulting in loose saggy skin. However, there are many techniques which allow for the rejuvenation and tightening of the skin and help you get your youthful look back. Most of these are usually non-invasive or minimally-invasive and include creams, peels, dermabrasion and other such forms of treatment. One such method which has become quite popular is laser skin tightening.

What is Laser Skin Lightening?

As is evident from the name, this method uses a laser or an infrared light source of a specific wavelength to heat up the treated area. This method of treatment specifically heats up the collagen present under the skin and stimulates it to cause tightening. This treatment also encourages the growth of new collagen under the skin.

Benefits of Laser Skin Tightening:

Some of the benefits of laser skin tightening are mentioned below –

  1. It works deep beneath the skin– While most other treatments make you look younger by treating the superficial layers of skin, laser skin tightening works by stimulating the collagen under the skin and thus works from way deeper, making it a more effective treatment. It can easily correct all forms of lines on your neck, forehead, eyes, wrinkles and blemishes.

  2. Minimally invasive– There is no involvement of surgical tools and thus no incisions, stitches or even injections are used. Although the skin is heated up from beneath the surface with the help of a laser, it is still a minimally invasive procedure.

  3. Less painful– Although the lower layers of the skin are heated up, the laser mechanism allows for the top-most layer of the skin to remain cool, thus lessening the pain and discomfort faced during the procedure.

  4. Minimal downtime– Laser skin tightening is a minimally invasive process and is usually done on an outpatient basis. The total downtime is quite minimal and you can resume daily activities quite quickly after the procedure.

  5. Lasts for longer– As the new collagen develops under your skin, the effects start to show in full swing in about a couple of months. You may at best need a follow up treatment to ensure that the best results are achieved. However, once the treatment is completed and the skin tightens, the effects do stay for quite a while. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
4778 people found this helpful

Take Care With Penis Skin Lightening

MD - General Medicine
Sexologist, Delhi
Take Care With Penis Skin Lightening

The condition of a man's penis skin can make a big impression on partners (or potential partners), so it's no wonder men take extra steps to make their penis skin attractive. Eliminating rashes, removing bumps and keeping sores and pimples away can add to the visual allure of a penis. But some guys may be taking penis skin presentation a little too far when they engage in lightening experiments. While some men have engaged in penis lightening with no problems, there is still a potential for penis health issues where lightening is concerned - and guys should take that into consideration.

Recent news

While penis lightening has been around for years, it recently made headlines due to its increasing popularity among men in Thailand. (For the record, vaginal lightening is reportedly also on the rise in that country - so it's not just a penis thing.)

Why would a man want to lighten his penis? This is a question that has opened up a lot of debate, with some people seeing racial overtones in this decision. It might be easier to simply say that a person may want to lighten his penis for the same reason he searches for any other alteration to his manhood: he believes the result will be pleasing to himself or those he comes into contact with. This may be especially true if a man's penis has "blotchy" patches or is two-toned in appearance; he may feel that a smooth, even consistency of tone may be more attractive.

Bleaching?

A more important question is: "How does the penis skin get lightened?" And the answer to that is very important.

Penis lightening is sometimes referred as penis bleaching - and if anyone suggests using actual laundry bleach (chlorine or non-chlorine) to achieve results, a guy should quickly say no. Penis skin is very delicate and sensitive, and harsh bleach would almost certainly burn and damage it.

Men who have peroxided their hair wonder about a peroxide bleach on the penis, but this is too harsh. If an actual bleach is to be used on the penis skin, it should be derived from a natural source that is much gentler. For example, lemon juice, licorice and milk are all possible sources that, prepared properly, might be okay to use on penis skin. However, nothing should be used unless cleared by a doctor - preferably one who already knows the patient well.

Laser

One of the interesting points about the reports of lightening in Thailand are that the doctors quoted seem to be using a form of laser therapy for lightening the skin.

The jury is still out on the safety of this method, but some health professionals warn that it could cause swelling and pain. In some cases, especially if the laser is not operated by an experienced professional, there could be scarring or disfigurement of the penis.

It should also be noted that laser treatment usually requires the client suspend engagement in sex for several days after treatment.

Lightening the penis skin is a personal choice, but the risks really should be weighed carefully before deciding to move forward with it. Whatever the decision, the penis will look and feel better if its health is maintained on a consistent basis; regular application of a high quality penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) can help. Definitely select a crème with moisturizing agents that can support healthy penis skin, such as Shea butter (a high-end emollient) and vitamin E (a natural hydrator). The skin will also prove more resilient if a crème with a potent antioxidant like alpha lipoic acid is used. This helps fight excess free radicals which can weaken the penis skin through oxidative stress.

6 people found this helpful

Hair Transplant - Is It Really Effective?

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), I. P. G. T & R. GUJARAT AYURVED UNIVERSITY, JAMNAGAR , I. P. G. T. & R. GUJARAT AYURVED UNIVERSITY, JAMNAGAR
Ayurveda, Jamnagar
Hair Transplant - Is It Really Effective?

A hair transplant is something which has the potential to change the lives of the people who make the rewarding decision to sign up for one. However, a person should have a fair idea about which sort of surgery is the best for him or her, in spite of the fact that his or her doctor is likely to be the main decision maker of that.

What’s in store?
While there are multiple forms of hair transplants which thousands of people on a yearly basis sign up for, the most common among all these methods happens to be the FUE Method, which is also known as the Follicular Unit Extraction method. However, the FUT or the Follicular Unit Transplantation method can be said to be quite popular as well.

  1. Follicular Unit Extraction: The FUE method looks to take individual follicles and graft them. To provide a bit of detail, each follicle contains about one to four hairs. So, it can be understood that this is a slightly lengthy procedure. While it does take a significant amount of time on account of the fact that the precision which is required is high, it does not differ much from the FUT method when it comes to the discomfort which is caused to the person.
  2. Follicular Unit Treatment: On the other hand, the FUT method looks to cut out a strip of scalp from the head so that it can be cut into grafts which can then be laid. The main benefit of choosing to undergo this method of treatment vis a vis the alternative is the fact that more bald spots can be covered up in a fewer number of sittings.

However, if a person wishes to recover soon, then the FUE method is surely the way to go as there are no cuts or anything like that. This helps an individual get back to normal as soon as is possible. Also, due to the fact that there are no cuts which are made, there are no scars which can even possibly show.

The treatment and care which a person is supposed to be subject to after undergoing either procedure is more or less the same. There are pain relief medicines are to be taken and other medicines, which serve to make sure that there is no risk of an infection or any sort of complications.

It is to be noted that while these two are the most common methods, there is no reason why alternatives should not be considered; they may even suit better! In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2994 people found this helpful

Laser Hair Removal Procedure - What Should You Know?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - General Medicine, DNB - Dermatology & Venereology
Dermatologist, Chennai
Laser Hair Removal Procedure - What Should You Know?

Unwanted hair is a major issue for many young people. Shaving or waxing the hair is tedious process, and can also be painful at times. Due to its many benefits, laser hair removal has become very popular amongst youngsters. In many cases, after three to eight sessions, permanent hair loss is observed. Recent years have seen an increase in the number of laser hair removal procedures performed.

What is the theory behind laser hair removal?
Laser technology is based on highly concentrated rays. These rays are concentrated on a specific part of your skin from where you wish to remove the hair. The highly concentrated light is directed to particular hair follicles in order to remove them. Although, permanent results or results that last a lifetime are never guaranteed, cases have been observed wherein after a few sessions, complete hair loss is observed.
Many types of laser removal procedures are available, among these, Neodymium YAG, diode, alexandrite, and intense pulsed light sources are well known.

Why should you choose laser hair removal?
Unwanted hair on your face, underarms, legs, arms or any other area can be easily removed using this procedure. Laser hair removal procedures offer you with a healthy and smooth skin free of unwanted hair. The laser used for hair removal target dark and bristly hairs without damaging the surrounding areas. Known for its speed, laser hair procedure has the ability to treat small areas in approximately one minute and less. These small areas include the upper lip region.

How long does it take?
Laser removal method is performed by skilled doctors. The doctors need to decide how many days and sittings will it take to get the procedure done depending upon the growth of hair in that specific area and also how much area of your skin is to be covered. Once the procedure is done, one may need to get it done in few years again depending upon the regrowth of hair on his/her body.

Difficulties of laser hair removal procedure:

  1. Laser hair procedures can at times cause hyper pigmentation of skin or darkening of skin. It can also cause hypo pigmentation, which causes lightening of skin colour at certain regions.
  2. Some people experience itchiness after the procedure has been completed.
  3. A major disadvantage of this treatment is that it can be quite expensive and unaffordable for the common people.
  4. It may leave scars or skin infections if not done by skilled or accomplished doctors.

Laser hair treatment is effective and comparatively more efficient on people who have light skin and dark hair. Generally, laser hair surgeries are done to remove unwanted hair on back, face, chest, neck, bikini area, shoulders, upper lip, chin etc. For successful results, one should get this procedure performed from a skilled doctor. If not done properly, it will leave marks/scars and damage your body.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3725 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

My name is Showkat age 28 My skin was fair and white while working in hotel but after returning from there I have lot of tan and my skin got black even I am not directly going into the sun, so please suggest me the cream for the tan and dark face.

MD - Dermatology, MBBS
Dermatologist, Vadodara
Tan develops either because of sun exposure, long sickness, nutritional deficiency or due to certain medicines. If everything is normal always use a sunscreen after bath in the morning even if you don't go in sunlight.
1 person found this helpful

Can I use glutathione to lighten my skin tone .is this safe? If I use ,what brand is available in india and good?

DVD, MBBS
Dermatologist, Delhi
It’s not safe Coz it is harmful to liver in some cases so you have to check you liver function test done from some nearby laboratory and then you can take it under medical supervision.
2 people found this helpful

I wanted to know whether there are any side effects of Skin whitening treatments like Glutathione? And I have like a lot discolouration on my face as it is exposed to sun even tough I apply a good amount of suns screen. I am wanting to take such skin whitening which has permanent effects and which is cost effective. Please can you doctor suggest me in this regards?

MBBS, DDVL, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Delhi
Hi, Glutathione studies are less in your concern, so don't use for longer, Apply a good emollient, and skin whitening permanency depends on the severity of black skin. All the best.
1 person found this helpful

I am 42 years fair female. I have dark circles under my eyes and dark patches all over my face. Day by day I become darker and tanned. Skin become glow less. Skin become dull. What should I do?

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
Fatigue is the most common cause of dark circles under your eyes. Sometimes, what appear to be dark circles under your eyes may merely be shadows cast by puffy eyelids or hollows under your eyes that develop as a normal part of aging. ... Rubbing or scratching your eyes.
1 person found this helpful

I am 21 years old girl, I have block skin during birth, so I need skin whitening syrup ,pills or cream. Please suggest me.

DVD, MBBS
Dermatologist, Mumbai
Dark skin is due to our genes. We may be dark, wheatish or fair depending on our genetic makeup. You may be able to change the skin colour by a cow of shades by taking good care of your skin. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen regularly, eat food rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. Chemical peeling and Q switch laser are known to help.
2 people found this helpful

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice