Skin lightening, also known as skin bleaching is a cosmetic procedure. Its purpose is to lighten the darker areas of skin or to achieve an overall paler skin tone.
Environmental factors such as pollution, harmful UV rays from the sun, improper diet and stress can result in an uneven skin tone. Usually, it is used to remove skin blemishes such as birthmarks, or dark patches called melasma. People also opt for it because the paler skin is considered as more beautiful in some cultures and they wish to feel more attractive. Skin lightening is an extensive and expensive procedure and the results are permanent. It represents a massive change in a person’s future life. Therefore, when deciding to go for skin lightening, proper time should be taken to understand our motivation behind it and discuss it with your physician or a certified dermatologist.
Skin lightening can be done by various methods and their success rates vary from person to person.
Treatment option: Cutera Laser
Laser can be used for skin lightening. It works by either removing the top layer of the skin or by targeting the cells that produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin its distinctive tone.
The Cutera Laser system represents the best of what is possible right now, using a dual delivery procedure and varying wavelengths to achieve required results in less than three sessions, whereas conventional methods can take up to 15 sessions. It also ensures the best comfort level and safety for the client during the procedure, delivering consistent results.
Other treatment options include:
- Skin lightening creams, which can either be over the counter or prescription strength. It requires a long treatment time period, possibly months and results are mixed.
- Certain homemade and commercially available masks, face-washes and scrubs also claim to result in skin lightening. They use a mixture of natural herbs and ingredients, and the results are again mixed.
- Chemical peels are another treatment option, to achieve skin lightening.
Number of visits, and how long each visit on average for laser treatment?
Each visit usually lasts 30 – 90 minutes, depending on the area size of skin to be treated, and usually 2 – 3 visits are required.
Side Effects for laser treatment
It is common to experience redness and swelling, bruising, crusting and blistering after this treatment, which heals in a week or two.
In rare cases, there can be serious side effects, which includes scarring, a skin infection or the skin tone either becoming too light or too dark. It is important to discuss the possibility of these complications happening before starting the treatment.
Recovery Time for laser treatment
The recovery time ranges from one week to two or more for your skin to heal from a laser skin lightening session. It is advised to take a few days off from work while you recuperate at home and the skin appearance begins to improve. Whereas the redness and swelling may last a few days, the bruising or crustiness can last up to a week or more. The skin remains sensitive to the sun for up to six months, so sunscreen is strongly recommended for protection from the sun. Use of aloe vera gel or petroleum jelly for soothing effect and painkillers for discomfort and pain is also recommended.