Thinking that discolored skin is going to fade away on its own and that you shouldn’t try any treatment is a wrong idea. Some types of pigmentation, such as those caused by acne, may lighten up in time (you need to patient and wait a couple of months until you see the results), but most discolorations need high-powered active ingredients to work and in-office treatment to fully eliminate the spots on the surface.
The fastest way to permanently lower melanin in skin is by undergoing a laser treatment, but not everybody has the money for it. You may also give it a shot with some skin lightening creams or a checkup with your dermatologist for getting some prescribed products. Natural remedies are worth trying also and the list is very long: aloe Vera, turmeric, lemon, potato, cucumber and tomato may help you decrease the melanin in your skin for good.
Is Melanin important?
Melanin is essential as it protects our skin from the dangerous UV light of the sun. It’s melanin that makes our skin tone darker or brighter too. When you’re decreasing the level of melanin in your skin, you’re also reducing skin pigmentation, getting a whiter and more fair skin tone.
No matter which solution you’re determined to try, you need to be patient about it and wait for a couple of months until your skin actually looks brighter.
What makes melanin levels grow?
If you’re determined to lower the melanin levels in your skin, you also need to know which are the common cause that actually raise the melanin level in your body:
- Excess sun exposure
- Changes in hormonal levels
- Adrenal disorder
- Some skin disorders
- Absence of the right vitamins and malnutrition
Even though we do need a certain quantity of melanin pigment in order to protect our skin from the dangerous sun rays, too much of this pigment is going to darken your skin. Exposing to sun is going to darken your skin, but only because melanin is produced for protection. In order to minimize melanin production, you may try a great variety of methods which some are home remedies while others are commercial products.
Check with your dermatologist too
No matter if your skin is naturally dark or because of various causes, a dermatologist is the best person to ask when you want to lower the melanin level in your skin. He/she’s the best expert to ask about the creams and oral supplements that may help you get a fair skin.
A dermatologist may prescribe you a cream with hydroquinone that reduces melanin and helps you get rid of the pigmented skin. Using hydroquinone on regular basics is going to reduce darkness.
Another solution would be a monobenzone cream that makes the melanocytes activate, reducing the melanin pigment. This is going to make your skin fair permanently.
A dermatologist may also prescribe you some drugs that you have to take orally and only seeing one you’re going to know exactly what to take.
The market is full of skin whitening creams that lighten skin tone. They may include natural extracts and chemical formulas that lower the melanin in your skin. Using collagen, vitamin C and antioxidants is going to make your skin more flexible, wrinkle-free, which translates in a fairer skin. Choosing the best of such creams may help solve the white complexion and get a brighter skin.
When money isn’t a problem for you or if you’re willing to spend the extra buck, get a laser surgery as it’s the most promising solution to reduce melanin levels in your skin. A high intensity pulsed laser is focused on your skin, breaking down the melanin pigment under it.
A surgery like this also comes with some downsides that you need to be aware of so check to your doctor to see if you’re the right candidate in the first place. You may need 5-10 sessions and to follow some rules in order to maintain the results.
Laser treatments aren’t new and people are using them from the ‘60s when they were used for removing birthmarks. This type of procedures got highly improved over the years and are much more effective than back then. They are able to focus on smaller areas of your skin and may emit stronger laser energy to increase collagen production, controlling scar formation risk.
Laser treatments for hyperpigmentation include lasers with a wider range of light emissions and the light range is always related to your specific skin condition.
Keep in mind that laser treatments come with some side effects, from damage to your eyes to redness, burning and blistering. Even though these side effects aren’t common, the risk is quite high and you should consider it when undergoing laser treatment.
A laser hyperpigmentation removal treatment may last for 30 to 45 minutes. The treatment isn’t painful per say, but it may cause stinging and discomfort in the treated area. The skin may turn red and a bit swollen for the first day. You shouldn’t apply makeup not fragranced skin products and you should also stay away from the sun or use a powerful sunscreen (30SPF at least) if you need to go outdoors. Try not to have any more procedures for a month afterwards and remember that you may have to repeat the treatment monthly until you get the results you want.
Some home remedies to try to reduce melanin
There are some other ways to reduce melanin in skin and you only need dedication and patience for trying them:
The catecholase enzyme and the bleaching ability of the potato are great when you want to eliminate darkness and blemishes from your skin.
You can make a paste of potato and apply it to your skin every day. You should do every day in order to get results and it’s only a matter of time until you notice a lighter complexion.
- Lemon juice
Lemon juice is very popular when it comes to whitening the skin. The high level of Vitamin C and the citric acid of lemon lighten the dark spots and scars. Add one tablespoon of honey and get a paste to apply on the dark skin. Leave it for 5 minutes or so and do it daily in order to obtain a whitened skin tone and a clear skin as well.
Cucumbers may not work very fast, but they’re efficient, without a doubt. They moisturize the skin and help you get rid of skin pigmentation. They also have calming abilities so they relax your skin, while the lightening abilities work in breaking down the melanin.
Simply slice a cucumber and use it like so. You can also make a paste out of it and cover your skin with it. It may even remove freckles or blemishes from your face too.
Turmeric is an old Asiatic remedy that increases the fairness of skin. It’s a very popular remedy in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It’s medically proved that turmeric is able to lower the melanin levels, making your skin fair.
Mix water or rose water with turmeric powder and apply the paste on your face, neck and hands for 15 minutes. Wash it well off when you’re done.
It seems that tomatoes contain the most powerful form of antioxidants and vitamin C. it’s a great remedy to decrease melanin level in your skin, getting you the fair skin that you wanted.
You may mash one tomato and simply apply it on your face for 20 minutes. Clean your skin when time’s up and use the remedy on regular use for removing dark spots, clearing the pigmentation from the skin.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is one remedy that may actually work for all skin problems. It offers moisture, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and all the compounds that your skin needs for staying healthy and glowing.
Aloe plant is also strong enough to lower the quantity of melanin, making your skin brighter. Keep in mind that even the most powerful commercial products include Aloe Vera extracts for lightening the skin tone.
Make a paste out of aloe and apply it on your skin, until it completely dries. Do it as much as you can.
Some other methods that give permanent results
You may use this method as it gently removes the uppermost layer of skin, getting rid of sunspots, darkness and other superficial discoloration.
- The chemical peel
Glycolic acid, salicylic acid and TCA chemical peels are used against discoloration too. The chemical peels are powerful as they remove deeper pigment. They’re not good for all skin colors and you shouldn’t try it if you have a history of scarring.
- IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
IPL is quite a popular solution for removing sun-induced discoloration. It involves light-based energy pulsed onto the skin, as it’s targeting blood vessels at the same time. The light is searching for the discoloration in the skin, lifting it up and out. The treated areas may darken and flake off in just a few days.
One last note
No matter the solution you go with, always check it with a dermatologist too as he/she’s the best person to give you the right choices for your skin.