wants a smooth even skin tone. Spotted, discolored (aka hyperpigmented)
skin is a definite cosmetic dermatology no-no. And bleaching and whitening
options have become so complex it can be difficult to determine what
is right for you. One simple lesson to start with is that regardless
of the cause of skin discoloration be it from old acne, bug bites, skin
trauma, underarm irritation, sun damage (such as freckles, liver
spots) or hormonal causes (melasma); your bleaching basics remain
Do I Have Skin Discoloration?
is your enemy. Your freckling or brown patches above the mouth, across
the cheeks (melasma) or the noticeable skin discoloration due to your
bout with tinea versicolor is present because the sun has reached the
skin, causing the bad tan lines so to speak. Whether PIH,
melasma or sun damage induced, when we bleach, we are dealing with the
pigmentation manufactured by the color producing cells in the skin,
Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation), happens to everyone. Its the
result of irritation within the skin resulting in remnant discoloration.
PIH is NOT a scar. Your baseline skin tone will ultimately dictate how
much skin discoloration is left behind. For instance, I have a Mediterranean
olive type complexion. PIH for me is often purplish or a faint light
brown. The darker your skin tone, the darker the PIH will likely be.
And the darker the PIH, the longer it will probably take to bleach things
back to normal. Even purplish discoloration may take up to 6 months
to resolve. Really dark brown skin discoloration can take more than
a year. Learning to accept your skin is crucial to helping deal with
the situation. Dont get caught up in the degree of the skin discoloration,
you are going to treat things in the same manner as everyone else, it
will just take longer. Also, it is difficult to reach perfect
match, but you can often do really well at making your skin discoloration
very unnoticeable. We bleach brown to black areas and treat red or purple
spots in a different manner, often with Mederma.
should be applied ONLY to the dark spot. Select areas that are well
defined to bleach. This can help improve the ultimate outcome. If
you do not have well defined areas to bleach, then you will want to
use a skin brightener that is safer to use in more widespread areas.
Skin brighteners are typically not Hydroquinone based, but based upon
botanical ingredients such as Kojic Acid. Peter Thomas Roth Potent
Botanical Skin Brightening Gel Complex is an example of this.
applying the active bleaching agent to normal surrounding skin. Continued
use of your bleach on normal skin will slowly lighten the regular
skin tone, too.
should be stopped when the desired effects are achieved. Otherwise,
you may end up with areas of the skin that are lighter than your normal
protection is crucial. The sun will try to darken up the areas you
are working so hard to bleach. Sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15
that protects against both UVA and UVB as well as sun protective clothing/hat
is the best-known active ingredient used in many types of bleach.
It may come in nonprescription strengths of 2% or prescription strengths
of typically 4%. Combining glycolic acid or other agents can help
the bleach penetrate the skin more easily and thus be more effective.
Bleaches are often applied twice daily to the offending dark areas.
cannot tolerate hydroquinone, whether it is irritating, causes an
allergic reaction, or in very rare instances causes an actual darkening
of the skin tone. The latter is so unusual, that I have not seen it
individuals not inclined to use hydroquinone, active agents like Kojic
acid are desirable as bleaching agents. Kojic acid has been widely
promoted as the bleaching ingredient good for anyone of ethnic
background" (i.e. African American, Asia, Hispanic, Indian, etc.)
To be honest, I do not know how this idea got started. Kojic acid
is very good, but those with darker skin tones do not have to automatically