The composition of melanocyte cells is the same for every individual but, some people produce more amounts of melanin and its types as compared to other people. The more the melanin production, the darker the skin.
At times, melanin can be produced in some specific areas of the skin causing it to become darker, which is often referred to as hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is caused when some parts of the skin are a few shades darker as compared to the other parts.
If you are dealing with this issue, then this article will be of extreme help to you as through this article, we will get you familiar with some of the ways to reduce melanin production or deposits.
However, with melanin reduction, comes certain limitations and risks too. So, simply follow this post and get to know all that you want about melanin reduction for lighter skin.
Although there are many ways to lower down the melanin deposits, it’s better to consult your doctor before opting for any method or procedure for proper guidance and knowledge.
Different Ways to Decrease Melanin Deposits
Table of Contents
Laser treatment is one of the ways to reduce melanin deposits. In this process, a light pulse is used to remove the topmost skin layer to reduce melanin. Some of the laser treatments are:
- Ablative laser treatment: In this process, the outer layers of the skin are removed. This process is well suited for extreme discolouration.
- Nonablative lasers: This procedure is milder as compared to the ablative one. In this process, collagen growth is promoted to form new skin. An example of such a laser is IPL or Intense Pulse Light. In IPL treatment, a pulse of light is used to heat and destroy the area where melanin production is more and as a result, discolouration and dark patches/spots are reduced.
- OSRL or Q Switched Ruby Laser: In this type of laser, a light pulse is applied on the affected area to heat and then dissolve the dark skin.
It is advisable to always consult your dermatologist or doctor before opting for any of these laser therapies as they may cause side effects like scars, infections, and discolouration, etc.
Treatment With Topical Ointments And Creams
Using topical creams, gels, and ointments is another way to reduce melanin for skin lightening. These topical products work on the target area to reduce melanin.
These products can be availed through prescription or OTC, over the counter. Such products are composed of any of the below-given ingredients.
- Glycolic acid
- Vitamin C
- Kojic acid
- Azelaic acid
These products function by suppressing the main enzyme called tyrosinase which is required for the synthesis of melanin.
However, there may be some side effects of using skin lightening products such as irritation, dryness, itchiness, and redness. Therefore, it’s better to take an opinion from the doctor before getting these products into use.
Can Melanin Production Be Slowed Down?
There is no need for any medical treatment to slow down melanin production rather, it depends upon your skincare habits. Sun exposure plays an important role in reducing and slows down melanin production.
Sun Exposure And Sun Protection Creams
Melanin helps in protecting the skin from the harmful sun rays. When your skin is exposed to the sun, it produces more amounts of melanin. Using a quality sunscreen can decrease melanin production by protecting the skin from the UV rays. The best kinds of sunscreens are water-resistant, broad-spectrum, and SPF 30 or higher.
One should not completely depend upon sunscreens to slow down melanin production as sunscreens do not provide 100% protection from the harmful UV rays. Some of the other ways that can help in limiting melanin production are:
- Limited sun exposure.
- Try to stay indoors when the sun is at its peak or when the harmful sun rays are strongest.
- Carry an umbrella and cover your face wherever there is a need to go out during sunny hours.
- Wear protective gear like caps, gloves, and sunglasses whenever stepping out in the sun.
Natural Remedies For Skin Lightening
Some natural remedies may help in skin lightening, but the time these remedies might take to lighten the skin is not known, therefore, it’s recommended to follow these remedies patiently and regularly.
Aloe vera is famous for its medicinal and healing properties. It is flooded with antioxidants and enzymes which work impressively for skincare. According to one of the studies, it was found that aloe vera might help in decreasing melanin production due to the presence of a compound called aloesin which has an ability to suppress tyrosinase.
However, more research is needed on this to make any confirmation. But, the users of aloe vera claim that it helps in skin lightening with regular use.
According to a study held in 2012, it was found that turmeric might help in skin lightening. The active compound of turmeric, curcumin might help in reducing the melanin synthesis by suppressing melanocyte cells to produce more melanin.
Turmeric can be applied by mixing with milk and honey in the form of a face mask. But remember to be careful with its bright yellow colour which might stay on your face if the mask is held for too long!
Tomatoes may help in skin lightening as they consist of natural skin lightening or bleaching agents. Tomato juice can be applied on the entire face regularly to reduce the appearance of blemishes and dark spots. Additionally, tomato juice also helps in skin toning and reduces the appearance of skin pores.
Lemon juice can help in skin lightening. It happens due to the presence of high volumes of vitamin C in lemon. According to one of the researches, it was noted that vitamin C can decrease tyrosinase activity, which can help in preventing melanin formation.
But, lemon juice can be harsh for the skin, it may cause redness and irritation, therefore, it is suggested to use it after diluting with any other safe and natural ingredient such as honey. Additionally, avoid going out in the sun after using lemon juice on your skin.
Green tea contains a compound called EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate, which can help in preventing melanin production. According to one of the studies held in 2015, this compound inhibits the enzyme which is responsible for melanin production.
Can Melanin Production Be Decreased Forever?
Melanin production cannot be decreased permanently as melanin is formed continuously by the body. However, methods and procedures to lighten the skin and reduce existing hyperpigmentation can be considered.
Possible Side effects of Skin Lightening:
- Increased chances of skin damage from the sun.
- Risk of cancer due to sun exposure.
- Skin sensitivity, redness, and irritation.
Melanin production can be decreased temporarily by following skin lightening treatments that suppress the melanin formation enzymes. However, you cannot stop your body to decrease melanin production permanently, methods like laser, home remedies, and sun protection can opt.
If you are dealing with this problem, do take your doctor’s opinion before going for any of the skin lightening procedures and ask for the safe and appropriate methods to reduce skin darkening.