Articles on skin whitening

Skin Lightening

Dr. Anil Trimbake, Dermatologist
MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL LOOK WHO IS FAIREST OF THEM ALL!Skin colour has a very important place in people’s physiological and social space. People with fairer skin tone have been considered a superior trait in most of the races, thus causing low confidence amongst person with darker skin complexion. This has led to a number of skin whitening products being launched in the market either for local or systemic skin whitening.Systemic skin whitening is now a day’s gaining lot of popularity as these products promise to give 3-4 shades lighter tone to the whole body for a sustained period of time.WHAT IS SYSTEMIC SKIN LIGHTENING?Systemic skin whitening is a process wherein we give high doses of medicines either orally or intravenously which inhibit the production of melanin which is responsible for imparting colour to the body. Different individual has different skin colour and it is because of the difference between the amount and type of the melanin which body is producing, which in turn depends on genetic as well as external factors. The drugs which are getting more and more available in the market stops or reduces the melanin production to such an extent that it makes the skin of overall body look fairer.  WHAT ARE THE AGENTS WHICH ARE AVAILABLE? There are different products available in the market and are listed as follows GLUTATHIONEThe most commonly used systemic skin whitening agent has GSH used alone or in various combinations, both as oral and intravenous formulations. GSH is an antioxidant synthesized It is also available naturally in watermelon, avocado, broccoli, spinach, and tomatoes. GSH is involved in various biochemical processes especially those involving scavenging of free radicals and detoxification of toxic compounds, it acts as a coenzyme and helps in the transport of amino acids across the cell membranes. The role of GSH as a skin whitening agent was an accidental discovery when skin whitening was noticed as a side effect of large doses of GSH. This led to extensive studies establishing its role in melanogenesis and the recent use of GSH as systemic skin whitening agent.GSH for skin whitening is available in both tablet and injectable form. When taken orally. Even when large oral doses were administered, it was found very less amount of it is getting absorbed into the blood stream from the gut thus reducing its efficacy thus making use of intravenous form more popular. GSH is given at a dose of 20 and 40 mg/kg/body weight/day which is divided into two doses with a maintenance dose of 500 mg/day. The gradual systemic effect will be seen 1-3 months in a medium brown skin, in 3-6 months in dark brown skin, in 6-12 months in a very dark skin and in 2 years are more in black skin. Injectable GSH is given at a dose of 900 -2000 mg weekly by the intravenous or intramuscular method and the sessions can be repeated 2-3 times a week depending upon the dose to be administered. Skin whitening can be seen as early as 2-3 weeks.L-CYSTEINE PEPTIDEL-cysteine peptide, which is claimed to be 3-5 times more potent than GSH and is BFAD approved. Natural sources of L-cysteine include poultry, yogurt, egg yolks, red peppers, garlic, onions, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, oats, and wheat germ. It also improves the colour by blocking the enzymes required for the conversion of basic substrates into melanin or stops converting light colored melanin into dark-colored melanin thus improving the skin tone.TRANEXEMIC ACID Tranexemic acid (trans-4-aminomethyl cyclohexane carboxylic acid), a plasmin inhibitor, commonly used as a haemostatic agent owing to its antifibrolytic action is also promoted as a systemic skin whitening agent especially as oral or intradermal injections for melasma. Both arachidonic acid and α-MSH can activate melanin synthesis by melanocytes. Tranexemic acid by way of its antiplasmin activity depletes the keratinocyte pool of arachidonic acid involved in an ultraviolet (UV) induced melanogenesis. It has been used at a low dose of 250 mg twice a day for at least 3 months for the treatment of melasma and found to be effective. But, it is not safe to use it for a long duration and sufficient data is not available regarding its role in whole body skin whitening thus making it less popular as systemic skin whitening agent. intravenous injection for skin whitening at a dose of 500 mg every week for 1 or 2 months and 500 mg every month for maintenance. Tranexamic acid has been found to produce a good synergistic effect when combined with ascorbic acid or its derivatives and L-cysteine.  MISCELLANEOUS AGENTS Apart from these, large doses of vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, epidermal growth factor and combinations of multiple natural extracts (natural collagen extracts, bearberry extract, Glycyrrhiza glabra extract, Lycopene, Kelp, olive leaf extract, hawthorn, jujube, sea buckthorn, starch, coix seed, pearl extracts, etc.,) are also promoted for skin whitening in the form of food or dietary supplements with low scientific evidence.Beautiful skin requires commitment and not a miracle!

This Festive Season Keep Your Skin Healthy!

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
During festivals such as Diwali, everyone wants to look good. A healthy skin and glowing skin is always on the wish list of every woman irrespective of her age. And on the other hand it is not always possible to rush to saloon again and again. So, here are some easy tips which can be included this festive season for that ultimate glowy skin.Control on sweets doesn’t mean you have to just completely go off from them. Control the portions while consuming your favourite sweets. The other way could be, you can choose some healthier sweets made of jaggery and cottage cheese. Also avoid sweets that are fried. A lot of sweet intake can cause breakouts on your skinGo strict with fried items majorly in festive season.It will not only make you feel bloated and acidic but will leave your skin looking dull. Better to consume more of fruits and vegetables in order to get nourishing skinSleep well - Pre Diwali card parties usually stretch to late nights. Insufficient sleep causes breakouts, inflammation, allergies. So if you really want a glowing skin in Diwali, take a good amount of sleepHydrate your body by drinking enough fluids such as plain water. This habit of yours will always keep your skin supple and acne freeDon’t skip workout - In the hustle bustle of shopping, social gatherings, we tend to skip the workout regime. Continue with your exercise regime as usual without compromising. It will boost your blood circulation and will keep your skin glowing throughout the dayProtect skin from firecrackers - Most firecrackers have high smoke due to magnesium content. These fumes and particles can settle on your skin and can harm you. If your skin is sensitive, it's always better to wrap a scarf on your face while stepping out

Get Glowing Skin in 5 Minutes!

Dr. Sharad Kulkarni, Ayurveda
Dark skin complexion or dark pigmentation on the skin can be quite depressing in a country obsessed with fairness. Darkening of skin can be blamed on the harmful sun rays and the ever growing stress of modern life. For all those troubled by pigmentation concerns, lighten up your life by lightening your skin tone. Make use of this 5-minute quick fix guide to a glowing skin.Mask it up with honey and lemonLemon, a storehouse of vitamin C, is a natural skin bleaching agent. It contains alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) that act as a natural exfoliator i.e. it scrubs of the outer dead skin cells and exposes the lighter skin that lie beneath. The citric acid in the lemon is a mild bleaching agent which naturally whitens the skin.­ Honey, this naturally available delicious product is a soother and moisturiser for dehydrated, dry, pigmented skin. It helps to undo the lemon's drying effect on the skin. It helps to keep the skin soft and smooth.Steps to follow:Squeeze 2-3 lemons in a bowl.Take half a spoon of honey and add to the lemon juice in the bowl.Add 1 tablespoon of crushed oats to it.Mix all of them well.Apply this paste on your face. You can apply it on any other body part that you wishto lighten as well.Let it stay on to the face for 15-20 mins.Wash off with cool water. As you start to wash off the mask, move your finger tips gently in a circular motion. The crushed oats act as a scrub.For dry skin:For those who have dry skin, use cucumber to substitute the lemon juice.Mix equal quantities of crushed cucumber and honey in a bowl.Apply it on face and body.After letting it stay for 15 minutes, wash it off with cool water.For oily skin:Mix 3 tablespoons of cucumber juice with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Soak a cotton in the mixture and dab it on your face.Leave it on for 2-3 minutes and then wash off with cool water.Apple cider vinegar makes the skin firm and controls the oil. Cucumber gives the shine and glow to the skin.Use this simple, under 5 minute quick and effective hacks twice a week and let the mirror reflect a fairer and glowing skin.

12 Skin Care Tips That You Can Do at Home

Dr. Anuj Singh, Dermatologist
Care for your skin in the morning and in the evening using appropriate skin care products for your complexion type.Use a gentle foaming cleanser that will remove excess oil, but won’t over dry your skin.Wash your skin, exfoliate once a week and moisturise daily regardless of your complexion, as moisturised skin maintains its elasticity and thus is less likely to develop early fine lines and wrinkles.Do not rub your skin dry. Always pat it dry.Do not use very hot water to bathe or wash your face. Use lukewarm water or water at room temperature.Protect your skin and lips with SPF cream when outside and apply a special eye cream on the area surrounding the eyes as it is much more sensitive than the rest of your complexion.Do not go to sleep with your make-up on.Get enough sleep so your skin can regenerate and maintain its elasticity. There is a reason why the 8 hour night sleep is called the beauty sleep, so make sure you get enough rest your body needs to function perfectly if you wish to look and feel great.Eating the right kind of food can do you more good than any medicine, and go a long way in helping your body’s own healing forces. Eat a balanced diet that includes raw foods, plenty of yellow and orange vegetables (they contain beta carotene – a precursor to vitamin A).Foods high in sulfur such as garlic, onions, asparagus and eggs. Include fruits, seeds, grains and nuts.Your body tends to lose a lot of moisture in the summer, so it’s important to regularly replenish the H2O. Drink a lot of water and liquids and your skin will stay soft and moisturised as well. Do not use any medicated creams suggested by friends or the pharmacist. Consult your doctor before using skin lightening creams and pimple creams.

Enjoy a Beach Holiday!!! Skin Care in Summer for Acne Oily Skin

Dr. Prabha Acharya, Dermatologist
The advantage of having oily skin is that you won’t be getting premature wrinkles but controlling the oil can sometimes be a problem. Here are 9 quick tips to keep your skin oil-free throughout the day.The summer months are harsh on all skin types, but oily skin is more prone to pimples and break-outs. Its appearance becomes greasier making it look dull and lifeless. Summer time should be about fun in the sun, beach holidays and warm lazy brunches. Instead, you worry about blemishes and spots caused by sun damage, dust and grime that your oily skin attracts. Instead of damage control at a later date, take charge & learn how to keep your skin oil free with these simple preventive measures.With a few easy changes to your oily skin care routine, you can avoid hot weather-related side effects on your skin:1. Avoid the sun. Enjoy early morning beach activities and in the evening. The summer sun is your skin’s enemy! Not only does being outdoors in the sun hugely increase oil secretion, but you also end up exposing yourself to the harmful effects of UV rays. During the hours of 10 AM – 3 PM, the sun is at its strongest and most damaging, so have fun filled indoor activities with friends.2. Look for a gentle cleanser. Always test your cleanser before you buy and pick one that removes excessive oil without over drying the skin. 3. Wash your face correctly. Washing oily skin is tricky business as too little can spell disaster with an onslaught of spots while too much can strip your skin of its natural oils. Your T-zone most likely needs frequent washing while your cheeks tend to dry up, so being selective is key. Blotting papers can help you soak up the excess oil in problem areas without over stripping the moisture.4. Invest in a good sunscreen lotion. A water based matte sunscreen is a good choice for oily skin as it helps keep your face shine free and gives you the protection you need. Look for at least SPF 30++ for the best sunscreen effect!5. Go minimal on makeup. While it may feel like you can’t live without your foundation, in summers its best to keep it natural. Foundation and compact powders not only make you look older, but also clog pores. Even the best of foundations for oily skin will get runny when you perspire and adding extra products will only make your skin more prone to pimples. Instead, stick to tinted moisturizers or concealers and use water-based ones.6. Hydrate well. Drink plenty of water and juices so you are hydrated internally. Make sure you moisturise often with a water-based product to keep your skin supple. Whatever the formula, make sure your sunscreen and moisturiser contains oil-reducing salicylic or glycolicacid7. Watch what you eat. Vitamin A rich vegetables like carrots, spinach and so on help slow oil production. Go easy on the alcohol, spicy and fried food as they all dilate blood vessels and compound your oily skin woes. If you are tempted, limit yourself to one drink a night,and eat spicy foods no more than once a week.8. Give your skin some TLC. The best thing about summer skin care are all the fragrant fruity facials. Do your skin a favor and exfoliate with a delicious natural scrub once a week. Make a  cooling, oil-absorbing mask and pamper your skin silly.9. You can also try making a homemade scrub from honey and sugar. This scrub helps exfoliate skin naturally & moisturizes it as well. Be advised not to use any scrub on your face often, as it may dry out your face skin which is not a good thing.

Taking Care of That Excess Skin

Dr. Harikiran Chekuri
Losing weight is an achievement indeed. You need to put in a lot of effort to reduce that extra flab from your body. But weight loss can be disappointing at times, when you see loose skin hanging around your body which is nearly impossible to get rid of. It’s like winning a war but losing a battle. However there are solutions to this.Here are some very useful but easy tips that can help you to find an answer to that excess skin.Don’t lose much – Yes, you’ve got that right, don’t lose too much weight at one go. Let your body get adjusted to your weight loss regime. This will help your skin retain its elasticity and not shrink rapidly. Take the suggestion of a specialist who can guide you into a perfect weight loss plan that won’t allow your skin to lose its elasticity.Keep your skin hydrated – Drink a lot of water. At least drinking minimum 6 glasses of water is a must. If you can drink more, it’s always better. This allows your skin to remain hydrated and tight. So while you are on your weight loss spree, make sure you drink a plenty or water to prevent the lose skin.Take up weight training – Weight training at least thrice weekly helps building an extra layer of muscles underneath your skin. It is very important if you are on a strict diet. Losing fat from your body often leads to loosening the layer of muscle underneath your skin. Having an extra padding of muscles will restrain sagging skin. Thus, you will never have those ugly sagging skins even after you shed weight drastically.Moisturize your skin – Apply lot of moisturizer that contains Vitamin E. This helps in skin toning and regeneration of new skin cells. You may also use recommended fruit oils or Coconut oils for massaging your skin as well. This will not only tighten up loose skin but also keep the wrinkles away.Belly toning exercise – Most of the sagging skin can be seen around your belly, hips and waist. Hence, it is important to go for belly toning exercises like crunches, air biking, leg rising, sit ups, side bridges and pelvic thrust. These are easy to do workouts that take only 15-20 minutes to perform. Have them in your workout list for at list three to five days of the week.Massage – Get a massage weekly or bi-weekly. This will help in proper blood circulation and add a glow of youth to your skin. You will feel relaxed as your muscles and skin gets toned. Consult a professional and pamper yourself with great body massage.However, the loose skin greatly depends on the individual and may take time to heal. Sometimes even after trying out everything, you fail to get rid of those hanging skin bags. This calls for cosmetic surgery that can help you to get rid of unwanted skin bags completely. Look out for an expert aesthetic surgeon around you for further guidance and assistance.

7 Mistakes Men Make With Their Skin

Dr. Puneet Goyal, Dermatologist
This guy is using products. Are you? In the face of such daunting skin care complexity, a lot of us throw in the towel. “Soap and water are all I need for my skin,” we say gruffly with a bravado we think conveys a devil-may-care masculinity but secretly just masks a deep fear of the unknown world of skin care.As a result, we tend to continue with the skin-destroying, wrinkle-creating practices — too many harsh soaps, not enough sunscreen, and basic neglect — we’ve been repeating because we don’t know better.Such skin care calamities could be avoided if only more of us would man up and ask a question we probably didn’t ask our dads growing up: What mistakes am I making with my skin care?1. Not using any products at allA lot of guys might say, “I don’t want to spend as much time on my skin as my wife does.” The notion of having to spend a lot of time slathering product on your skin before going out or going to bed might make some men recoil — or worse, remind them of Christian Bale’s grooming-obsessed character in American Psycho.But skin care doesn’t have to be a medicine-cabinet-clogging ritual (nor does it make you a serial killer). “At the bare minimum, everyone, including men, can get away with just three products: a cleanser, a sunscreen, and a treatment product for whatever your [skin] problem is,” says Baumann. “That’s the bare minimum. Just put the cleanser in the shower and use it whenever you’re bathing. Put the sunscreen next to your toothbrush and slap it on in the morning. And then use your skin treatment at night. That’s not a lot of time, and you’ll get great results.” 2. Not knowing what kind of skin you haveThe first step in taking care of your skin is knowing what type of skin you have. As beneficial as starting a skin care regimen can be, the wrong kind of care for your skin type might result in damage, not benefits.“Sometimes people are really oily, so they need cleansers that help take that oil off the skin and prevent the pores from getting clogged,” says Baumann. “Other people don’t have enough oil and their skin doesn’t hold onto water properly, so they need more of a creamy cleanser that would deposit moisturizers on the skin.”To see what kind of skin you have and what type of products you should be looking for, you may need some professional help. “Of course I’m biased,” admits Baumann, “But I think [men] should go to the dermatologist and get diagnosed what their skin type is.”3. Washing face with just any soapNot all soaps are created equal, especially when your face is concerned. But Baumann says many of her male patients ignore that fact.“[Men] are not usually very interested in all the different subtleties of skin care and all the different choices,” she says. “So a lot of times they’ll just use whatever soaps they have in their shower to wash their face.”Baumann says that’s a bad call because many popular soaps are harsh on the face. “If it’s Ivory or Irish Spring or Dial or one of those antibacterial ones that a lot of guys use, those are really drying and really irritating to your skin,” she says. (And if you’re using Lava soap, it’s a wonder you even have a face left.) “If your skin’s dry and has inflammation, that can speed up aging and cause other issues,” Baumann continues. “Sometimes acne and things like that can be caused by using the wrong soap on your face.”So once you identify whatever issues your facial skin may have, be sure to use the right cleanser.“If you have acne, you need a cleanser that’s going to kill the bacteria that causes acne,” says Baumann. “If you have rosacea, which is redness, you need an anti-inflammatory cleanser. That choice of cleanser is so important. If you’re just using your shampoo or your body soap or whatever, you’re missing that opportunity to do something good for your skin.”4. Not using a daily SPFFor too many men, sunscreens are for occasional use only — maybe for those days at the beach or those long hikes.That’s not good enough. To protect your skin from sun damage, Baumann recommends incorporating sunscreen into your daily ritual.“The sunscreen should be something that goes next to your toothbrush that you put on every single day no matter what,” she says. “I suggest using a daily SPF instead of a moisturizer.”If protection against ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer isn’t enough to get you to use sunscreen, there are plenty of other unsightly problems that a good sunscreen will guard against. “The yucky-looking brown discoloration you get on your skin — they’re called SK, or seborrheic keratosis,” Baumann says. “They’re those brown things that look like you could pick them off. People who are in the sun a lot get them. Sunscreen will prevent the SKs, the wrinkles, and, of course, skin cancer.”How do you go about choosing the right sunscreen? “Look for a light one that is gel- or lotion-based and avoid those with dimethicone, which makes SPF feel slimy,” Baumann recommends. “If your [skin is] dry, it’s easier to find a good sunscreen because a lot of them are moisturizing. If you’re oily, it’s a little bit more challenging. You should look for a gel.”5. Not using retinoids at night“When you see dermatologists and we have good skin, that’s why — it’s because of the retinoids,” says Baumann. “Retinoids do so many good things.”Dermatologists may swear by retinoids (vitamin-A-based skin care products), but a lot of guys still don’t know about them. That’s unfortunate, because Baumann says they work miracles: preventing wrinkles, sagging, and dark spots.Related: 5 Cosmetic Procedures Most Guys Don’t Know About“[Retinoids] turn on good genes and turn off bad genes,” Baumann says. “They’ll turn on genes that protect your skin from skin cancer, aging, acne, and brown spots. And they’ll turn off genes that break down cellular components like collagen that makes the skin strong.”Retinoids themselves are sun-sensitive, which is why you should put them on at night. (They do not, however, make your skin sensitive to the sun, as popular myths contend.) If you’re going to introduce retinoids to your nightly skin care routine, it’s best to do so gradually. “You have to start really slowly, like every third night for the first couple of weeks,” Baumann says. “Then every other night after a couple weeks, then eventually every night.”But the results, Baumann promises, are worth it. “I’ve been a doctor for 19 years,” she points out. “My patients who have used retinoids look younger than they did 19 years ago. The ones who don’t use it look 19 years older!”6. Shaving on dry skinYes, you might be in a hurry. Still, shaving your skin dry is an all-around bad idea. “You end up getting nicks,” says Baumann. She recommends shaving in the shower after five minutes of warm water exposure.“All that warm water kind of swells the skin a tiny bit,” she says. “So when you shave, you’re not getting quite as close to the roots of the hair. A shave that close can lead to ingrown hairs. Also [when your skin is wet], you get a better glide so the blade doesn’t catch on the skin cells. So you don’t end up with those little nicks.”7. Not using hand creamDon’t think you can walk around with dry, scaly hands and women won’t notice. News flash, they do! “We don’t like it when you shake someone’s hand and their hand’s really rough,“ says Baumann. “Men never think to put on moisturizer, especially when they wash their hands a lot.”She recommends that guys always have a moisturizer handy — in their pockets, in their bags, or in their cars — for use as needed. The result: marked improvement in your hand-to-hand contact. “Using a hand cream after washing hands can make such a difference,” she says. “As a woman, I always notice when a man has soft hands.”And if you follow these tips, chances are the rest of your well-maintained skin won’t go unnoticed either.Suggested products: “I like Cetaphil cream or CeraVe,” says Baumann. “Give it five minutes to soak in and it won’t feel slimy.”

Skin Lightening : What You Need to Know?

Dr. Sasikumar Muthu, Hair Transplant Surgeon
Some clients look forward to change their skin color using injectable products marketed to whiten or lighten their complexion. These products are potentially unsafe and ineffective, and might contain unknown harmful ingredients or contaminants. Beyond the potential harm from the product itself, improper or unsafe injection practices may transmit disease, cause infection and result injury. The Injectables available in the market today are not regulated. As a consumer you may not be aware that these products aren't approved for skin lightening at all. The promises they make are unrealistic too and comes with a price. The ingredients present in it include Glutathione, vitamin C, collagen and even human placenta. These can cause serious side effects to the consumer. So try to avoid experimenting with unapproved drugs sold through the spas and online drug stores.There are approved medications in form of creams for skin lightening and removing certain pigmentation that are quite safe. If you are looking for one of those consult your Doctor rather than buying it over the counter because the creams need to be customised to your needs and skin type.Before you go for skin lightening treatments get to SIMPLE & SAFE  Healthy Skin Routine to restore your skin.Then meet your Doctor who will help you in:Choosing an appropriate cleanser & Sunscreen with SPF 30+Choosing a moisturiser and a leave on night serum Avoid frequent change of productsConclusion:Indian skin types are well protected by nature. Once you focus on healthy skin routine the tone and colour will be restored with minimal effort. Keep it Simple & Safe always when choosing a skin treatment.