Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lightening Skin Treatment Options

Creams, Serums and Lotions are topical treatments that are effective for discoloration of skin (Melasma), scars, sun spots, scars, rashes, acne, but are the slowest of the options to see results. Creams are mild and are the easiest on the skin. You may see some results with the first 30 days, but often it takes 2-6 months to diminish dark spots and reduce their appearance. Most creams contain retinoid or mild steroids and can be purchased on-line, or over-the-counter at very reasonable prices. Even a prescription written by your dermatologist is a good option compared to laser treatment,chemical peels or microdermabrasion. These topical solutions disrupt the skin’s formation of melanin pigment. Skin is more sensitive to the sun, so wearing sunscreen and reducing sun exposure is very important. The only side effects may be redness or mild skin irritation.

Laser treatment are a proven method of diminishing the skin discoloration from melasma, the over production of melanin. Lasers are targeted beams of light that reduces the build up of melanin on the skin. Melanin responds very well to light, making it an effective treatment. The laser treatments are costly, ranging from $1,000-$3,000 per treatment. It’s advised for severe skin conditions or for patches that won’t diminish with creams or lotions. Sometimes patients report skin irritations as a side effect.

Facial peels work by dissolving the outer layer of the skin allowing new cell growth. Chemical or facial peels can reduce or even eliminate melasma. The natural skin tone or pigment will appear as the new cells begin to grow. Chemical peels can cost $300-$1,000 per treatment. It may be necessary to have several treatments, making it an expensive but effective treatment. A side effect is skin irritation or a rash. Also there is a recovery time. You must be diligent using sunscreen after the peel to protect your skin from sun damage. The skin is extremely sensitive to UV rays after the peel.

Microdermabrasion, also known as microderm, is a cosmetic procedure done in the doctor’s office or at a medical spa. Light microdermabrasion is used to remove the outer layer of unwanted skin. The procedure also helps moisturize and diminish find lines and wrinkles. The procedure usually takes about 30-45 minutes and is not painful and no anesthetic is needed. There are different methods of mechanical abrasion such as oxide crystals, organic particles or jets of zinc oxide. Particles of the crystals are removed by suction with a hand piece; however, more recently, using a wand with a diamond surface is more common. Sessions cost from $200-$400 per session. It’s very important to choose a medical trained professional to get the desired results. They will know how to analyze your skin type and your skin problems to recommend the proper treatment.

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