Sunday, October 31

Skin care - Skin whitening treatment - Skin whitening methods

Skin whitening treatment - Skin whitening methodsGlutathione (GSH) for skin whitening → Glutathione health benefits → Fordyce spots

Skin whitening treatment evens out the color variation and improves fairness.

Skin whitening is a cosmetic treatment for achieving lighter, brighter and fairer tone especially when there are some uneven pigmentation problems existing.
This cosmetic procedure in highly helpful in removing acne marks, freckles, liver spots, age spots, melasma and hyperpigmentation and also for attaining general skin fairness, brightness and glow.

Topical skin whitening treatment

There are many topical applications available with single or combination of ingredients. A brief description of the skin brightening agents is given below.
Mercury compounds
Though mercury compounds were used in fairness creams, their use is now banned in most of the countries due to their systemic absorption and tissue accumulation.
Hydroquinone
Hydroquinone (C6H4(OH)2) containing topical preparations are used for suppressing melanin production.
Howver this chemical is now banned in European Union due to possible cancer risk.
Glutathione
Glutathione (C10H17N3O6S) is being used singly or in combination with other medicines in skin fairness treatment.
Glutathione, which is also a potent endogenous antioxidant, interferes with melanin synthesis and gives fairness.
Arbutin
Arbutin (C12H16O7 - hydroquinone-beta-D-glucoside) is a widely available natural melanin synthesis inhibitor.
It is present in leaves of mulberry, cranberry, blueberry, white mulberry, paper mulberry and bearberry and also present in many types of pears.
Many topical skin whitening treatment products contain this as one of the ingredients.
Tretinoin
Tretinoin (C20H28O2 - all-trans retinoic acid), a form of vitamin A, has wide topical uses like acne control, stretch mark removal and wrinkle removal.
Tretinoin has been successfully used in combination with other products in skin whitening treatment.
Vitamin C
Various forms of vitamin C (C6H8O6) like ascorbyl glucosamine, L-ascorbic acid, Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate and ascorbic acid are used in topical preparation for skin fairness treatment.
Vitamin C being a potent antioxidant removes the free radicals which induce the production of melanin.
Azelaic acid
Azelaic acid (C9H16O4) is present in cereals like barley, rye and wheat.
It is found to be effective on acne and discoloration.
Azelaic acid also shows skin whitening properties and used in fairness treatment.
Glycolic acid
Glycolic acid (C2H4O3), an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), is an effective skin whitening agent.
It is also used in glycolic acid peels for removing old dark epidermal debris, bringing out the glowing inner epidermis.
Lactic acid
Lactic acid (C3H6O3), an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), is similar to glycolic acid and apart from being used in peels, it is found to be useful in skin whitening treatment.
Kojic acid
Kojic acid (C6H6O4), a by-product of rice fermentation, is an effective inhibitor of melanin production.
Kojic acid as such is unstable in cosmetic preparations and instead of this, kojic dipalmitate is used which is equally efficient whitening treatment.

Skin whitening treatment with systemic administration

Apart from topical application, systemic administration (both enteral and parenteral) of medicines can be done in skin treatment.
The ideal candidates for oral supplementation are glutathione and glutathione precursors like N-acetylcysteine (NAC).
As glutathione is not well absorbed in the intestine, it is taken along with vitamin C in high doses to keep it in its reduced state for better absorption.
Whey proteins, S-adenosylmethionine, alpha lipoic acid, melatonin and silymarin have been found to boost the glutathione levels in the body.
Glutathione IV injections are available (though costly) which are very effective in raising glutathione plasma levels and help in improving fairness.

Skin whitening treatment by permanent depigmentation

This method is especially useful for persons with large patches of vitiligo.
They can even out their skin color with the use of chemicals like monobenzone and mequinol.
Permanent depigmentation and destruction of melanocytes may be caused by monobenzone (C13H12O2).
As a topical medicine, monobenzone treatment is used for permanently depigmenting and whitening normal skin surrounding vitiligo lesions in patients with greater than 50 percent of body surface area covered by vitiligo.
Mequinol (C7H8O2), a monomethyl ether of hydroquinone, is used in combination with tretinoin (C20H28O2) in the therapy of age spots and liver spots.
In higher doses mequinol is used as a topical application for medical depigmentation in persons with more than 50% vitiligo cover.

Laser skin whitening treatment

Intense pulsed light, nonablative lasers and ablative lasers are used especially in the case of melasma hyperpigmentation.

Dermal melasma is generally less responsive to treatment and Fraxel laser provide improvement to most of the patients.
The results of laser therapy are not consistent and in some cases result in hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation of the treated area, especially in people with darker skin tones.

Skin whitening treatment with cryosurgery

Cryosurgery (cryotherapy) is the selective application of extreme cold for controlled destruction of abnormal or diseased tissue.
Generally liquid nitrogen is used in cryosurgery for controlled destruction of epidermal cells and melanocytes.
This causes the regeneration of the epidermis, pushing out the excess melanin which peels off in a few days during desquamation.
After this whitening treatment, fresh skin cells are produced which have reduced melanin and give a fairer and brighter appearance. Cryosurgery is very useful in treating freckles.
The effects in all these skin whitening treatment methods are gradual and progressive.
Exposure to sunlight must be strictly avoided and broad spectrum sunscreens must be used after the treatment, as ultraviolet light-A, Ultraviolet light-B and visible sunlight will induce melanin production and repigmentation.

Related topics on skin care:
Glutathione for skin whitening
Pros and cons of the procedure
Permanent methods for fairness
Natural tips and remedies for fairness
Discoloration problems and hyperpigmentation
Skin whitening treatment and methods (current topic)
Get fair glowing skin complexion. Remove acne scars and blemishes from face.

Saturday, October 30

Skin care - Glutathione for skin - Glutathione skin whitening

Glutathione (GSH) for skin whitening → Glutathione health benefits → Fordyce spots

Glutathione (C10H17N3O6S), an endogenous antioxidant, inhibits the synthesis and agglutination of melanin.

Glutathione is a tripeptide nutrient with antioxidant functions.
L-glutathione can be synthesised from the amino acids glycine, L-glutamic acid and L-cysteine. GSH exists in two forms namely, glutathione disulfide (GSSG) and glutathione (GSH) with former being the the common form. The presence of GSH induces the production of pheomelanin (light colored pigment for skin whitening and fairness) and suppresses the production of eumelanin (darker brown/black pigment).

Function of glutathione in skin whitening

Being an ingredient of skin whitening products it inhibits melanin synthesis by interrupting L-DOPA's ability to bind to enzyme Tyrosinase (monophenol monooxygenase).
Glutathione induces inhibition of tyrosinase glycosylation. This blocks the maturation as well as transfer of tyrosinase from Golgi-endoplasmic reticulum-lysosome (GERL) - coated vesicles to the premelanosome.
GSH is believed to direct tyrosinase inactivation within the enzyme's active site by chelating copper.
As glutathione takes part in the conversion of dopaquinone to pheomelanin, it mediates in the transformation of eumelanogenesis to pheomelanogenesis.
Its antioxidant properties help to neutralize the peroxides and free radicals which induce melanin synthesis.
GSH modulates the capabilities of melanocytotoxic agents in depigmentation and whitening.

Advantages of glutathione skin whitening

Unlike other fairness products which can only be applied topically, GSH, apart from topical use ,can be taken orally or injected and it can work from inside the body.
In both topical and internal use it has been found to lighten, even tone, remove hyperpigmentation, freckles, age spots, acne scars and dark patches and give a glow to skin.
Simultaneously, being an endogenous antioxidant, it protects the epidermis from oxidative damages, age related disorders and sun exposure.
As we age, it is found that our plasma levels of glutathione drops steeply bringing about age related ailments like age spots and freckles.
Unlike other fairness and whitening products, which can be harmful or allergic, GSH has been found to be safe in both topical and oral use.

Methods for increasing glutathione levels for skin whitening

GSH supplements are not well absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract and it not possible to increase the circulating levels by this route.
A large dose of 3 gms also failed to increase the circulating glutathione to clinically beneficial levels and had no beneficial epidermis whitening results.
When taken along with high doses of vitamin C, the GSH is maintained in its absorbable reduced form and to some extent is absorbed and utilized.
However, circulating levels of Glutathione can be increased by supplementation with GSH precursors.
N-acetylcysteine (NAC), available as drug and supplement can increase the levels within the cells.
Whey protein and S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) are also found to increase the inter cellular GSH content of the cells.
Alpha lipoic acid, melatonin and silymarin have been found to replendish plasma levels.
Glutathione IV injections are available, but are priced high.
Injections are better and more effective compared to taking GSH orally and faster results of fairness and increased whitening are achieved.

Time taken for visible glutathione skin whitening

The process of achieving fairness is gradual taking a few months. Further GSH whitening dependant on many factors and the initial color of the skin.
Approximate time frame for different types of skin colors and tones is as follows.
Light to medium color skin2 to 4 months
Dark brown color4 to 7 months
Very dark8 to 12 months
Black 12 to 24 months

Other functions of glutathione

Apart from skin whitening function, being an endogenous antioxidant, GSH prevents oxidative damages to cell components by neutralizing reactive oxygen species like peroxides and other free radicals.
Glutathione also helps in maintaining exogenous antioxidants like vitamin C and E in their reduced forms for their antioxidant activity required for whitening.
GSH is known to have fundamental role in metabolism and biochemical reactions taking place in our cells.
Most of the systems of the body like immune system, respiratory system and gastrointestinal system and nervous system are negatively affected by the low levels of glutathione in blood plasma and cell content.
To sum up, glutathione is a safe product with scientifically proven skin whitening properties.
Related topics on skin care:
GSH Whitening/lightening advantages
Treatments for fairness
Permanent methods for fairness
Natural tips for fairness
Discoloration problems and hyperpigmentation
Glutathione (GSH) for skin whitening (current topic)
Get fair glowing skin complexion. Remove acne scars and blemishes from face.

Friday, October 29

Skin care - Skin whitening - Pros and cons of skin whitening

Skin whiteningSkin sensitive to touchFordyce spots

Skin whitening is achieved by cosmetic procedures which decrease melanin pigment production.

Skin color mainly depends on the amount of the pigment, melanin, produced and deposited by its epidermis layer.
Though the melanin production and deposition is primarily controlled by genetic inheritance, it is also induced by exposure to sunlight. Many other external factors also can affect the pigment production, with decreased production leading to whitening of skin and increased production leading to darkening.

What is skin whitening?

Skin whitening, lightening or bleaching are terms used to denote the various cosmetic methods used to achieve fair color.
Tyrosinase (monophenol monooxygenase) is an enzyme produced both by plants and animals.
This copper containing enzyme catalyses the oxidation of phenols.
From the phenols like tyrosine, melanin and other pigments are produced by the oxidative catalysis by tyrosinase.
Many cosmetic procedures inhibit the production of tyrosinase enzyme which in turn inhibits the production of melanin giving fairer color.

Skin whitening methods

Inhibiting tyrosinase enzyme
There are many methods for achieving fair color and most of them are aimed at inhibiting Tyrosinase (monophenol monooxygenase) enzyme to cut back melanin production.
Many topical applications use a combination of tyrosinase inhibiting chemicals and sun protective ingredients.
L-glutathione, when taken orally, works from inside inhibiting tyrosinase.
Melanocyte destruction
There are certain depigmentation agents like monobenzone which destroy the melanocytes, achieving permanent results.
Cryosurgery and laser treatments aims at controlled destruction of epidermis cells.
These methods can be applied to entire epidermis with normal color or specific areas of hyperpigmentation.

Skin whitening products

Many of the fairness products come as topical creams, gels, soaps, chemical peels or lotions.
Ammoniated mercury or mercury(II) chloride were once widely used in skin whitening topical creams; however the use of mercury products were banned due to their potent adverse effects on human body.
Hydroquinone is one of the widely used bleaching chemical in topical creams.
As it was found to cause leukemia in some animals, it was banned in European Union for cosmetic use.
Arbutin ( hydroquinone-beta-D-glucoside) is also found to be potent fairness chemical, especially in its pure forms ((alpha-arbutin, beta-arbutin, and deoxy-arbutin).
Arbutin is avialable in extracts of mulberry (Morus bombycis), paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera), white mulberry (Morus alba), bearberry (Uva ursi) and Mitracarpus scaber extract.
Azelaic acid, Tretinoin, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), kojic acid, Glycyrrhetinic acid and vitamin C are the other ingredients in the skin fairness products.
Ellagic acid, ferulic acid and vitamin E also help in getting fairer when taken orally.

Skin whitening advantages

In persons affected by hyperpigmentation (solar lentigines, melasma or chloasma), uneven pigmentation, freckling and dark spots skin fairness treatment can be of great help particularly to boost their self-confidence.
Many formulations of natural origins are being produced and marketed which are found to be harmless and are found to be effective.

Skin whitening: possible harmful effects

Many products use active ingredients like hydroquinone and mercuric chloride, which have been found to be potentially harmful and there use is restricted in cosmetic products in many advanced countries.
However these harmful products are still being produced and marketed in developing countries posing many health risks like cancer.

Related topics on skin whitening
Glutathione
Treatments
Permanent methods
Natural tips
Discoloration problems
Skin whitening pros and cons (current topic)
Get fair glowing skin complexion. Remove acne scars and blemishes from face.