Permanent skin lightening can only be achieved by destruction of melanin-pigment producing melanocyte cells. Skin fairness and lightening is possible now as so much of research work is focused on getting permanent fair complexion.
Once you stop the products or the treatment, you are back to square one, as genetically controlled melanin production takes over.
There are two aspects of skin pigmentation and one of them is hereditary factor which is a permanent program.
Genes have the permanent instructions about the amount of melanin our skin should produce leading to its darkening or lightening.
Another pigmentation process is by various biological reactions of the body to exogenous and endogenous factors.
Factors like sun exposure (tanning), chemical exposure (hypo and hyper-pigmentation), free radicals (melasma and dark spots), aging (freckles, liver spots or age spots) and idiopathic (with unknown reason) permanent skin lightening or darkening cause blemishes to appear on our skin spoiling the evenness in complexion.
Various homemade as well as chemical remedies are available to achieve fairness and lightening and protect skin from permanent damage due to prolonged neglect of the adverse conditions.
However continuous treatment, protection from sun exposure and sunscreen are essential for extending the skin lightening effects achieved.
Can homemade recipes give permanent skin lightening?Many of the homemade skin lightening recipes no doubt improve fairness and make you look a few shades fairer.
Many traditional tips for fair complexion are effective with years of experience and experimentation behind them.
Many of the recipes are scientifically tested and are scientifically explainable.
However, if permanent skin lightening is claimed, we have to take with a pinch of salt.
Enhancing exfoliation and free-radical control are the two main actions of most of the remedies.
Skin growth is a continuous process and the outer dead epidermis is shed by desquamation.
This dead debris holds lots of melanin pigment and if it is removed by exfoliating ingredients the inner layers of epidermis show up with lightening in color.
Melanin pigment production itself is an oxidative process. When there is higher presence of free radicals, as during sun exposure, the melanin production is speeded up, which darkens the skin.
Most of the skin lightening ingredients have antioxidant properties.
Because of their antioxidant properties the oxidative processes in the skin are reduced, cutting down the pigment production.Many ingredients like lemon juice, tomato juice, honey, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, oatmeal and yogurt show either antioxidant property or exfoliation property; many have both the properties.
Are results of skin lightening treatments permanent?There are many chemicals available for fairness and lightening and except for one or two of them permanent results cannot be realized.
Hydroquinone, glutathione, arbutin, tretinoin, glycolic acid and kojic acid are some of them.
They show good results and are especially useful for treating acne scars, freckles, liver spots etc.
They are the main ingredients in most of the cosmetic products.
Many of these cosmetic procedures inhibit the production of the enzyme tryosinase, which in turn inhibits the production of melanin pigment.
After these treatments, maintenance application must be carried on to retain the skin lightening achieved.However, monobenzone which should be used under the advice of a doctor gives permanent lightening.
Monobenzone in permanent skin lightening (only for vitiligo)Monobenzone (C13H12O2) is the monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone which is a tasteless, white crystalline powder and goes by the popular brand name Benoquin (20% monobenzone).
Monobenzone has been in use for permanent skin lightening in treatment of vitiligo (an autoimmune disease wherein the body's own immune system kills the melanocytes).
The exact way monobenzone works in still not clear and in some cases its action may not be predictable.
Monobenzone appears to cause permanent destruction of melanocytes and give depigmentation.
When monobenzone treated skin is studied under microscope it shows, very similar to vitiligo affected one, being devoid of melanocytes.
Monobenzone is a potent depigmenting agent and is medically contraindicated in all conditions except in extensive disseminated vitiligo (leukoderma) wherein more than 50% area suffered pigment loss.
Monobenzone, being called monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone, should not be taken as a substitute to hydroquinone as both the drugs have fundamentally different ways of actions in depigmenting.NEVER repeat NEVER use monobenzone as fairness cream or to remove scars and age spots as the application will have irreversible permanent devastating effects on the system.
Side effects in monobenzone permanent skin lighteningNormal areas, which are distant from areas of application, may get depigmented (satellite depigmentation) in a irregular manner and the depigmentation may be permanent.
In some persons monobenzone has been found to cause dermatitis and burning sensation.
In some cases vesicular dermatitis was seen only on the normal pigmented skin.
In some cases monobenzone was found to cause acquired conjunctival melanosis.
Family members coming into contact with treated area of skin soon after monozone application have the risk of getting their normal skin depigmented.
The treated area acquires permanent reddish pink color similar to albinism and becomes photo-sensitive.In some persons, follicular melanocytes may survive and produce resistant pigment spots
Precautions in monobenzone permanent skin lighteningMonobenzone cream is only for external use and it should be kept out of reach of children.
A physician or Poison Control Center must be immediately contacted in case of accidental application or ingestion.Great caution must be taken when used on pregnant women and nursing mothers as its effects on fetus and newborn is not known.
Long term studies on permanent impairment of fertility, mutagenesis and carcinogenesis are yet to be concluded.
Its safety in young children is yet to be established.Prolonged sun-exposure of areas of skin treated with monobenzone can get sunburnt and sufficient protective precaution with sunscreen must be taken
Related topics on permanent skin lightening:
Glutathione for bleaching and fairness
pros and cons of bleeching
Discoloration and hyper-pigmentation problems
Treatments and methods
Permanent skin lightening (current topic)