Skin lightening is also known as skin whitening or skin bleaching and is used to lighten skin color and even out skin tones. Skin lightening may be used to make moles and birthmarks match the rest of a person’s skin. When vitiligo is the problem skin lightening may be used to give a more uniform appearance in the areas not affect by the condition.
The pigment, melanin is responsible for the color of a person’s skin and the darkness of that color. Melanin is also responsible for providing protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. All people, regardless of skin color can suffer from uneven pigmentation which is caused by too much or too little melanin.
Hyper-pigmentation which is increased melanin production can be the results of overexposure to the sun, hormone changes, injury or skin surgery, stress and even some autoimmune diseases.
The desire for an even skin tone will prompt some people to try products and procedures to lighten their skin by the removal of hyper-pigmentation. These treatments range from the use of creams to laser treatments.
Laser surgery is a drastic measure of treatment for hyper-pigmentation and is used only in cases where not else has worked. It is most often used for even out the skin when vitiligo is the problem. Vitiligo is a condition where the pigment cells are destroyed and white patches appear. The cause of vitiligo is not known but is thought to be an autoimmune disease and is often an inherited condition.
Another type of treatment that is used only when other treatments have failed is pulsed light treatment. It consist of directing beams of light milder than used in lasers to the affected area and are administered in pulses.