As you look around, you may notice the varied skin colours around you. It’s this colour that makes you unique and beautiful. Ever wondered what gives each of us this unique colour? A brown/black pigment found in your skin is responsible for your complexion, known as melanin. In this blog, we’ll try to understand what melanin is and the ways to reduce excess melanin.
What Does Melanin Do To Your Body?
Melanin protects your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun besides giving your skin its colour. It absorbs 50% to 75% of UV rays and can also decrease the risk of skin cancer.
What Increases Melanin Production?
Sunlight is the major cause of increased melanin production. It happens because the body generates melanin to protect your skin from harmful UV rays as a defence mechanism. Some of the other factors that increase melanin production are:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Vitamin deficiencies
Does More Melanin Mean Darker Skin?
Yes, the higher the melanin pigment, the darker the skin.
Can You Reduce Melanin in Your Skin?
Dark spots and uneven skin tone can be the result of excess melanin in your skin. In these cases, reducing your melanin pigment is the way to go. Moreover, reducing melanin levels in your skin helps lighten your sun-darkened skin and even out your natural skin tone.
In-Clinic Procedures to Reduce Melanin
- It contains high concentrations of acids that help remove the top layer of the skin.
- Through this exfoliation, the melanin deposited in the top layer gets removed, and a fresh layer of skin gets exposed.
- Though, it does have some side effects that include redness and burning.
- Use of sunscreen is mandatory while undergoing chemical treatment as the new skin cells can be easily sun-damaged.
Reduce Melanin Through Microdermabrasion
- Microdermabrasion removes the top layer of the skin using a handheld device.
- It uses fine crystals to scrape the top layer of the skin.
- By exfoliating the skin, it helps get rid of excess melanin pigment.
- It is a low-risk procedure and is effective at reducing melanin and making the skin smooth.
- Laser resurfacing uses beams of light to target the skin layer.
- Ablative and non-ablative are two types of laser resurfacing. Your doctor will suggest the appropriate type of laser based on your skin type and concerns.
- In ablative lasers the top layer of the skin is removed via wounding. Whereas non-ablative lasers induce collagen growth in the epidermis.
At-Home Treatments to Reduce Melanin
- You can reduce excess melanin by using Kojic acid.
- Possible side effects include skin itching or redness, etc.
- Prolonged use of kojic acid can make your skin sensitive to the sun.
- Hydroquinone is one of the most effective treatments available to reduce melanin from the skin.
- Over time, hydroquinone lightens the skin, but it may cause dryness in some people. It is best not to use this product without the advice of your dermatologist as over time, it can cause something known as rebound hyperpigmentation if not used right.
Retinoids Can be Beneficial to Reduce Melanin
- Retinoids help in skin cell turnover and disperse the remaining melanin granules evenly on the skin.
- The new skin cells produced are sensitive and require sunblock. Hence, always use sunscreen when using retinoids.
Melanin production in the body is a natural process. However, the issue arises when it is produced in excess and certain areas of your body appear uneven toned. It can be a cause for concern for many amongst us. Therefore, consulting your doctor regarding hyperpigmentation and the reason behind is the appropriate way to deal with it. They can examine your condition and suggest what will work for you.
1. Is melanin good or bad for you?
Melanin is always good. Our genetics determine the amount of melanin our skin cells will produce. The problem only happens when it gets produced in excess amounts in certain areas due to skin trauma, hormonal changes, etc.
2. Which skin tone is most attractive?
Unlike common perceptions, every skin tone is gorgeous. Forget what society wants you to believe and embrace everyone.
3. What is melanin deficiency?
It is a condition in which your body produces low or no melanin. Being deficient in melanin can cause various diseases and disorders. For instance, the complete absence of melanin can lead to a condition known as albinism.
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