If you suffer from skin discoloration, your first line of defense may be fade creams for hyperpigmentation. Prior to conducting any type of treatment at home, however, it's important to understand what you're dealing with. Then you can begin the process of choosing an appropriate skin care product.
Healthy skin appears "normal" - that is, it is one hue and does not vary in tone. However, some individuals may experience an illness or injury that changes the color of the skin slightly. If it gets lighter, it is known as hypopigmentation. Color that becomes darker is called hyperpigmentation. This change occurs when the production of melanin (the substance responsible for the skin's pigmentation) increases. Various conditions, such as Addison's disease or pregnancy, may cause it, or it may occur because of certain types of drugs. Most commonly, though, it is the result of excess exposure to sunlight.
These patches don't appear overnight; they will often show up gradually. These particular types of marks may be better known as age spots. Needless to say, individuals with visible spots seek viable, effective treatments that will make a difference in the appearance of their skin.
Using Fade Creams for Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation can be corrected by using a variety of products and treatments, ranging from alpha hydroxy peels to hydroquinone-based topical creams. Hydroquinone is the active ingredient in fade creams that typically and safely fades dark spots over time. Most of these creams contain a combination of other active ingredients, such as the aforementioned alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), an exfoliating ingredient that speeds hydroquinone's lightening process. Vitamin E is also frequently added to provide moisture and keep the skin supple. This is especially important because hydroquinone and various exfoliants can be drying and potentially irritating.
There are many fade creams for hyperpigmentation on the market today, which can make it quite challenging for those who seek the perfect product for their skin. Sometimes a bit of trial and error is necessary to determine which cream is best, but in all cases it is important to note that hydroquinone is, by nature, not a fast-acting ingredient. In fact, it can take weeks of usage before the skin shows visible results. Though the production of new melanin is blocked soon after first use, the melanin that caused the darker skin in the first place takes quite a while to fade. This natural exfoliation process requires a regular commitment in order to truly see satisfactory results.
Though there are many fade creams available, some stand out from the pack. Among them are:
- Alpha Hydrox Spot Light Targeted Skin Lightener: This spot treatment is formulated to reduce the appearance of freckles, age spots, liver spots and other skin changes that are associated with pregnancy or medication (namely oral contraceptives). It contains a combination of 10 percent glycolic alpha hydroxy acid and hydroquinone, which work together to lighten discolorations.
- Ambi Skin Discoloration Fade Cream: Available for both normal and oily skin types, this advanced treatment blends vitamin E, alpha hydroxy acid, sunscreen and hydroquinone together to lighten skin over time. The company advises regular use in order to potentially see visible results in as few as two weeks.
- PCA Skin Pigment Gel: It's pricier than the average fade product, but this formula is renowned for its ability to fade spots and improve the skin's texture. The gel formula is cool and sinks in cleanly, without any greasy or sticky residue left behind.
- Palmer's Skin Success Eventone Fade Cream: Ideal for all skin types, this rich skin cream is formulated for daily use and infused with vitamins C and E for soft, flake-free skin.
If your skin does not respond to everyday fade creams, you might consider paying a visit to your dermatologist and learning more about a prescription product. One such treatment is Lustra, a well-known topical cream that contains four percent hydroquinone. There are three formulas available; the "Ultra" version contains anti-aging retinol, which helps improve the skin's texture without irritating it.