I'm a 31-yr-old African-American woman whose body skin is very uneven in tone. I have a light brown complexion, but there are very dark areas of skin on the sides of my hips, upper thighs (just underneath my butt), knees and elbows. The skin around my butt darkened in my mid-teens and has been that way ever since (I'm guessing it was due to some hormonal change, because some stretch marks came with them but I'm not overweight). The contrast is very noticeable & I'd like recommendations for treatments to lighten the dark areas to achieve a more even tone--the quicker the better. Is there a skin lightener you'd recommend for people of color? Are chemical peels or microdermabrasion an option? If so, are they more effective?
The problem you describe is very hard to treat. Creams containing 4% hydroquinone (by prescription) may help, as is true of light chemical peels (glycolic, TCA in low concentrations.) You might want to consult a cosmetically oriented dermatologist or an esthetician. But it would be best of you keep expectations low, to minimize disappointment.
At 30-years of age, I too have had problems with skin discoloration and have been fortunate enough to find a series of products that work well when used in conjunction with one another.
I have a prescription for what is called a HQ Complex Gel that contains a mixture of 4% hydroquinone and exfoliating acids. Along with using the product twice a day, I get what is called a PCA (Physician's Choice of Arizona) Peel with Hydroquinone once a month depending on what my skin needs. The PCA Line is phenomenal for people of color and what's great is the fact that the peels can be catered to your particular problem. They have an Ultra Peel 1...Forte Ultra Peel 2-you name it! I've tried them and am a very happy poster child for all that doubt the capability of such a wonderful product.
Had a two-layer Obagi Blue years ago and the results of the PCA are far better with less down time. Even the PCA combined with the Microdermabrasion has worked wonders. Actually I had a 3 layer PCA peel done yesterday along with 2 layers of the Ultra Peel 1 brushed atop of it. I'll start peeling by later on tonight and continue through Tuesday, but after that it is smooth sailing. These peel are so popular in Atlanta and A number one for dealing with Acne, scarring and pigmentation problems in general. Check out the PCA website, give them a call and ask for referrals in your area. Try to go to someone who has been doing peels for a while (ask the rep when you call), as they appear to be more capable-or less apprehensive- about changing a recipe to address your individual concerns.
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