Hi, I've been having problems with skin discoloration on my butt and groin area. It's really dark, even if I crub and exfoliate everyday there's no development. Please help me, It's putting down my self-esteem. I can't wear shorts and swim suits. Is there anything I can do to make my skin lighter?
Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in the skin.
Most prescription creams used to lighten the skin contain hydroquinone, available as 2-4% formulations. Bleaches lighten and fade darkened skin patches by slowing the production of melanin so those dark spots gradually fade to match normal skin coloration.
Prescription bleaches contain twice the amount of hydroquinone, the active ingredient, as over-the-counter skin bleaches. These should be used judiciously under medical supervision.
In more severe cases prescription creams with tretinoin and a cortisone cream may be used. These may be somewhat irritating to sensitive skin and will take 3-6 months to produce improvement.
Also creams containing Azelaic acid and Kojic acid can be used to lighte the skin pigmentation.
There are now several highly effective laser treatments. The q-switched ruby and other pigmented lesion lasers often remove pigment without scarring. A test spot in an inconspicuous place will need to be done as they sometimes make things worse instead of better.
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