Answered by cosmetic dermatologist Dr Jaishree Sharad.
Here are some pointers in order to get rid of them:
- You must avoid sun exposure, scrubs, swimming and steam.
- Use a sunblock every time you step out in the sun.
- Take Vitamin C supplements.
- Have plenty of citrus fruits.
At bedtime, use a cream containing arbutin and licorice which will lighten the dark scales. (Read: Bleach your skin with potato to remove tan, dark spots)
If you are looking for some treatment options, you can try the following, recommended by cosmetic dermatologist Dr Shuba Dharmana.
Skin lightening creams: Ointments with hydroquinone, kojic acid, azelaic acid, retinol, etc can be used but only through a prescription from a dermatologist as they have a potential to cause irritation, rebound hyperpigmentation and skin rashes.
Laser treatments: Some laser treatments like Q-switched, IPL, fractional lasers, etc will lighten the discoloration and may be used with or without home treatment and peels.
Chemical peels: Exfoliation with peels helps reduce pigmentation and even out the skin tone. There are several types of peels in the market, the milder ones like glycolic, mandelic, lactic, etc help in superficial exfoliation of the skin layers whereas some others such as TCA and phenol peels are stronger and penetrate more in the skin layers causing more exfoliation and peeling and are meant for more stubborn pigmentation such as melasma. (Read: Get rid of dark skin patches with home remedies like milk and lemon!)
A series of peels are often required to lighten the pigmentation. Stronger peels on darker skin have a potential to cause side effects and hence must be properly administered by a dermatologist experienced in peels. This is often done usually after prepping the skin with creams and ointments.
Combination treatments: Combining 2-3 modalities helps better in reducing pigmentation. So after or during treatment with a skin lightening cream, your doctor might suggest a course of peels and laser treatments depending on your skin condition.
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