Skin & Dermatology

Skin Whitening


Skin whitening or skin lightening is a surgical procedure that turns the dark skin of people into a lighter skin tone. Today, many people wish to achieve a fairer skin or wishes to remove any birthmarks and melasma from their body. This procedure not only helps them achieve lighter and paler facial skin, but the body as a whole. Skin lightening involves restructuring some skin tissues in order to lighten the skin by diminishing the production and absorption of melanin pigment in the body. Laser treatment is also employed in some cases, if the person has dark spots.

The procedure uses various techniques, in which peeling is considered as the most common. Expensive whitening creams such as Tretinion are applied on the skin, which allows the skin to mature quicker and then the surgeon peels it off from the skin.

During the procedure

Skin whitening surgery is usually employed by people of dark accent who desires of achieving lighter skin tone permanently, although it is quote expensive. It is a common practice in Film and Fashion industry, and if you have made a decision to have a fairer body skin, then you will have to visit a dermatologist first. There are many ways to achieve lighter skin tone such as skin lightening creams, chemical peels and laser treatment. The doctor will help you decide, which treatment would be most suited for you depending on how fairer skin tone you desire to attain and how much melanin needs to be reduced from the skin. You can carry a picture of skin tone that you have in mind to properly discuss the procedure with the doctor. You may also be recommended to meet a plastic surgeon and share your intentions with him/her to find the best advice possible on how to go through with the procedure.

Make sure to listen to their advice and follow the guidelines before the surgery. Remember that such procedure does not provide guaranteed results. On the day of the surgery, you will be asked to remove all the makeup, oil or any other particles from the body. After examining your skin tone and determining the amount of melanin to be reduced, the doctor will use laser beams and decrease the concentration of melanin in the skin. You will need to have 2-3 appointments after the procedure to correct any unevenness and aftercare of the body.

In order to whiten the skin in sensitive areas such as the genitals, the doctor will use cryosurgery that uses liquid nitrogen, which destroys the melanin cells and helps the skin to regenerate new epidermis of as lighter shade. Dark spots and any freckles can also be removed with this surgery. The whole procedure lasts between 30-60 minutes, depending on how lighter shade you wish to achieve.


As with any other surgical procedure, skin whitening surgery also involves some complications. These are:

  • Redness and swelling

  • Blistering

  • Crusting

  • Bruising

  • Bleeding

  • Skin irritation

  • Sensitivity

  • Infection

  • Too darker or lighter skin

  • Scarring

Post procedure care

Recovery from skin whitening surgery can take 14-21 days. You may need to take a few days off from your usual routine until the appearance of the skin improves. It is common to witness redness or feel uncomfortable for a few days post surgery.

During the recovery period, do not step out in sunlight. Wash your skin gently and apply aloe-Vera gel to provide sootheness and coolness to the area. Take prescribed medications as directed that usually involves painkillers such as paracetamol if you are experiencing discomfort. Apply ice packs to reduce any swelling.

Apply sunscreen for at least six months to prevent the skin from the harsh effects of the sun.Wear sun protective clothes when you step out