Dark spots on the skin can provoke a desire for cosmetics improvements. But not everyone is eager to expose their skin to lasers or chemicals peels for the sake of an even skin tone. For those consumers, reports the Harvard Women’s Health Watch, gentler topical skin bleaching drugs do exist.
Most topical prescriptions for removing ages spots operate by interrupting formation of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color and create sun tans. Yet, to extract the maximum benefit from any lightening agent, it should be used in conjunction with a sunscreen holding an SPF of 30 or more.
The pigment reducing ingredient hydroquinone still makes the Harvard Women’s Health Watch list of topical skin lighteners amid a recent Food and Drug Administration ban on the drug. The FDA suspects that hydroquinone may not be safe for human use because in studies, mice fed hydroquinone developed cancer.
The controversy over hydroquinone usage hinges on the validity of whether on not the mice studies exemplify real-world applications of this ingredient in actual human drug applications. Regardless of this ongoing debate, many dermatologists still view hydroquinone as the ideal medicine for treating age spots. At present, 1-2% hydroquinone-based lightening creams are still available as over-the-counter medications.
Besides hydroquinone, tretinoin offers a less heated option for minimizing a variety of skin blemishes like acne, wrinkles and age spots. The one drawback of tretinoin is that visible signs of pigment lightening may take months to see. Tretinoin is available with a prescription under the brand names Retin-A, Renova and Avita.
Like tretinoin, doctors prescribe adapalene gel to treat acne. But off-label uses of adapalene gel include improving photo-aged skin. Brand name versions of adapalene gel include Differin.
While providing cosmetic benefits, skin lightening drugs also bear common side effects like skin irritations, swelling and redness. In some users, these conditions subside within days. Also, if you have other skin ailments or sensitivities, like eczema or sun-sensitivity, inform your doctor prior to using any skin lightening medications to avoid skin damage and possible hyper-pigmentation (darkened skin). bimatoprost eyelash serum uk