There are several ways to make the skin lighter including using bleaching creams and skin lighteners. Another way to make the skin lighter is to stay out of the sun or stay covered up when heading outdoors.
Skin bleaching creams, obtained over-the-counter or with a prescriptions, are designed to reduce the appearance of dark spots on the skin. Some skin bleaching creams contain mercury, which can lead to poisoning, according to WebMD.
Skin lighteners work to reduce melanin in the skin. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin and hair color. Because skin lighteners contain hydroquinone, which is harmful in large doses, stronger skin lighteners are only available with a prescription.
In some cases, steroids and vitamin A are used to lighten the skin. Steroids, however, can cause issues with healing of wounds and skin infections when used improperly.
Repeated lightening of the skin can be detrimental, especially when it is done without the advice of a doctor. Along with premature aging of the skin, bleaching creams and lighteners can cause discoloration of the skin and allergic reactions.
When considering bleaching or lightening products, users should consult their doctor to determine which products are safe for use. Even over-the-counter products can pose dangers if not used properly.