Skin whitening is a cosmetic procedure commonly used by the populations of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, especially women. It is very controversial because the substances used can cause cancer or skin diseases.
The skin whitening treatment can consist of using chemical substances in order to lighten your skin tone by reducing the melanin concentration from your skin. This treatment can be done with several different chemicals, some of them being effective and others are proved to be toxic or with questionable safety profiles. The average price for skin whitening with different substances is around $200.
Skin whitening may also be a treatment for age spots, darkened areas, freckles or to repair sun-damaged skin.
Laser skin whitening, also known as a laser peel, consists in removing the unwanted or damaged skin. More precisely the upper layer of the skin (the epidermis) is removed, with short and concentrated beams of light and in the meantime, it also heats the underlying dermis so new skin cells are stimulated to grow. With this type of technology, you can treat different skin conditions like wrinkles, fine lines, melasma, dark spots, skin tones, acne scars, etc. Laser skin whitening is a long term treatment and even if you get a permanent type of laser whitening, it will need periodical maintenance.
A real side effect is “postinflammatory hyperpigmentation”, dark pigmentation when the treatment is more aggressive, and it is very common for people with darker skin tones.
Ablative and non-ablative laser skin whitening
Laser skin whitening has two types of techniques:
The ablative technique uses a laser with carbon dioxide and medium depth chemical peel. The technique consists of vaporizing the affected tissue by removing the top layer of the skin and a part of the underlying sub-layer.
The non-ablative technique coagulates the affected tissue and keeps the outer layer of skin intact, so it will heal and recover much faster. In this case, more treatments are needed to get the best results.
Depending on how big is the surface of the skin you want to get whitened, you will be given a local anesthetic. Even though the ablative technique has the best results on skin whitening there is a high risk of scarring, so when you decide on this treatment see an experienced laser surgeon first.
Skin whitening costs
The cost of a laser skin whitening treatment depends on the surface of the skin you want to treat and also on the type of laser. In general, the laser skin whitening treatments start from $500 and can go as high as $3,500.
The average cost for an ablative laser skin whitening treatment is $2,222 and for a non-ablative technique is $1,113. When you decide to have the laser skin whitening take into account that you will also need recovery time. Depending on the treatment you get, you may need a day or two for the actual treatment, but also a recovery time from 7 to 21 days.
Should the average working Joe get such treatment?
Even though laser skin whitening is a very effective technique you should take into consideration the potential risks and costs of each intervention. So before you get right to it, be sure that by doing so you won’t risk your financial safety.