If you have hyperpigmentation, a Cosmelan peel might help. This is a process that is started in a clinician’s office and completed at home. Also, there is a maintenance regimen that you can use to keep up the results. You can also use the maintenance product at home without the in-clinic step, but this will be less effective. Keep reading for more information on what hyperpigmentation is, how Cosmelan can help, and what to expect.
WHAT IS HYPERPIGMENTATION?
Hyperpigmentation is any condition that causes the darkening of the skin. These conditions might include melasma, sun spots, or inflammation following acne, or some skin trauma. In some cases (such as melasma), the darkening can be caused by hormonal changes brought about by pregnancy or hormonal birth control.
Some medications can also cause you to react to the sun with skin darkening. Addison’s disease is a condition that can cause skin darkening in the creases of the body, such as behind the knees or under the arms. Freckles are another form of hyperpigmentation that some people want to remove. Darkening of the skin is harmless in and of itself, but the conditions that cause it might not be.
If you are experiencing skin darkening and not from the sun or acne scarring, it is good to bring it to your doctor’s attention. Your family doctor can decide if you need testing or a referral to a dermatologist. If it is nothing serious and does not bother you, you do not have to treat it. However, if you want to have it removed, then a Cosmelan Peel might be the right choice for you.
HOW DOES COSMELAN WORK?
Cosmelan is a chemical peel that works in two ways. The first way is the peel itself, which removes the dead layers of skin to even out your skin tone and removes some pigmentations on the top layers of skin. This is the part that is done in a clinician’s office.
The other way it works is by inhibiting the production of melanin. The products you will use at home afterward will help your skin heal from the peel and prevent excess melanin from forming again. You can have the entire process repeated every six months if needed.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR TREATMENT
One nice feature of the Cosmelan peel is that you don’t have to do anything to prepare for it ahead of time unless your clinician tells you. You might need to stop using certain facial products for a week or two before your appointment. Otherwise, show up for your appointment with a clean face.
Your clinician will prepare your skin and apply the thick mask. Depending on what your clinician says is right for you, it will need to stay on your skin between six and 12 hours. When the mask goes on, you might feel a bit of burning, but this should go away quickly. You will be able to leave after the mask has been applied.
WHAT TO EXPECT ONCE YOU ARE HOME
You will have received aftercare instructions from your clinician, so you will know what time to remove your mask and how to make sure it is all off. There is a vitamin K serum that you will apply right away to begin soothing your skin. You will also have the Cosmelan II cream, which you will use two or three times daily for two weeks, then once daily after that.
After a few days, you will notice your skin peeling. At this point, your skin will look brighter and more apparent as the dead skin layers come off. Once all of it is out, which happens within a week or two, your skin will be noticeably lighter and brighter. The full effects take about a month to show up, but there will be improvement each week after the treatment.
TREATMENT SIDE EFFECTS
Some tightening, itching, redness, and discomfort is to be expected during the peeling phase of the Cosmelan process. If it is severe or does not clear up, contact your clinician. Most of the time, however, it gets better after a few days of peeling. It is essential that you use your Cosmelan II cream as directed and that you do not pick at your skin or try to help the peeling along. Let the process happen naturally; if you begin peeling at your skin, you will risk creating trauma that scars.
For the first week after the treatment, you must avoid swimming in chlorinated pools, spending extended time outdoors, and direct contact with heat (such as a sauna or going to the beach on a hot day). It would help if you also used sunscreen religiously to prevent burning. Remember that your skin will be extra sensitive to the sun. Also, the sun can cause additional darkening.
WHO SHOULD NOT USE COSMELAN?
Cosmelan is safe for most people. You should not use it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. You also should not have it if you have rosacea. Certain medications are contraindicated when having Cosmelan treatment, so talk to your clinician about any medicine or supplements you are taking. Cosmelan Peel is a good option for many people who have hyperpigmentation of various kinds.
If you are wondering whether it is right for you, talk to your clinician in advance. You might also consider checking with your doctor if you have hyperpigmentation or skin lesions that have shown up suddenly or have not gone away. While it is not a problem most of the time, in some cases, a health issue could be causing the discoloration.
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