De tan

De-tan Treatment

You might have noticed that often your exposed body parts such as the face, arms, hands, legs, feet, back, and neck are a shade darker than the body parts which are not exposed to sunlight. 

When skin cells are exposed to the UV rays from the sun, they kick into protection mode. The melanin from melanocytes is transferred to keratinocytes, which are the surface skin cells. As a protective mechanism, the melanin pigment blocks UV radiation from further cell damage. The melanin is piled on top of the cell’s nucleus, like an umbrella; this process occurs in all skin cells exposed to sun exposure. Therefore, tanning is visible over the exposed part of the body. 

Tanning is the process by which the skin pigment (melanin) increases in the skin after exposure to the sun leading to a darkening effect. This is the natural defence process of our body when it is exposed to sunlight. It helps protect your skin from the sun like a shield. 

People with lighter skin tones typically cannot create an adequate amount of melanin pigment, the amount that gets created isn’t as efficient, and therefore the exposed areas get skin burn.

The sun’s rays contain two types of ultraviolet radiation that reach your skin: Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB). When UVA and UVB rays penetrate into the lower layer of the epidermis, it triggers cells called Melanocytes to produce more melanin; both UVA as well as UVB, are responsible for tanning.

The outer layer of our skin contains melanin which is the darkening agent. Melanin is responsible for setting the skin tone. However, it may seem like a bad thing as it’s presence decides how fair or tan one is, but melanin is a useful pigment as it protects the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When your skin is exposed to the sun’s rays, the skin produces more melanin and gets tanned. Prolonged sun exposure can also lead to skin damage like sunburns and it reduces skin elasticity, which leads to premature ageing. 

Tanning outside or indoors can have dangerous consequences. Tanning is evidence of DNA injury to your skin, as it damages the skin cells and speeds up visible signs of aging. Causes of sun tan depends on the skin type. Few skin types always burn and never tans, whereas some burn easily but tans with difficulty. Let’s find what are the major causes of sun tan – 

  • UVA Exposure:

These rays are the most dangerous element causing skin tan. It penetrates into the deeper skin layers, causing cellular damage. Melanocytes cell releases melanin which is responsible for the browned, darkened colour of the skin.

  • UVB Exposure:

UVB rays usually harm or burn the upper skin layers. Exposure to UVB surges during the summer and decreases during winter months, as the Earth’s ozone layer can block a majority of UV-B rays depending on the weather. Unlike UVA, it doesn’t trigger melanocytes. It prompts the DNA to get damage that further boosts melanin production.

There are different types of skin tan and reactions to the sun based on your skin colour.

  • Pale White – This skin type always burns in exposure to the sun but never tans.
  • White to light beige – It burns easily in sun exposure and yields minimal tanning.
  • Beige – This skin type burns moderately when exposed to the sun with a tan of light brown.
  • Light brown skin – It burns minimally and tans the skin into moderate brown.
  • Moderate brown skin – This skin type is blessed as it rarely burns. Such skins tans to dark brown which might need tan removal treatment in future.
  • Dark brown or black skin – As these skin types have a high amount of melanin, it never burns and tans profusely when exposed to the sun.

Often people misinterpret the term Sunless tanning. In India, summers usually consist of scorching heat and people think that indirect exposure to such heat can lead to tan or so-called sunless tanning. 

Sunless tanning is not a natural phenomenon. It is rather a practical alternative of getting tanned in an artificial way. There are numerous sunless tanning products called self-tanners, which can give your skin a tanned look without exposing it to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. 

Excessive Sun exposure causes DNA injury and ages the skin. Worst of all, prolonged and excessive sun exposure can lead to skin cancer. You need to take precautionary measures before stepping out on a sunny day. Here’s where a sunscreen lotion can help you.

Sunscreens block or lower the effect of the harmful sun rays. There are different types of sunscreens with different SPF numbers. Well, SPF number on a sunscreen shows the level of UVB protection it is capable of giving. Sunscreens with a higher SPF number provide a strong defence against the UV rays. 

For regular use, wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, even on cloudy or rainy days. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays, both. You can also wear a hat or scarf and sunglasses that provide protection against ultraviolet radiations.

Sun tan is a growing problem everywhere. Due to global warming, the ozone layer in the atmosphere is getting affected and UV rays are easily penetrating through it. But achieving a glowing and healthy skin is no longer difficult. 

Nowadays, dermatologists can help you reverse the effects of excessive sun exposure with modern skincare procedures. Your unwanted tan, tan lines, itchiness and discolouration can be completely removed to help reveal your even, bright skin underneath. 

Consult a dermatologist to understand your skin type and seek tan removal treatment recommendations accordingly. The areas prone to suntan that need regular de-tanning treatment include the face, arms & legs, hands & feet, back, and neck.

Topical Applications – There are numerous tan removal creams or gels that contain retinoids, vitamins C, E, and other antioxidants. These are known to be the best tan removal creams recommended by dermatologists as they increase collagen and lighten spots to remove tan from hands and face. Moreover, the alpha and beta hydroxy acids in the acid exfoliate dead skin cells and stimulate new skin cell formation. The best tan removal creams go beyond the upper layer to reach deeper into the skin to contain the production of melanin.

Chemical Peels– The use of chemical peels enables the removal of the upper dead skin cells. This is a popular tan skin removal process that aids in new skin cell formation by removing the upper tanned skin layers. These de-tanning peels use glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or carbolic acid (phenol) and are available in different concentration strengths. 

Microdermabrasion– Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive, tan skin removal process that involves manual exfoliation of the top layer of the epidermis. The removal of the tanned epidermal layer gives way to new, healthy-looking skin. Suited to any skin type and completely painless, this procedure is deemed to be the best way to remove tanning from the face as it increases new cell formation, reduces scarring and smoothes your facial skin as well.

Laser Therapy – Stubborn tans and pigmentation can be removed using laser therapy. This tan removal treatment uses light to repair and regenerate damaged skin cells. In this procedure, damaged skin is exposed to a low-level red laser, which penetrates the skin up to three inches. This induces the skin to produce fresh and healthy skin cells, thereby improving the skin’s aesthetic appeal. This tan treatment process involves the use of Fractional Q switched 1064 Nd YAG laser for tan skin removal. Skin specialists recommend this sun tanning removal technique to treat pigmentation and advanced skin tan problems.

Intense pulsed light (IPL)- Also called photofacial, this anti-tan treatment method uses light to remove pigmented spots and improves the colour and texture of the skin. The device coagulates and evacuates the blood vessels present beneath the skin surface and stimulates collagen production from fibroblast cells. A gel is applied to the skin after which an intensely bright light is pulsed through a chilled sapphire gem which is connected to the face. 

Dermatologists state this as one of the best ways to remove tanning from the face as it can correct many skin conditions with minimal downtime. Moreover, it helps to make way for a cleaner, smoother, and youthful skin through. Roughly one to five sessions are recommended to see any visible effects on the skin.

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