What causes Sun Tanning and what are various ways to get rid of it?

Sun tanning is something that occurs when sunlight hits the skin that leads to the formation of a pigment called melanin. It is that brown shade that resembles the tanned skin. Skin gets tanned when it comes in contact with ultraviolet rays of sunlight, i.e., UVA and UVB.

Our skin has three main layers, the topmost of which is the epidermis. UVA, when touches the skin and reaches the lower layers of this top layer, it induces the formation of melanin. Melanin also acts as a barrier for UVA rays to damage the skin. On the other hand, the UVB rays lead to sunburn, damaging the upper layers of the epidermis.

How much time does it take to tan the skin?

It is a fact that the more skin is exposed to the sun, the more melanin is formed, and the more it gets tanned. Every type of skin takes a different time to get tanned. It depends on various factors for the skin to get tanned, such as the natural skin tone, the intensity of the sun rays, sensitivity of the skin, your location and its altitude, your usage of sunscreen, and its Sun Protection Factor, etc.

What are the various treatments available for removing sun tan?

Tanning leads to the enhancement of dead skin and pigmented cells that gradually and eventually make the skin look dry, dull, and wrinkled. There are a few treatments that you can use to get rid of sun tanning but only after consultation with your doctor.

1. Topical Applications

It stands for gels and creams that help in removing tan. It’s the content of Vitamins C and E, retinoids, and such other antioxidants that increase collagen and help in fighting pigmentation. These tend to be the best creams for removing tan and hence, are highly recommended by dermatologists.

The alpha and beta hydroxy acids present in these creams exfoliate the top layers of dead skin cells and promote the formation of new skin cells. The best topical creams go deeper into the skin, increase the thickness of its deeper layers, and thereby provide firmness to the skin.

2. Microdermabrasion

It is a non-surgical and non-invasive treatment done for removing skin tan. A handheld device is used to exfoliate the outer layer of skin. There are various ways of doing it, depending on the device used, like a diamond-tip handpiece, crystal microdermabrasion, hydradermabrasion, etc. It is a completely painless procedure of removing tanning from the face and suits every skin type. Just like any other treatment, it is also helpful in forming new cells, reducing scars, and smoothening the skin.

3. Laser treatment

Generally, the laser is used in every operation or treatment, whether it’s small or big, and the same goes for skin treatments. Laser therapy uses light to rejuvenate and regenerate damaged skin cells. A red laser of low intensity is used to perforate the skin up to three inches or so. This is highly effective in producing new and healthy skin cells. If someone suffers from hyperpigmentation and requires advanced treatment for sun tanning, this is the treatment that most specialists suggest.

4. Chemical Peeling

Chemical peeling is a treatment wherein certain acids like glycolic acid, lactic acid, trichloroacetic acid, carbolic acid, salicylic acid, etc. are used to exfoliate the facial skin. This removes the damaged skin cells and de-tans the skin uniformly over the treatment area. It is relatively a safer tan removal procedure as it leaves you with minimal or no infection when treated by a certified and qualified professional.

This procedure helps in the evening of the skin coloring, removing acne and scars, and reducing wrinkles to a great extent. If you go for a light chemical peel, you should visit the professional every two to five weeks and if it’s a medium one, you need to repeat it after three to nine months, depending on how your skin reacts to it.

5. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

It is well known as a photo facial among people. This tan removal treatment uses light to treat the affected areas. The IPL device moves the hidden blood vessels and regulates the production of collagen from fibroblast cells. After applying gel on the skin, an intensely bright light is transmitted through a cold sapphire gem which is further connected to the patient’s face.

This procedure treats the effects of sun exposure without any surgery. Since it transmits more than one wavelength of pulsating light, it can help you in sorting various skin conditions, all at once. People can get rid of more than half of the broken blood vessels after two to three treatments. Since this light does not damage any other tissue and targets only the requisite one, it helps in early recovery.

Tips for sun tan removal

In a country like India, you just can’t avoid sun tan completely but you can protect your skin the most and follow certain tips by which you become less affected.

1. Applying sunscreen is a must, even if you stay indoors. If you are going out, apply sunscreen of at least SPF 30 minimum 20 minutes before stepping out.

2. Try to avoid going out in the sun between 10 am and 4 pm because sun rays are highly intensive and hottest during this time.

3. Applying ice packs and raw aloe vera after coming in from the hot sun can give you relief from sunburn.

4. Don’t forget your lips as these are highly sensitive and require all the way more protection than the rest of the body. So apply a lip balm or lipstick containing a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more.

If you want to know more about your skin and Hair concerns, we are here for you. Get in touch with our experienced dermatologists on the toll-free number 1800 1200 70000.