Skin whitening or lightening covers a variety of methods used to whiten (or lighten) the skin. Skin lightening methods are used to help balance out the skin coloring and to even out our skin tone.
Increased melanin production - also known as hyperpigmentation - is often referred to as melasma, chloasma or solar lentigenes.
- Melasma is a general term describing darkening of the skin.
- Chloasma is generally used to describe skin discolorations caused by hormones. These hormonal changes are usually the result of pregnancy, birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy.
- Solar lentigenes is the technical term for darkened spots on the skin caused by the sun. Solar refers to sunlight and lentigene describes a darkened area of skin. These spots are quite common in adults with a long history of unprotected sun exposure.
Aside from sun exposure and hormones, hyperpigmentation can be caused by skin damage, such as remnants of blemishes, wounds or rashes. This is especially true for those with darker skin tones.