Ask Dr. Sethi: Skin Lightening

Ask Dr. Sethi: Skin Lightening

Is skin lightening permanent?

Great question! Skin lightening involves receiving a series of 15 intravenous injections of the antioxidants Glutathione and vitamin C which will eventually inhibit melanin production.

Melanin production is stimulated by UV/ sun exposure, which means that after achieving results after a series of injections it is important to protect your skin from prolonged UV exposure with a physical barrier sunblock. Additionally, doing a monthly maintenance dose of the IV treatment or a daily oral 1000mg dose of oral glutathione and vitamin C will also help maintain results. In my office more than 80% of our clients do a monthly maintenance IV along with 1000mg of oral glutathione which helps them keep their results permanently.

How soon can I see results with IV skin lightening treatments?

This is one of the most popular questions we get.

Everyone is unique and there are multiple factors that affect how quickly you will start seeing results with your treatments. We have designed a program of 15 weekly injections and the majority of our patients start seeing results around the 12th injection.

On a few rare occasions, a patient may need up to 20 or more injections to start seeing results. The great news is you will start seeing other benefits of IV glutathione therapy like improved energy levels and immunity as soon as you start your injections.

Is skin lightening safe?

Absolutely!

Glutathione and vitamin C fight free radicals in the liver and kidney and Glutathione is in fact used to reverse liver damage after chemotherapy. In countries like the Philippines, there have been reports of infections and air emboli caused by IV glutathione injections, but these were performed by unlicensed individuals using glutathione preparations from questionable sources. We only use sterile needles and our antioxidants are sourced from licensed compounding pharmacies in the United States, which is why there have not been any reports of adverse effects with IV skin lightening treatments in the US.

All injections are performed by a physician, registered nurse or Nurse practitioner. It’s important to note that if you find anyone other than these professionals offering skin lightening, they are doing so without appropriate licensing. A final thing to know is that compounding pharmacies are only allowed to dispense glutathione or vitamin C to physician offices so if these treatments are not being provided at a physician’s office, then they are not sourcing the antioxidants from a safe source.

Is IV skin lightening safe during pregnancy?

As there have not been any studies on the effects of glutathione and vitamin C IV injections in pregnant women we cannot say with certainty that it is safe or harmful. I advise all my pregnant patients to stop their IV skin lightening treatments and resume after pregnancy as a precaution.

How long can I spend in the sun if I am doing IV skin lightening treatments?

Melanin pigment is stimulated by sun exposure, which is why it is imperative that you are diligent about sun protection during and after treatment. Using a sun block containing high doses of Zinc and/or Titanium Oxide with at least an SPF 30 is optimal.

If you are going to have more than 30 minutes of continuous sun exposure, definitely wear a hat and long sleeved clothing to provide additional coverage. It is also important to remember that most of our sun exposure occurs gradually through the course of the day while we are driving, running errands, or even from the windows at home. This is why it is essential to wear sunblock daily regardless of the weather or if you are staying home or not.

 

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