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Irregular Skin Pigmentation

Dear Sugar
I am Asian, and my knees and elbows are darker than the rest of my skin. Is there anyway to make them lighter? Multicolored Michelle

Dear Multicolored Michelle
Discoloration in Asian skin is very common and there are several treatments available to you. Skin bleaching works, but you have to be careful not to use any bleaches that contain steroids or mercury. Steroids can cause blood vessel streakage, permanent redness and skin thinning. Mercury is poisonous. Tretinoin is a topical solution. If it's applied daily for several months, it can be very effective. The Obagi Nu Derm Skin Rejuvenation System works very well as does Jessner's Solution (a mild peeling agent that can be used to lighten areas of hyper pigmentation and to treat aged sun damaged skin). Generally, any products with hydroquinone will also help to safely lighten dark areas. Lastly Laser Resurfacing is all the rage. It's a technological method that can help reverse aging and some sun damage. It's not magic, but if you talk to the "over 60 crowd" they'll say it's pretty close!

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