skin lightening surgery

1. What is skin lightening surgery?
2. Types of skin lightening surgeries. What is melanin reduction surgery? What is laser skin whitening?
3. How much does skin lightening surgery cost in USA?
4. Is skin lightening surgery painful?
5. Is skin lightening surgery safe?
6. Recovery after Skin Lightening Surgery 
7. Complications and side effects of skin lightening surgery.
8. Is skin whitening surgery permanent?

Some people use skin lightening cosmetic products for their skin lightening, while others opt-in for other solutions, like skin lightening surgery. There’s a big disconnect when it comes to what people know and what’s the truth about lightening surgery. Let’s dive right into this “taboo” topic.

What is skin lightening surgery?

Skin lightening surgery is a procedure that works to get rid of dark patches, blemishes and pigmentation, and make your skin tone appear lighter than it normally is. It either works by lowering brown pigment(melanin) which affects your natural skin color, or by intensive exfoliation of the top layers of the skin. 

Skin lightening surgery may reconstruct your skin tissues and provides you with an evener skin tone.  However, these surgeries tend to lower sun protection because it may quite literally peel off a layer of your skin or thin it. Aggressive chemical peels and laser treatments are two of the most popular ways on the market to lighten your skin surgically.

Types of skin lightening surgeries

What is melanin reduction surgery?

Melanin is the brown-black pigment that affects the color of your skin, eyes and hair. More melanin is there in your body, darker your skin, hair and eyes can be. Melanin is created by your body naturally, to protect you from the sun. Furthermore, your hormones and genes also affect melanin production.

Most of the skin lightening surgeries involve reducing the concentration or production of melanin in the skin. These surgeries help to suppress the enzyme that is essential in forming melanin. There are different ways to decrease the existing amount of melanin in your body. And it is advisable to consult a dermatologist for proper guidance on these procedures. 

What is laser skin whitening?

Using a laser for skin whitening isn’t as scary as it sounds, in fact, it’s may be safe and provide descent results if performed correctly. This method of skin lightening uses short bursts of laser light to remove dark spots and ultimately lighten your skin tone. This procedure is typically done by a qualified dermatologist, and they use a hand-held laser emitter moving it back and forth to “peel off” a darker layer of skin.

A laser can be used not only to lighten your skin complexion, but also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, age spots and blemishes. 

Laser skin whitening works by either peeling off the outer layer of skin, or, by damaging the cells that produce melanin. 

Aggressive chemical peels and laser treatments are lightening procedures that most people get done. The results may take some time, however, in many cases, these methods can provide lasting effects.

Before going ahead with any of these procedures educate yourself on all the risks with a certified dermatologist. Moreover, laser treatments may work well for some individuals, while other may not notice a difference. Consult a specialist when choosing the right skin lightening surgery for you. 

How much does skin lightening surgery cost in the USA?

Skin lightening surgery can be a very costly procedure. In the USA each session costs between $150 to $400 depending on location and your needs. 

The cost of the skin lightening surgery also depends on the equipment used, the size of the area being treated, how much lighter you want to get, as well as the experience level of the practitioner.

Different areas of the body require a certain amount of treatments to see results. Some areas require 4 treatments while others need 30. Treatment don’t necessarily end there, maintenance is required every few months to keep up with the results.

Furthermore, skin lightening procedures are usually not covered by your insurance, and you will most likely have to pay for them out of your pocket. 

Is skin lightening surgery painful?

The level of pain during skin lightening surgery may vary, depending on individual pain tolerance. The more sensitive your skin, the more painful the procedure likely feel. 

You may experience some discomfort, light heat or pinching during the procedure, and mild redness and irritation after the procedure.  Some practitioners may offer a numbing cream prior to the procedure, to minimize the pain.

Is skin whitening surgery safe?

Skin lightening surgery can be a very dangerous if performed incorrectly. Keep reading this article, to find out about the complications and side effects of this skin whitening procedure. 

The best thing about laser whitening is the non-invasive aspect of it which makes it very safe in most cases. Moreover, in most cases most skin types are suitable for laser procedures with impeccable results. However, it is important to do the necessary research on the right doctor.

You may also want to test a small area of your skin, before the skin lightening surgery, to see how it reacts. If you do not have any complications, then you may consider whitening larger areas of your skin a few weeks later. 

It is important to know that there are no actual health benefits in skin lightening procedures. However, it can give you a desirable cosmetic effect on your skin. You may feel more confident and happier with lighter skin tone, but these procedures do not benefit your health and do not treat other conditions. Always consult a a dermatologist about the benefits and risks.

Skin Lightening Surgery Recovery 

Skin lightening surgery recovery time takes from 1 to 2 weeks. Some patients may even need to take a few days off work to let their skin recover from laser skin lightening. 

It is common for skin to appear red-ish and swollen for a couple days post surgery. It may even be bruised and crusty for about a week. Again, it depends on individual skin sensitivity. 

Usually the skin starts to fade to a lighter color over the next couple of weeks after the surgery. However, in some cases, it takes 3-4 procedures before clients start seeing the results. The skin is also becomes very sensitive to a direct sunlight for up to 6 months after the surgery. Therefore, the patients have to use sun protection religiously after skin lightening surgery. 

Post Skin Lightening Surgery Guidelines: 
  • do not pick or touch the scabs or crusts that may form on top of the treated area.
  • wash the treated area with chemical free soaps
  • apply aloe vera gel or petroleum jelly to sooth and cool the area
  • take painkillers or apply ice wrapped in a towel to reduce swelling 
  • regularly apply sunscreen to prevent sunburn 

Complications and side effects of skin whitening surgery

It can take one to two weeks for your skin to completely recover from skin whitening surgery. Furthermore, you may have some side effects which include:

  • mild swelling
  • light bruising
  • crusting around the area
  • you may experience blistering
  • skin dryness and also tightness
  • skin texture difference 
  • extra skin sensitivity for up to 6 months

Some complications may come about that aren’t as common and shouldn’t be confused as regular side effects.

  • Scarring
  • skin infection
  • skin turning darker or on the other extreme turning too light

Before undergoing skin lightening procedure, your doctor should discuss these complications with you in case you experience them and can aid yourself. Although if you experience these issues that you aren’t prepared to aid yourself don’t hesitate to call your dermatologist as they will be able to assist you.

Are the results permanent?

Every person’s body continually creates melanin. The amount is determined by genetics, hormones and sun exposure. Therefore, all skin lightening methods require constant support. 

In order to achieve best results, along with skin lightening treatments, you may want to use skin lightening beauty products, implement skin lightening diet and hydrate properly

You can lighten and perhaps remove existing hyperpigmentation, however, it may return. Therefore, it’s not possible to permanently lower your body’s melanin production without regular skin lightening treatments.


Whichever way you choose to lighten your skin, make sure you do your research, because that is quite frankly the most important part. Skin lightening surgery may be a great option for you, depending on your needs. In fact, it is an effective and popular way to lighten skin. However, you should consult a specialist on what type of skin whitening surgery suits you best. 

You might also like: 

==>  What Causes Dull Skin?