Immediate tanning or Skin hyper-pigmentation can be very worrying for some people. Unlike in Western countries, where most are fond of a tanned appearance, people in Eastern countries do not favour this look. They consider it unattractive and unaesthetic. While skin pigmentation is a natural phenomenon, hyper-pigmentation can be drastically affecting.

We will talk about what is Hyper pigmentation, Stages of tanning, Scoring your tan, and how to remove pigmentation with some common home remedies.

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What is Hyperpigmentation / Skin tanning?

Sun tanning or simply skin tanning is a process of darkening of skin color, more precisely, pigmentation of skin, due to excess melanin production, which is a skin pigment imparting color to skin. Pigmentation generally occurs at skin exposed to sunlight, where pigmentation on face is always the common of all.

It is most often a result of exposure to ultra violet radiation. People also engage in passive recreational activities deliberately to tan their skin, artificially by exposure to sun,thereby, inducing hyperpigmentation..

Moderate exposure to the ultraviolet rays contributes to the production of Vitamin D in the body, but excessive exposure to these rays is very harmful and has negative effects on our health which include skin tanning, sun burn, increased risk of skin cancer including Melanoma which is the deadliest form, depressed immune function and accelerated ageing of skin which is a worst nightmare for most of the women, who wish flawless skin tone and not some pigmentation on face.

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Phases of Tanning

The process of tanning occurs in 2 phases :

1. Immediate tanning or pigment darkening

2. Delayed tanning

Coming to the phases of tanning, we will first highlight both the process of tanning. We begin with immediate tanning-

1. Immediate tanning

The IPD or immediate tanning/pigment darkening (syn. Hyperpigmentation) is rapid darkening of the skin which begins during exposure to ultraviolet rays. The maximum effect of exposure to ultraviolet radiation is visible immediately.

Immediate skin pigmentation takes place particularly in that part of the skin where significant pigmentation is already present. It is caused by the process of Melanogenesis, which occurs after continued exposure to UVA or visible light characterized by a long wavelength. By Melanogenesis we mean production of melanin by melanocytes.

With the production of melanin ,the skin color darkens. Melanin protects the body by absorbing solar radiation but excessive solar radiation causes direct and indirect damage to the skin and the body naturally combats and seeks to repair the damage and protect the skin by creating and releasing further melanin into the skin.

Thus, this process of Melanogenesis results into increased skin pigmentation / tanning under excessive exposure to sun.

2. Delayed tanning

Delayed tanning is induced by UVB radiations also known as artificial sources of skin tanning. Delayed hyperpigmentation is a result of an increased epidermal melanin and first becomes visible after 72 hours of exposure to these rays.

The UVB rays start delayed tanning by creating an excited condition in the melanocytes (the cells that produce melanin) which in turn releases more melanin into the skin.

Who knows it better than a lady that how tough it is to bring a skin tan back to normal state.

Tanning Score- The Fitzpatrick Scale

A person’s natural skin color has an impact on their exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. The common tanning behavior of various skin types as introduced by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick is the “Fitzpatrick Scale”.

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Let’s match our skin score through this Fitzpatrick Scale.

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The UV Radiation Tanning

Sun tanning which is caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation can have diverse effects too. The most common risk of exposure to ultraviolet radiation is sunburn. Sunburn can be efficiently alleviated if not completely but upto some extent by applying suitable sunscreen which will hinder the tanning process. The worst case scenario is skin cancer which can make a person succumb to it.

The international agency for research on cancer concludes in it’s study that artificial source of tanning i.e tanning bed is under the highest cancer risk category.

What can I do to treat tanning?

With patience and care you can certainly bring your skin color to normal. Although hyperpigmentation is not really to kill you, but pogmentation on face can be irritating sometimes. There are various home made remedies suggested to remove skin tans and get your glowing skin back.

To say, you can try aloe vera, cucumber, lemon juice, yoghurt and turmeric or even bleach out that sun tan! No wonders what you do to get your skin pigmentation back to normal (pigmentation on face first!), patience and understanding is your first key.

What more? Go out with sunscreen on, or be ready to face the devil!

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