Exposure to sunlight causes tan.  Sun rays have harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation and exposure to this radiation stimulates the skin to produce melanin which is a skin pigment that gives colour to the skin, hair and eyes.  Then effect of increased production of melanin causes the skin to become dark within 48 hours.  Enhanced melanin production protects the skin from damage as melanin contains sun protection factor from 2 to 4, although SPF 15 is at least required to protect the skin from harmful UV radiation.  Preventative measures need to be taken before exposing yourself to direct sunlight.  Although tan does not cause any discomfort, it is advisable to remove the tan as you are at increased risk of developing skin cancer if you have a tan.

Although preventative measures such as sun avoidance and using sun protection creams and lotion can protect you from having a tan, there are treatments available which can remove the tan completely.  An opinion from a Dermatologist is always useful to know which is the correct treatment for you.

  • Light Chemical Peels
  • Intense Pulsed Light (Photofacial)
  • ALA-PDT (aminolevulanic acid-photodynamic therapy)
  • V-Beam Laser
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Ablative Laser Resurfacing: This procedure is carried out when the damage due to sun exposure is deep. An intense wavelength of light is passed into your skin to remove the upper layers.  In addition to tan removal, it also increases collagen production and diminish wrinkles. The skin looks tighter and smoother following this procedure.
  • In this procedure, the upper layer that contains damaged and dead cells is removed by passing light of a specific wavelength in thousands of columns into your skin.  Since this procedure targets a precise location, the surrounding tissues are not damaged.