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How can I get rid of my tanned skin?

Q: I am a 27 years old woman and my skin has tanned on the hands and some parts of my back. My skin is otherwise fair. Is laser treatment effective for this? How can I get rid of tanning?

A:Tanning of the skin is a normal protective phenomenon. It protects you from the injurious effects of the sunlight which includes sunburns, premature aging of the skin and more importantly from the cancers of the skin. Those who do not tan properly burn very easily on beaches, snow etc. Lack of pigment is the main reason for high incidence of cancers in the whites living in the tropical regions of the world. Therefore you should not be unhappy with the phenomenon of tanning. If you don't want the tan, then keep the skin protected from light. This can be achieved by wearing protective clothes and by use of sunscreens. Pigmentation maybe due to something else. Clinical examination is necessary to rule out pathological reasons of pigmentation. Lasers help reduce pigmentation in some cases only. Depending upon the case, up to a dozen sittings may be required for appreciable improvement. This in no way reduces the need to carry on with preventive measures, as lasers are not correcting the basic disease process. In some cases it may worsen pigmentation.

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