Skin Lightening

Skin lightening can be achieved using intravenous Vitamin C and Glutathione infusions to reduce and prevent pigment formation in the skin.

Intravenous Skin Lightening involves a safe and natural treatment using antioxidants which naturally occur in our bodies to produce an even lightening result in the skin. The combination of 2 ingredients work powerfully together to simultaneously block the production of pigment formation along with depigmenting the skin. From the second decade of life our endognous production (our body self production) of glutathione decreases by approx 10% per decade.

What is used to lighten the skin?

Glutathione and Vitamin C are given together via intravenous infusion over several sessions to lighten the skin.

Glutathione is a natural occurring tripeptide amino acid well known for its antioxidant capabilities, in fact, it is referred to as “the mother of all antioxidants”. Studies both in vitro and in vivo show evidence of its anti-melanogenic effect. What this means is that Glutathione is made of three essential building blocks known as amino acids and these, when combined in their specific chain of three to form Glutathione, work effectively to prevent the formation of melanin (pigmentation) along with inhibiting the action of the enzyme Tyronaise which is involved in the maturation of melanocytes which darken the skin.


What are the mechanisms of action for Glutathione and Vitamin C

There are several mechanisms of action that Glutathione takes to lighten the skin including:

  • Preventing the cellular transport of tyrosinase to a site where it becomes a catalyst in the pigmentation production phase.
  • Direct inactivation of the enzyme tyrosinase prior to catalysing the production of pigmentation. This occurs by the Glutathione combining with the copper containing active site of the enzyme. Once the enzyme tyrosinase is deactivated melanocytes are unable to reach maturation.
  • Deactivating free radicals which activate tyrosinase.
  • Depigmenting the skin by breaking down the melanocytes.
  • Switches the production of eumelanin to pheomelanin. Eumelanin is responsible for dark brown to black pigment in the skin and pheomelanin is a fairer pigment in the skin. Therefore, switching from eumelanin to pheomelanin results in a lightening of the skin’s complexion.

Vitamin C is co-infused with the IV infusion because of it’s ability to recycle the Glutathione. That is, it keeps Glutathione in its reduced state (called GSH) inside the cells where glutathione does it’s work.

Each treatment session will take approximately 30 to 45 minutes in clinic. The treatment involves the Nurse connecting the intravenous to your preferred arm or hand and allowing the infusion to begin. In our suites you will provided with refreshments including tea, coffee and water along with your choice of magazines we have on offer or the TV to ensure your comfort through your visit. At the end of the treatment you will leave the clinic with nothing more than a small plaster. There is a risk of bruising at the injection site, similar to what you would experience when having a blood test.

The number of treatments required are varied between patients and their expected outcomes. Approximately 10 to 12 treatments are a recommended course, depending upon your skin’s response to the infusion. These treatments can be administered up to 2 times per week for accelerated results. 

Timing is everything when it comes to achieving the best results. Our most commonly prescribed course of treatments is 10 sessions twice a week over the duration of 5 weeks. At these intervals we are able to maintain high levels of GSH and Vitamin C within the system to continuously prevent and reverse pigmentation formation.

Glutathione is most effective in intravenous form as a result of its molecular make up. Glutathione is a chain of three essential amino acids (the basic building blocks) which find the stomach and gastrointestinal tract to be a hostile environment breaking it into three individual amino acids. Once their bonds are broken it is no longer known as Glutathione and fail to provide the antioxidant and skin lightening benefits you are expecting.

For this reason, whilst there are foods and supplements high in Glutathione, it is difficult to obtain sufficient levels of Glutathione through your diet and oral supplementation to achieve significant change within the body.

Thankfully, modern medicine has allowed the delivery of Glutathione directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the gastrointestinal tract, and remaining in an active state (GSH) to create effective and positive change within the body.

Vitamin C can be increased through eating certain foods, including citrus fruits and vegetables, or by taking oral supplements. The gastrointestinal system does again play a significant part in the amount of Vitamin C that can be absorbed through the gut along with high doses taken orally leading to digestive disturbances. Having the Vitamin C co-infused with the Glutathione intravenous treatment not only ensures their is the correct amount to support and recycle the Glutathione in it’s reduced state of GSH. In this reduced state it continues to block the production of pigment and provide its beneficial antioxidant effects.

Absorption into the bloodstream:

Glutathione when taken orally is degraded almost 100% leading to an inefficient result. On a completely mirrored scale intravenous Glutathione is expected to deliver 100% bioavailability in the blood stream. Even liposomal glutathione has very minimal absorption.

The percentage of Vitamin C absorption when taken orally through supplementation or dietary intake is dependent on the amount consumed and the health of the gut. It is expected that 70% – 90% is absorbed at doses between 30 – 180 mg a day. An oral intake of 1g or more per day sees a drop in absorption rate to 50% or less. Intravenous doses of Vitamin C allow for higher doses to be delivered to the blood stream without causing digestive disruptions and compromising the absorption rate.

Once the active ingredients of the infusion have left the body they no longer produce a lightening effect on the skin. As a result exposure to pigment causing factors, namely UV exposure, will see the skin begin to regain pigment and begin to darken again. Steps can be taken to reduce the level of increased pigment. Using a high SPF sunscreen, even on overcast days and during times of incidental exposure such as driving, sitting in a sunny window. Your practitioner can provide further tailored advice on how to maintain results.

Dr. Gavin Chan
Dr. Gavin Chan

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