If you have heard about skin bleaching before, it has been probably been in a negative capacity. With the widespread visibility of ways that skin bleaching medicines and products can be misused — think about the accusations surrounding baseball player Sammy Sosa, for instance — the medicinal uses of skin lightening are often obscured or unexplored.
To demystify skin bleaching, I spoke with Dr. Andrea Kassim, a board certified dermatologist with training in both cosmetic and laser surgery, to get the low down. Here’s everything you should know: how it works, the pros, and the possible negative effects. Dr. Kassim stressed that you should only undergo skin lightening treatments after consulting with a skin care professional.