Blotchy, discoloration is a common cosmetic problem that can be pronounced in people with darker skin color. Recently, intravenous glutathione injections have been promoted and administered in certain medi-spas as a treatment to diminish skin blotches and generally lighten skin color. Glutathione is an antioxidant found naturally in human cells. It may cause the skin to lighten by deactivating tyrosinase, the enzyme that helps produce melanin, the skin pigment.
Intravenous glutathione is being promoted as an alternative to bleach creams that have limited benefits and potential side effects. There are no large-scale studies on the use of intravenous glutathione for skin lightening or its long term side effects. Evidence for its effectiveness comes from individual case reports or anecdotal experience. Unfortunately, a growing number of women around the world have been using this unproven treatment to reduce blemishes and for skin lightening. It’s wise to stay clear of this treatment that lacks evidence-based proof of safety and effectiveness.