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Dr. Alpana Mohta Ranka, MD, DNB, IFAAD, is a dual-board-certified dermatologist with over 90 research publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals.


Glutathione Therapy: What is it? How does it Work?

Updated: Oct 15, 2023

Glutathione Therapy is a relatively new and popular treatment paradigm used in various fields of medicine, including dermatology. In this article, we'll discuss what this therapy entails, how it can enhance your skin's appearance, and the precautions to remember. So, let's dive right in!


Table of Contents


What is Glutathione Therapy?

Glutathione Therapy refers to the administration of glutathione in the human body. This therapy involves supplementing the body's glutathione levels to reap its numerous skin-related benefits.

It is administered in the human body through multiple routes:

  1. Intravenous (IV)

  2. Intranasal

  3. Oral

  4. Sublingual

  5. Topical

What is Glutathione?

Glutathione is a naturally occurring antioxidant molecule found in our bodies. It comprises three amino acids: cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine. This tripeptide antioxidant plays a crucial role in maintaining the anti-oxidant level of our body.

Glutathione acts as a powerful detoxifier, helping to eliminate harmful substances, including toxins, heavy metals, and free radicals, from the body. It also plays a vital role in supporting the immune system, promoting cellular health, and protecting cells from oxidative damage.

Glutathione has been studied for its potential benefits in various medical conditions. It has been used as a supportive therapy in liver diseases, cystic fibrosis, neurodegenerative diseases and certain types of cancer treatments and as an aid in reducing the side effects of chemotherapy.

Glutathione for Skin: A Pathway to Luminosity

Very recently, glutathione became popular for its supposed ability to inhibit the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color, hair, and eyes. This property has led to the exploration of glutathione in dermatology and cosmetology, particularly for its potential in skin lightening and reducing hyperpigmentation.

By reducing the activity of tyrosinase enzyme (the primary enzyme response for the formation of melanin), glutathione helps lighten existing skin pigmentation and prevent the formation of new pigmented areas. This can result in a brighter, more even-toned complexion.

What to Avoid When Taking Glutathione

Firstly, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, as these habits can deplete glutathione levels in the body. Medications such as acetaminophen, may also interfere with glutathione production. Consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating glutathione therapy into your routine.

Glutathione Tablets for Skin Whitening: Separating Fact from Fiction

Glutathione tablets are often associated with skin whitening, but it is essential to approach this claim cautiously. While glutathione can help lighten the skin tone and reduce pigmentation, it is not a magic pill for drastic skin color transformation. The effects of glutathione therapy vary from person to person, and it is best to have realistic expectations and focus on achieving a healthy and radiant complexion rather than solely aiming for skin whitening.

Glutathione Benefits and Uses: Beyond Skin Deep

Besides its remarkable impact on the skin, glutathione offers many other benefits for overall health and well-being. It has been utilized in various medical treatments, such as managing liver failure, alcoholic liver disease, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer's disease, supporting cancer treatments, and reducing the side effects of chemotherapy. Its role as a potent antioxidant has made it a valuable tool in the field of anti-aging medicine as well.

Glutathione Side Effects: Understanding the Risks

While glutathione therapy is generally considered safe, some individuals may experience mild symptoms such as nausea, stomach discomfort, or allergic reactions. However, severe adverse effects are rare. Again, consult a healthcare professional to determine if glutathione therapy suits you and for proper dosage and administration.

Consult with Board Certified Dermatologist

Consulting with a board-certified dermatologist is vital to tailor the therapy to your specific needs and ensure optimal results.


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