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Glutathione Injection: Cost, Benefits And Side Effects

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Glutathione Injection

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    Glutathione injection also called the ‘mother of all antioxidants,’ has become very popular due to increased demand for instant skin whitening solutions. With recent advances in cosmetology, more molecular treatments for skin pigmentation are available, but is glutathione injection safe? Let us find out fact vs. fiction. Also, read this article to learn about glutathione cost, results, side effects, and more!

    What Is Glutathione & What Are Its Types?

    Glutathione is a naturally occurring antioxidant in our body made up of three amino acids: cysteine, glycine, and glutamic acid. It helps remove free oxygen radicals from our body that can result from sun exposure, pollution, drugs, and other lifestyle choices. It will also prevent/slow down cell division, causing our body to age faster and become unhealthy.

    Glutathione can help keep our body young and healthy and detoxify chemicals and toxins from the body. It also reduces melanin synthesis and can improve skin colour and skin tone.

    Following are the three ways to introduce glutathione into the body:

    1. Injectables: Dermatologists inject glutathione intravenously (IV drips) into the blood. This is the most popular method of glutathione administration as it ensures rapid, direct supply, where the body absorbs the maximum amount quickly. The other method is intramuscular injections (IMs), where they inject it into the muscles, similar to a vaccine. This method also ensures quick and good absorption.
    2. Oral Form: There are capsules, tablets, or liquids containing glutathione, sometimes with added antioxidants. They go through the digestive system. They are popular due to their ease of use and availability.
    3. Topical Form: Many creams, lotions, gels and facewashes containing glutathione are available for regular use. While the body doesn’t absorb this form as easily as the others, the products are known to lighten the skin with the presence of antioxidants.

    What Is Glutathione Injection?

    The glutathione injection procedure involves administering glutathione intravenously through a drip. Glutathione works as a powerful antioxidant that reduces free radicals in the body. It may also promote Pheomelanin, or reddish-yellow pigment production in the skin, which makes the skin appear brighter.

    However, its efficacy as a skin-whitening agent remains unpredictable.

    How Do Glutathione Injections Work For Skin Whitening?

    Glutathione injections work as antioxidants, protecting our skin from the harmful effects of UV rays, including tanning and pigmentation. It can also interfere with the action of Tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in melanin synthesis. The Glutathione injections work by inhibiting melanin production in multiple ways, thus lightening/brightening the skin tone.

    How Much Does The Glutathione Injection Cost In India?

    Generally, The cost of glutathione injections ranges from Rs 7,100 to Rs 10,500. Factors like dosage, number of injections, size of the target area, and maintenance dose affect the overall price of glutathione injections.

    Know The Price: Skin Whitening Treatment Cost

    Factors Affecting The Glutathione Injections Cost

    • Dosage Requirements: The glutathione injection cost depends on the individual’s dosage and increases as per the requirement.
    • Quality Of Glutathione: Glutathione procured from reputed companies with guaranteed quality will cost more.
    • The Number Of Injections: You will need multiple injections at different intervals for sustained results, and the cost varies accordingly.
    • Maintenance Dosage: Depending on the number of maintenance injections/oral supplements, the cost will vary.
    • Additional Ingredients Or Supplements: Glutathione can be combined with drips of other antioxidants like Vitamin C. Adding on ingredients can increase the cost.
    • Location: Clinics in urban areas with easy accessibility can charge more for the injections.
    • Clinic Reputation: Highly reputed clinics will have experienced dermatologists following global standards and protocols, can charge more.

    Glutathione Injection Benefits

    Glutathione injections do offer multiple benefits, making them a popular aesthetic treatment:   

    1. Skin Whitening:

    The first and the most common benefit it offers is skin whitening by removing spots and evening out the skin tone, leading to brighter skin. The results will be different for everyone.

    1. Reduction In Ageing Signs:

    Glutathione, by virtue of its antioxidant effect and fibre-stimulating properties, can effectively delay the signs of ageing and keep skin smooth, wrinkle-free and even-toned for longer.

    1. Acne And Blemish Reduction:

    Glutathione has anti-inflammatory effects, and it can reduce melanin pigment production. Thus, glutathione injections can also help reduce acne and related blemishes on the skin.

    1. A Strong Antioxidant:

    The major role of glutathione in the body is to remove free oxygen radicals, which harm the body and speed up ageing. It can help combat dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles and dryness.

    1. Provides Elasticity:

    Glutathione can boost collagen and elastin production in the skin, thus reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

    1. Detoxification:

    Glutathione can help flush out harmful toxins from your blood.

    1. Targets Inflammatory Actions:

    Glutathione can reduce inflammation in the body and skin and shield cells from the harmful effects of inflammation.

    1. Boosts Immunity:

    Glutathione can boost immunity and help fight against skin diseases like acne and dermatitis.

    NOTE:

    Glutathione is widely available and used, but there are limited studies on its efficacy for skin whitening and long-term safety data.

    Glutathione Injection Side Effects

    Glutathione injections are not FDA-approved due to potential adverse effects from skin-whitening injections; there is not enough scientific data to prove their safety.

    The following are the side effects of glutathione injection:

    1. Nausea & Diarrhoea:

    Nausea is a common side effect in case the dosage is very high. Diarrhoea is also something you may experience a little later after the injection.

    1. Skin Rashes, Hives Or Allergic Reactions:

    These can affect anyone who takes any amount of dosage, as drug allergy is unpredictable.

    1. Hair Loss:

    A high dosage of glutathione can cause hair fall.

    1. Difficulty Breathing:

    This can occur as soon as they administer the IV drips and the doctor usually prescribes medicines to bring it under control.

    1. Chest Pain:

    Chest pain and breathlessness may occasionally occur with high-speed IV drips, which is why glutathione injections should be given slowly. Expert guidance is, therefore, extremely important.

    1. Weight Gain:

    In rare cases, a high dose of glutathione injections can also lead to weight gain.

    1. Greying Hair:

    Some people may also experience hair greying after receiving glutathione injections, as this affects the body’s melanin content.

    1. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome:

    A rare allergic reaction to certain drugs which can result in painful rash and blisters and can potentially be life-threatening.

    1. Toxic Epidermal Necrosis:

    This is a severe version of Stevens-Johnson syndrome affecting large parts of the body and can lead to organ failure.

    1. Pain In Breasts:

    This happens in case of fast drips of glutathione, and subsides when the drip is slowed.

    1. Numbness:

    Fast drips or high doses of glutathione injections can cause numbness and tingling sensation on fingers, toes and other body parts.

    1. Eye Disorder:

    Wrong doses of glutathione injections can adversely affect the eyes.

    1. Aggravated Asthma Symptoms:

    Glutathione injections may constrict your airway and exacerbate your asthma symptoms.

    Remember that a high dose of glutathione can affect the liver and kidneys. Sometimes, added Vitamin C can cause kidney stones or even Hemodialysis in G6PD-deficient (a condition where red blood cells break down in response to certain medications)

    Besides the potential side effects, you must remember that glutathione injections are also expensive and painful. Excess dosage can lead to serious health complications such as kidney failure or blood poisoning, which is why many countries ban its use.

    We strictly recommend you consult a qualified dermatologist and opt for glutathione injections under medical supervision to minimise any side effects.

    How To Use Glutathione Injections For Skin Whitening?

    You should opt for glutathione injections for skin whitening only under medical supervision after an in-depth consultation with an experienced dermatologist. This will allow them to identify your concerns and decide on the dosage you need. They will also inform you about the possible side effects and expected results including the need for maintenance. They will also be able to monitor and mitigate any adverse side effects. You can take these injections intravenously and occasionally intramuscularly, once or twice a week. They will also recommend maintenance sessions.

    Glutathione Pills (Tablets) Vs Injections – Which Is Better?

    Here is a comparison of Glutathione tablets with injections. It is best to discuss with your doctor to understand which formulation would work best for you:

    Glutathione Pills/Tablets

    Glutathione Injections

    Absorption Antioxidants enter through the digestive system Antioxidants enter the bloodstream directly
    Bioavailability Lower Potentially higher
    Efficacy May not be effective for many Faster and more noticeable results
    Dosage Require higher doses
    Safety Considerably safe
    Tolerance Better tolerated
    Convenience Comparatively easier Cumbersome in the long run
    Side Effects More associated in the long run
    Additional Use Work as an occasional booster

    Facts About Glutathione Injections For Skin Whitening 

    Glutathione injections are widely used nowadays, but the treatment is not yet approved by the US-FDA, and limited studies on its safety and efficacy exist. The risks of these injections outnumber the benefits. Further, the results vary—while some people experience significant skin lightening, others see no improvement after multiple sessions. The results are also often temporary and will disappear once you stop the treatment.

    Let’s take a look:

    1. Organ Damage: High doses can sometimes have a toxic effect on the liver and kidneys, resulting in long-lasting health concerns.
    2. Allergic Reactions: One of the most reported side effects is allergic reactions to the medicine, ranging from mild skin rashes to severe anaphylaxis, especially with the IV route.
    3. Skin Discolouration: Glutathione injections can cause paradoxical skin darkening or uneven pigmentation in some people.
    4. Injection Site Reactions: Pain, swelling or bruises on the injection site are also common.

    It is best to consult a dermatologist to determine whether this treatment works for you or should opt for other US-FDA skin-lightening treatments mentioned below.

    USFDA-Approved Treatments For Skin Whitening 

    Following are the dermatologist-recommended & scientifically proven skin lightening treatments available in India that can safely remove dark spots, reduce dullness, lighten skin tone, and restore a brighter skin tone.

    Chemical Peels:

    This treatment involves applying a solution of plant-based chemicals to the skin to cause a controlled exfoliation. It helps treat skin concerns like blemishes, tanning, dullness and acne marks. It removes the upper damaged layer of skin cells to reveal newer, brighter skin underneath with lower melanin content. Chemical peels typically require multiple sessions at a few weeks gap for gradual improvement and sustained results. Chemical peels can give you even toned skin, reduction in acne and hyperpigmentation, dark circles and even some anti-ageing benefits.

    Laser Toning:

    Another popular and effective option for skin lightening treatment is Q-switched Nd: YAG laser technology, which can painlessly reduce melanin build-up in the deeper layers. This laser skin lightening treatment works by heating up and breaking down melanin in deeper skin layers without affecting the upper layer of skin, thus giving results without any downtime. It has multiple benefits like removing tan and pigmentation, reducing acne marks, freckles and other blemishes, reducing redness associated with diseases like acne and rosacea, and even giving mild anti-ageing effects by reducing fine lines and improving collagen in the skin. This treatment also requires multiple sessions to give sustained results, followed by occasional maintenance sessions.

     

    Now you know all about the results, risks, benefits and price of glutathione injections, so make an informed decision. Consult a qualified dermatologist to help you choose a safe and effective skin lightening treatment.

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    About The Author

    Kushneet Kukreja

    Kushneet Kukreja

    A postgraduate in Biotechnology from Kingston University and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition, Kushneet Kukreja is a passionate writer who works in close association with the dermatologists at our head office to generate valuable and scientifically accurate content for our blog.

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