Hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation… but isn’t there just pigmentation? Most tend to equate skin pigmentation problems to dark skin patches, but there are other pigmentation issues to watch out for as well:
This is the skin condition that most are familiar with – this broadly refers to the uneven discolouration or darkening of the skin, be it scars from an acne breakout, or sun spots from too much sunbathing.
The main factors that cause hyperpigmentation are:
A stubborn acne breakout sometimes leaves behind scars or discolouration. Such cases are generally termed as post-inflammatory inflammation (PIH), in which an injury or inflammation to the skin results in increased melanin production.
PIH tends to occur in darker-skinned individuals.
Hormonal changes that result during pregnancy can also stimulate our body’s melanin-making cells, resulting in dark spots commonly known as melasma. This happens so frequently that melasma is sometimes termed “the mask of pregnancy”.
Years of prolonged exposure to the Sun’s UV rays can result in uneven pigment production over time, resulting in the appearance of melasma, although melasma can also be triggered by hormonal changes.
So don’t forget your sunblock!
Help! How do I treat this?
The deeper the pigment lies in your skin, the harder it will be to treat. However, more importantly, you must first address the underlying cause of your hyperpigmentation issues – is it due to a recent breakout? Or have you been leaving out sunblock in your daily skincare routine?
Once this has been determined, a personalised treatment programme can be determined for you. This could include skin creams, laser treatments – be it non-ablative fractional lasers or Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers – and chemical peels.
Most of us struggle with unwanted dark spots on our faces, but sometimes, some struggle with unwanted light spots on their faces. This condition is known as hypopigmentation, which occurs when there is a lack of melanin in your skin.
There are multiple factors that can cause hypopigmentation:
Traumas to the skin, be it burns or scrapes, can result in a loss of colour on the areas of the skin where the injury occurred. The loss of colour is due to the depletion of tyrosine, an amino acid crucial to the production of melanin.
Improperly Administered Laser Treatments
A laser treatment, when not conducted by a trained medical professional, can cause burns and hypopigmentation.
That’s why it’s important to see a doctor who is certified to do such treatments!
Vitiligo, a condition in which melanin-making cells are damaged, is an example of a disorder that can cause uneven pigmentation.
Help! How do I treat this?
Hypopigmentation from skin traumas is generally not permanent and the body will be able to regain pigment in the injured area over time. This can be further managed with topical creams and light therapy.
While there is no cure yet for vitiligo, this condition can likewise be managed through topical creams, and light therapy.
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