If we consider our skin as our very first dress, it’s only natural to assume that you want to dress your best! But sometimes, people have a hard time acknowledging the necessity of skin care. Our skin, the largest organ in the body, is a complex living organism that needs proper care.
This article will discuss skin pigmentation disorders, discoloration, and their treatment. The good news is that just like any skin condition, you can treat it without pain or trouble because of modern technologies such as the Lumecca device.
What Is Skin Discoloration?
Our skin goes through many changes during our lifetime. It might change color for different reasons. Some areas of skin might become darker, called hyperpigmentation. Some other areas of skin might become lighter, called hypopigmentation. In any way, discoloration of skin results from a melanin production malfunction.
What Is Melanin?
Melanin is a natural skin pigment that colors our eyes, hair, and skin. The more melanin is produced, your skin’s color becomes darker. If the melanin is distributed unevenly in the skin, it can lead to different color intensities. These intensities often appear as a patch, a birthmark, or a pigmentation defect. All of these fall under the same category: Skin discoloration.
What Causes Skin Discoloration?
Several factors lead to skin discoloration. Here are just some of these factors: Sunburns, aging, hormonal changes, infections, burns, and skin pigmentation disorders. All of these cause your skin to look damaged, dull, and discolored.
Skin Discoloration from Sun
Sunburns and other burns damage the skin and often cause discolored skin patches.
Another determining factor for hyperpigmentation is age. As you age, you may notice more spots on the skin around the face, chest, and other areas. The risk of developing these spots is higher if you fail to apply sunscreen to these areas frequently and adequately enough.
Hormonal Changes and Allergies
Hormonal changes can lead to skin discoloration on the face. Allergic reactions, too, may result in discoloration of skin and appear as raised patches, bumps, or rashes.
Infections cause discolored patches of skin on different parts of your body. Infected cuts and scrapes can also change the texture and color of the skin.
Skin Pigmentation Disorders
There are various skin pigmentation disorders: Solar Lentigines, Freckles, Café-au-lait Macules, Pityriasis Alba, Tinea Versicolor, and Albinism. But here, we want to emphasize two types:
Melasma is identified by tan or brown patches on different body parts, like the forehead, upper lip, nose, and chin. Melasma is often called the “pregnancy mask;” however, in rare cases, men can also develop it. Women who are consuming pregnancy prevention medication or postmenopausal medication can develop melasma. Sunlight can make this condition worse.
Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the pigment cells. This disease causes white patches around the mouth, eyes, or back of the hand.
Where Does Skin Discoloration Develop?
Skin discoloration can happen in any part of your body; however, the most common areas are the neck, hands, stomach, buttocks, and around the mouth.
Discoloration on the Neck
Any fluctuations in the melanin levels of the neck skin will lead to discoloration, which is commonly caused by one or more of these factors:
- Excessive Sun Exposure
- Hemochromatosis, or Iron overload
- Certain medications
Skin Discoloration of Hands
The skin on the hands is usually taken for granted. People often take it hard on their face, applying a bunch of products to do everything to their skin, but when it comes to their hands, they forget them. However, our hands are also exposed to the sun, and if you don’t protect the delicate skin of your hands, it could lead to dryness, dark spots, and discoloration. There are, of course, other reasons for skin discoloration of the hands, for example:
- Injuries or burn marks might cause hyperpigmentation
- Allergic reactions to medications might cause dark spots on the hands
- Pills that contain estrogen and antiepileptic drugs can cause hyperpigmentation
- Eczema and Lichen Planus can cause discoloration on the hands
Skin Discoloration on the Stomach
The thin and sensitive skin on the stomach is subject to discoloration too. It occurs as a result of a medical condition; however, the most common causes of discoloration on the abdomen are:
- Sun exposure
- Personal hygiene
Skin Discoloration Between the Buttocks
Although the darker area between the buttocks is usually not a cause for concern, conditions such as irritation and inflammation can lead to hyperpigmentation. Skin trauma and irritation can lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, forming dark spots on or between the buttocks. The most common causes of such discolorations are:
- Folliculitis, an infection of hair follicles known as butt acne
- Friction caused by clothing or skin
- Irritation from skin treatments and procedures or products, such as some cleansers
Skin Discoloration Around the Mouth
The skin around the mouth is prone to discoloration. Here are just some of the causes:
- Medications such as hormone replacement and chemotherapy drugs
- Sun exposure
- Trauma to the skin
- Vitamin deficiencies
How to Fix Skin Discoloration and Pigmentation Disorders
There are several treatments available for skin pigmentation disorders and discoloration:
Over-The-Counter Treatments (OTC)
OTC treatments can help decrease hyperpigmentation. Many of them are also available in prescription form.
Various lightening creams and gels have proven helpful in treating hyperpigmentation on most skin types. These products work best for age spots. Don’t forget that although these creams are pretty effective, they need time to put their magic into effect.
One of the oldest skincare remedies that is considered safe for all skin tones is retinoids. They have been used for so long to treat the layers below the epidermis.
Chemical Peel for Hyperpigmentation
Chemical peels remove the top layers of the epidermis and penetrate the dermis; that is how they treat dark spots on your skin. After the treatment, there might be side effects, such as redness, irritation, or even blisters. If you are regularly exposed to the sun, we’re afraid this treatment isn’t for you.
Hyperpigmentation Laser Treatments
If you are wondering how to get rid of hyperpigmentation, we recommend Laser treatments. They have been proven to be highly effective in treating hyperpigmentation. These advanced systems bring back your normal skin coloration without any scarring.
There are two types of lasers: ablative and non-ablative. Ablative lasers are the most intense and involve removing layers of your skin. Non-ablative procedures, on the other hand, have a tightening effect and target the dermis to promote collagen production.
Lumecca IPL for Hyperpigmentation
Intense pulse light therapy (IPL) is a nonfractional laser treatment that encourages collagen growth within the dermis and can be effectively used for overall pigmentation cases, predominantly flat spots.
Lumecca is a powerful, intense pulsed light developed to treat many skin problems, including hyperpigmentation. Most patients who have opted for Lumecca IPL treatment for hyperpigmentation have reported no severe side effects. Minor redness, swelling, and sensitivity to sunlight after treatment are some of the side effects of Lumecca treatment.
Microneedling for Hyperpigmentation
Microneedling is a minimally-invasive method developed to improve your skin issues. This method is an effective solution for hyperpigmentation as well. It lightens the skin color by stimulating the dark patches to heal by themselves.
Are You Ready for a Shining Skin?
This article explained how to treat skin pigmentation disorders and discoloration. So, if you wish to make your skin look and feel its best, do not hesitate to contact our experienced experts at Beverly Wilshire Aesthetics. We have a solution for you regardless of what has caused the discoloration of skin or where it has developed.
FAQ for Skin Pigmentation Disorders and Discoloration