Pigmentation Treatment: An In-depth Look
Pigmentation refers to the skin’s coloring. Melasma and liver spots, which are also known as, age spots, are some examples of hyperpigmentation. Melanin, a component found in skin cells is responsible for the skin’s color.
Types of Hyperpigmentation
There are three common types of hyperpigmentation. These are:
- Sunspots –Also known as solar lentigines or liver spots, are a common occurrence. They will appear on one’s skin if he or she gets exposed to the sun for a long time. They normally appear on the face and hands and will be seen as spots on the skin.
- Melasma – This condition mostly develops when women are pregnant. Any part of the body can be affected by hyperpigmentation but the most affected area is the face and the stomach.
- Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation –This is caused by skin inflammation or an injury. Acne is also a common causing factor.
The Risk Factors and the Symptoms
Visible dark patches on the skin is the major symptom of hyperpigmentation. The size of the patches will vary and can appear anywhere on the skin.
Inflammation and exposure to the sun are the commonest risk factors and are known tocause a rise in the production of melanin. The longer you are exposed to the sun, the higher the risk of developing an increase in skin pigmentation. Other types of risk factors include:
- Oral contraceptives
- Skin trauma such as a burn injury or a wound
- Medications that increases the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight
- Pregnancy –During pregnancy, there is change in hormone levels which affects the production of melanin in some ladies.
The Diagnosis and Treatment of Hyperpigmentation
Excess melanin production is a common cause of this defect. Melanocytes are skin cells that are responsible for the production of melanin. If you are seeking the services of a dermatologist to address any skin issue that you may have, Creative Medspa in Atlanta, GA, is the place to visit.
When you visit a dermatologist’s office for diagnosis, you will be requested to submit your previous medical records. You will then be subjected to a physical examination or a skin biopsy in order to ascertain the cause.
A type of medication known as topical prescription is used to treat some of the cases. However, its prolonged use without taking any break can have adverse effects on your skin. It can cause the skin to darken, a condition known as ochronosis. To avoid these effects, visit your dermatologist for proper guidance on how to use this product.
Topical retinoids are also known to be efficient in lightening up the dark patches on the skin. However, it might take months before the darkened areas lighten.
How it is Prevented?
Research has proven thatits not possible to fully prevent hyperpigmentation. However, you can do the following to protect yourself:
- Wear clothes or hats that can block sunlight
- Avoid sunscreens that have an SPF of below 30
- Avoid exposing yourself to the sun especially when it’s hot
NaturalRemedies for Hyperpigmentation
- Aloe vera
Aloin is a naturally occurring depigmenting compound that is found in aloe vera. It lightens the skin and is a non-toxic way of treating this condition. To use:
- Apply aloe vera to the pigmented parts before going to bed.
- Rinse with warm water when you wake up.
- Repeat this daily until you see an improvement on the color of your skin.
- Apple, vinegar, and cider
These fruits are known to contain acetic acid which has the capabilities of lightening dark pigments. For you to use this procedure, you need to:
- Cut them all into equal pieces and mix them with water inside a container.
- Apply the mixture on your dark patches and wait for at least two or three minutes before rinsing.
- Use lukewarm water during rinsing.
- Repeat this routine twice a day until you achieve your desired results.
Milk, sour milk, and butter milk are rich in lactic acid which is responsible for the lightening effect. Soak a ball made of cotton in the milk, and rub it over the dark patches daily to see results.
- Licorice extract
Extracts obtained from licorice contain key ingredients that have lightening abilities mostly towards hyperpigmentation that is caused by sun exposure and melasma. Creams containing this extract can be purchased over-the-counter.Before using, read the instructions on the package.