Pigmentation refers to skin coloring, which depends on specialized cells that produce melanin. Melanin is the pigment that imparts different shades and colors to the hair, skin, mucous membranes, and retina of the eye. Individuals with too little melanin production have fair skin, whereas those with high deposition have a darker complexion.
Skin pigmentation problems arise when there is an excess of melanin production, resulting in dark spots, patches, or discoloration of the skin. It can change the color of the skin over time, resulting in an uneven skin tone. Whilst hyperpigmentation is not a dangerous illness, it may be a sign of another medical condition. As a result, a dermatologist should be consulted to determine the exact cause of the pigmentation.
CAUSES OF SKIN PIGMENTATION.
Types of Pigmentation.
Skin pigmentation can be categorized into three categories;
Epidermal (superficial) pigmentation
Solar lentigos, freckles, and cafe-au-lait macules are examples of epidermal (superficial) pigmentation, which is a form of skin pigmentation that is typically seen near the skin’s surface.
Dermal (deep) pigmentation –
The nevus of Ota and Hori’s macules are two examples of the pigmentation kinds that are typically seen in the dermal layers.
Mixed dermal/epidermal pigmentation –
Both the outermost and innermost layers of the skin are affected by these types of pigmentation. A good example of this is melasma.
What is Hyperpigmentation?
A specific skin ailment called hyperpigmentation results in the darkening of specific parts of the skin. Melanin, a skin pigment, is overproduced and is the main culprit. This illness affects people of both sexes from various ethnic backgrounds, especially those with pale skin tones. Although hyperpigmentation is mostly a benign condition, it can occasionally be a sign of an illness or disease. Because of the aesthetic implications of this ailment, which bother them and make them feel stressed and anxious, the majority of individuals are worried about it.
What causes Hyperpigmentation?
There are two main causes of hyperpigmentation:
The skin’s melanocyte concentrations, which are in charge of creating melanin, increase to extremely high levels due to melanocyte hyperactivation.
Different types of hyperpigmentation fall into any one of the following categories, according to their causes:
Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH): Injuries to the skin from burns, psoriasis, acne lesions, friction on the skin, and occasionally even the use of certain skincare products can result in this type of hyperpigmentation. It usually takes months for this condition to stop activating the skin regeneration system. The hyperpigmentation treatment for PIH is highly successful.
UV Exposure/ Generalized Dullness of Skin: This sort of hyperpigmentation is generated by typical UVB sun exposure, although it is not visible in the form of spots. It manifests as widespread skin dullness over the entire face. When compared to the rest of the body, the skin tone on the face becomes dull and dark. Many women disguise this facial dullness using concealers and foundations, which help to brighten skin tone.
Lentigines: This ailment is also known as liver spots or age spots. These patches become increasingly obvious with aging, however, aging is not directly responsible for their emergence. They are primarily caused by excessive UV ray exposure.
Melasma: A hormonal imbalance is usually to blame for this type of hyperpigmentation. It is usually caused by thyroid problems, hormone replacement treatment, pregnancy-related melasma, and hyperpigmentation.
Tanning Beds/Booths: UV radiation from tanning beds, tanning salons, and sun lamps is a proven carcinogen, according to the American Academy of Dermatology and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (cancer-causing substances). Indoor tanning has been shown to raise the risk of all skin malignancies, including melanomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and basal cell carcinomas. Using indoor tanning systems before the age of 30 increases the risk of melanoma by 75%. Indoor tanning also causes skin aging, hyper- and hypopigmentation, immunological suppression, and eye damage such as cataracts. As a result, dermatologists do not advocate using tanning beds, tanning booths, or sun lamps.
Medications like antibiotics, hormones, and anti-seizure medications.
Treatments of Hyperpigmentation.
Depending on the cause and severity of the problem, hyperpigmentation can be treated in a variety of methods. Mild conditions can be treated with over-the-counter topical formulations and simple protection against the causes, but there are times when a specialist is required. Let’s tell you about some of the available treatments. We’ll also go over some of them in-depth, particularly home cures and over-the-counter medications.
Skin lightening creams
The first choice is, of course, skin whitening lotions. They are commonly accessible over the counter and contain chemicals that lighten pigmentation. The major constituents in these creams, which might be in gel, cream, ointment, or serum form, are licorice extract, lemon extract, arbutin, vitamin C, vitamin B-3, hydroquinone, corticosteroids, soy, N-acetylglucosamine, and so on. They come with particular application instructions and gradually lighten the dark spots. Again, they are only effective on milder kinds of hyperpigmentation.
Retinoids are another topical/oral medication that is frequently advised and used for hyperpigmentation. Most of these are also accessible over the counter. However, if you have sensitive skin or are pregnant or lactating, you should always see our leading dermatologists. Retinoids are generated from vitamin A. They have a tiny molecular structure that allows them to penetrate deep into the skin and work from within. They may cause skin dryness and peeling.
Laser therapy is performed by our professional. Laser beams are used to eliminate the melanin pigment in hyper-pigmented areas. It is sometimes referred to as the resurfacing procedure. Laser therapy is classified as either ablative or non-ablative. The former removes damaged skin layers, whereas the latter is a gentler technique with no downtime.
Micro-needling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is a popular procedure that accelerates the body’s regenerative repair process to alleviate a variety of skin issues, including hyperpigmentation discoloration.
During a micro-needling treatment, your physician will use a pen-like device with numerous little needles on the end. These needles cause micro-injuries in the skin, initiating the body’s healing process, which increases collagen and elastin production.
At our clinic, we provide micro-needling with or without PRP therapy. PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy entails following a micro-needling treatment with an injection or topical application of the PRP solution, which is an extraction of PRP components from the patient’s blood.
A chemical peel employs higher concentrations of acids to treat the desired area of skin. They minimize the appearance of hyperpigmentation by eliminating the top layer of your skin (epidermis). Deeper versions may potentially penetrate the middle layer of your skin (dermis) to generate more dramatic outcomes.
Although many chemical peels are accessible over-the-counter, you should consider obtaining a professional-grade peel at your dermatologist’s office. They are stronger and produce faster outcomes.
Because of their strength, in-office peels may raise your risk of negative effects. Discuss your specific risks with your dermatologist.
Possible risks with both at-home and in-office chemical peels include Trusted Source:
Chemical peels may not be the ideal treatment option for you if you spend a lot of time in the sun. Chemical peels make your skin more vulnerable to the sun’s rays.
The sun can aggravate hyperpigmentation if you don’t use enough sunscreen and other UV protection. You should take extra measures for at least one week following your last chemical peel.
This PRP solution contains various growth factors that assist the skin by increasing and speeding up collagen and elastin production, which helps to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and skin discoloration.