Hyperpigmentation could be one of the reasons for these dark patches to appear. Pigmentation varies widely over the world, particularly among Asian and Indian people, as they are more vulnerable to pigmentation problems than other human groups.
It is a skin disorder that is usually harmless but medical attention may be required if it’s affecting your self-esteem.
Hyperpigmentation is a frequent, usually harmless disorder in which patches of skin darken in color in comparison to the surrounding skin. When an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that gives skin its color, develops deposits in the skin, it darkens.
When pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) are harmed, more melanin is produced, which clumps together. Dark patches or hyperpigmentation are caused by melanin clusters on the face, neck, and around the lips, or on other regions of the skin. It can affect people of all ages and skin types.
The color of your skin is affected by skin pigmentation disorders. Melanin is a pigment that gives your skin its color. Melanin production is affected when these melanin-producing cells become damaged or diseased.
Your skin will darken if your body produces too much melanin (hyperpigmentation). Pregnancy, Addison’s illness, and excessive sun exposure can all darken your skin.
Your skin will become lighter if your body produces too little melanin (hypopigmentation). Vitiligo is a skin disorder that generates bright spots. Albinism is a skin disorder caused by a hereditary mutation. A person with albinism may have no color, skin that is lighter than usual, or skin that is uneven and absent. Lighter skin can also be caused by infections, blisters, and burns.
Pigmentation occurs through a complex process known as Melanogenesis which is responsible for producing the pigment in melanosomes by melanocytes.
Melanocytes oxidize tyrosine (a protein present in the skin) in the presence of certain enzymes to produce melanin. Melanin is distributed into the surrounding keratinocytes after maturation. Keratinocytes are present in the outermost layer of skin and are responsible for producing keratin. This keratin is responsible for making the outermost layer of skin that protects us from microbes, UV radiation; and minimizes heat, solute, and water loss.
The color of the skin is not determined by the number of melanin-producing cells that are present. This number remains relatively constant in a given skin site, regardless of skin color.
The extent of pigmentation depends upon the amount of melanin, their quality, and the relative composition of eumelanin (brown/black pigment) and pheomelanin (yellow-reddish pigment) inside keratinocytes, as well as the mode of transfer and processing of melanosomes inside the keratinocytes.
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If you are wondering which treatment works best for your pigmentation problems, a dermatologist can assist you in making that decision as their in-depth medical knowledge could help in determining which procedure would give promising results. With all procedures, side effects are possible. In the skilled hands of a board-certified dermatologist, side effects tend to be minor and temporary.
Dr. Shweta is one of the most renowned names in cosmetic treatment in Mumbai serving thousands & thousands of patients happily, including Bollywood celebrities and many patients from out of the country. Treating hyperpigmentation requires deep medical knowledge and years of experience as these lesions look similar to lots of other conditions. Dr. Shewta’s credentials are your best option for getting a correct diagnosis followed by a customized treatment plan.
As you have read, there are lots of options for the treatment of hyperpigmentation disorders. Different faces need a different set of options and only a well-seasoned doctor could identify what set of treatment could work for you. She has expertise in solving the issue of skin, especially the pigmentation problem, that needs cosmetic attention. She has extensive experience and expertise in performing cosmetic procedures like laser therapy, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, CO2 laser, and many more with delivering optimum results with 110% patient satisfaction every single time.
Your dermatologist can assist you in determining the cause of your hyperpigmentation and developing a treatment plan that is right for you. That one visit could make a significant difference in your quality of life for years to come.
If you and your dermatologist agree that procedure is the best choice for you, your dermatologist will devise a tailor-made treatment plan exclusively for you. Your dermatologist will consider a variety of factors when developing this plan, including hyperpigmentation cause, location, etc. If you have taken any kind of previous treatment for hyperpigmentation, be sure to tell your dermatologist about that before the treatment begins.
It takes a long time to get rid of hyperpigmentation. Dark spots, especially acne scars, can be difficult to remove and might even worsen if you don’t use SPF (more on that below). However, regular application of topical creams or in-office treatments can gradually fade your dark areas away. Read below to know more.
If a person wants to attempt a new therapy or natural remedy, they should first test it on a small patch of skin and cease using it if the skin becomes irritated. Hyperpigmentation can be reduced by using natural remedies such as these:
The first line of treatment for hyperpigmentation is using topical creams. Use creams or serums consistently, and expect significant effects only after weeks or months of use.
These are usually performed by a certified dermatologist in their office and require professional equipment. Some of your options are:
It’s not always possible to prevent hyperpigmentation. However, you can protect yourself by:
A professional, well-qualified and experienced dermatologist can identify hyperpigmentation through a physical examination. Your dermatologist may suggest a biopsy, in some cases, to determine the kind and severity of hyperpigmentation.
To rule out other skin pigment diseases such as vitiligo, a Wood’s light examination is performed. The process is done in a dark environment and involves the use of light to brighten specific regions of your skin.
There are other conditions as well that could result in the darkening of the skin. These are:
Acanthosis Nigricans: Acanthosis nigricans is a skin disorder that causes dark, velvety darkening in the folds and wrinkles of the body. The affected skin gets thickened. It usually affects the armpits, crotch, and neck. It is more common in obese or diabetic persons, which is often considered as a cause of Acanthosis Nigricans.
It is usually harmless and sometimes could need special medical attention. Acanthosis nigricans treatment does not have a specific regime. Treatment of underlying problems may help damaged patches of skin regain some of their usual color and texture.
Macular Amyloidosis: It is the mildest form of cutaneous amyloidosis, characterized by brownish macules that form a rippling pattern and are found mostly on the trunk and extremities. In this a proteinaceous material — amyloid — is deposited in the skin, causing hyperpigmented patches.
It is also often harmless but in some patients, it could result in itching and scratching. There is no specific medical treatment for macular amyloidosis. If required topical medications are given to relieve the itching.
A common cause of hyperpigmentation is an excess production of melanin. Several different conditions or factors can alter the production of melanin in your body like:
It is important that you understand the different forms of hyperpigmentation before we dive into the treatments for each of them.
Also known as liver spots or solar lentigines, occur as brown, tan, or black spots that appear on the face and hands, or on sun-exposed areas of the body. When the skin is exposed to the harmful UVA and UVB rays, it triggers melanocytes to produce more melanin as a defense mechanism. High levels of melanin leave discolored patches on the skin. Age spots usually appear on older adults or after extended sun exposure.
Also called chloasma or “the mask of pregnancy”, looks like large patches of darkened skin. They occur because the hormonal changes trigger melanin production. They are most likely to appear on the forehead, face, and stomach in women, people who are pregnant or taking birth control pills, and people with darker skin. If the color bothers you, you should stop using your birth control pills.
These are spots or patches of darkened skin that appear after an inflammatory skin condition, such as acne or eczema. They usually appear on the face or neck of people who have had inflammation or an injury to the skin.
Certain skin injuries like from some surgery could result in a dark spot as a part of the healing process.
Your genetic makeup is responsible for determining everything about you, including your pigmentation patterns. For example, some people develop a type of dark spot known as freckles, which are small brown spots that can appear anywhere on the body but are most common on the face and arms. Freckles are an inherited characteristic.