An Understanding on Skin Pigmentation
Melanocytes are cells that produce melanin. The number of melanocytes of all humans is equal. They only vary in size and colour which determines the color of human skin.
Problems with skin pigmentation are of two types, it can be that the pigmentation has increased which is referred as skin hyperpigmentation. It can be patchy, localized in one place, patchy generalized on the entire body or it can be generalized that includes darkening of time of the entire body.
The other kind of skin pigmentation is when the colour of the skin becomes lighter which is called skin hypopigmentation. This can also be patchy , localized in one place, patchy generalized on the entire body or it can be generalized that includes darkening of time of the entire body.
Several trigger factors can bring on pigmentation. The pigmentation is usually most noticeable on exposed areas such as face, neck, back, arms, legs but can occur anywhere on the body. It mostly causes a lot of stress in people and causes concern hence we deal with problems related to pigmentation.
Ways to Get Rid of Pigmentation
It can be a preventive or treatment course :
Preventive measures –
The most important and something everyone should adopt to prevent hyperpigmentation is to always wear sun protection- it can be physical like tightly knit clothes or Sun umbrellas or it can be wearing a correct Sunblock. Here are a few simple, skin-saving strategies:
- Avoid direct sunlight when possible especially during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Sit in the shade when you are outdoors.
- Wear sun-protective clothing – tightly knit fabrics –
- Shade your face and scalp with a wide-brimmed hat, Sunglasses, masks, scarf.
- Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day. Broad-spectrum refers to sunscreen that is against both UVA rays which is marked as plus sign called not start rating and UVB rays that is given by SPF, additionally, it should also be effective against both HEV rays, the rays from screen or LED lights, and Infrared rays which are caused by heat
If pigmentation has occurred then we need to resort to TREATMENT options :
- You can control pigmentation with Exfoliation and Spot Treatment which can reduce the look of darkened spots. Exfoliating is using cleansers that exfoliate the darkened top layers of skin
- There are many chemicals which help in reducing pigmentation, they come as spot creams, serums, moisturizers. The correct chemical composition and skincare routine can be suggested by your Dermatologist. There are different treatments for hypopigmentation.
- There are also various treatments like chemical peels, Medi- facials available.
- There are q switch lasers, pico laser, excimer which can help desk with hyper or hypopigmentation.
Why does skin turn pigmentation?
Skin hyperpigmentation occurs when the size of melanocytes increases or damage melanocytes.
Various factors can contribute to the formation of these dark spots – can be genetic, internal or environmental These include:
Environmental causes include:
- Exposure to the sun without sunscreen or Sun protection. In such cases the melanocytes increase in size to protect us from getting burnt, this causes darkening of skin and thus sometimes repeated exposure distorts the melanocytes so that they turn cancerous.
- Any kind of skin inflammation that occurs after infections, injuries, can result in hypo or hyper – pigmentation for example
- Fungal bacterial infections
- Autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, etc
- Exposure to irritants such as soaps, detergents, perfumes, certain cosmetics can also cause pigmentation
- Taking medications that increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight
- Hormonal changes are one of the most important internal factors in the body, for example, during pregnancy
- When a person is taking oral contraceptives or is being on hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Genetic causes :
- Some people may experience hyperpigmentation as a result of the normal aging process
The lady dermatologist Jaya is very skilled, she can help you identify the cause of your pigmentation and work with you to develop an appropriate treatment plan.
No matter what treatment you ultimately choose, it’s important to protect your skin from further sun damage and pigmentation. Wearing sunscreen every day is a must. You should apply sunscreen every morning, even when it’s cloudy! And reapply as needed throughout the day. Be sure to use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher