Pigmentation

The Truth About Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a medical term used to describe darker patches of skin. These patches result from excess melanin production, which can be caused by everything from acne scars and sun damage to hormone fluctuations. If your body makes too much melanin, your skin gets darker. Pregnancy, Addison’s disease, and sun exposure all can make your skin darker. If your body makes too little melanin, your skin gets lighter. Vitiligo is a condition that causes patches of light skin. Albinism is a genetic condition affecting a person’s skin. A person with albinism may have no color, lighter than normal skin color, or patchy missing skin color. Infections, blisters and burns can also cause lighter skin.

A laser peel (resurfacing) treatment uses targeted beams of light to reduce hyperpigmentation. Laser Resurfacing is the skin pigmentation treatment of choice which can remove up to 80% of melanin in one treatment.

There are two types of lasers: ablative and non-ablative. Ablative lasers are the most intense, and they involve removing layers of your skin. Non-ablative procedures, on the other hand, target the dermis to promote collagen growth and tightening effects. Ablative lasers are stronger, but they may cause more side effects. Both destroy elements in your skin to ensure that new skin cells grow back tighter and more toned.

Pigmentation Comes In All Shapes And Shades

Albinism

This is a rare, inherited disorder. It reduces the amount of melanin pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes. People with albinism (albinos) have white hair, pale skin, and blue eyes. Their eyes may seem red in different lighting conditions. Many also have vision problems.

Melasma

Dark brown to gray-brown, symmetric patches of pigment on the face. During pregnancy, this is called the mask of pregnancy. Sun exposure, hormones, and birth control pills are thought to cause melasma.

Pigment loss after skin damage

Sometimes, after an ulcer, blister, burn, or infection, the skin does not replace some of the pigment in that area.

Vitiligo

This causes smooth, white patches on the skin. It is caused by the loss of pigment-producing cells in the skin (melanocytes). It is thought to be an autoimmune disease. The white patches are very sensitive to the sun.

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