Are there any dark patches on your facial skin? Are they spreading and becoming darker over time? If your answer is yes, you should take this condition seriously. These patches might be pigmentation – an annoying as well as one of the hard to treat conditions. However, if you know its type, treating it becomes quite easy.
There are different types of pigmentation. Want to know about them? Keep reading.
What is pigmentation?
Pigmentation is the skin condition in which discoloration occurs in some areas of the skin. This condition does not carry any threat but it is aesthetically unacceptable and annoying for many people.
Melanin – Responsible for skin pigmentation
Skin color varies from one person to another. Do you know what causes this variation? Is skin formation of every individual different? No, this variation is caused by a pigment present in the skin – known as melanin. This pigment is produced by the cells in our body called melanocytes. Melanin is responsible for giving color to the skin and hair. It is responsible for protecting your skin from harmful UV radiations but can also cause pigmentation disorders.
Who is more prone to pigmentation?
The fact is, we are all prone to pigmentation disorders. However, fair-skinned people are more prone to this condition and it is visible on their skin. Another cause behind pigmentation is excessive sun exposure. As mentioned earlier, melanin protects the skin from sun damage but excessive sun exposure can also cause more melanin production in an attempt to protect the skin. As the amount of melanin increases, your skin becomes dark and tan. Certain other factors like hormonal changes may also trigger more melanin production. Sometimes pigmentation disorders are hereditary.
Types of Pigmentation
Well, if we talk about types of pigmentation, basically there are two types of pigmentation – hypo-pigmentation and hyper-pigmentation. Hyper-pigmentation is normally known as pigmentation and it is more common. It is caused by the overproduction of melanin. Listed below are some common types of pigmentation.
Freckles are caused by the concentration of melanin in small patches which darkens with excessive sun exposure. Though freckles can occur on any skin tone, they are more common in fair-skinned people. The prevention of freckles is avoiding excessive sun exposure and using sunscreen regularly.
Liver spots/Age spots
Liver spots – aka solar lentigo – are a kind of pigmentation that is associated with aging as well as the exposure to UV rays. Liver spots are usually more common among people over the age of 40, when their skin starts losing the ability to repair sun damage. This pigmentation disorder mostly appears on the face, hands, arms, and back. Liver spots are characterized by light brown to black patches on the skin.
Melasma is another common type of pigmentation that can affect both men and women but is more prevalent among women. It is more common in pregnant women who use the contraceptive pill and this is the reason that this condition is also known as pregnancy mask. Overactivation of melanocytes caused by female sex hormones – estrogen and progesterone – is said to be the reason behind melasma. Excessive unprotected sun exposure worsens the condition. The most common areas affected by melasma include the forehead, cheeks, nose, and lips.
Certain kinds of birthmarks fall into the category of pigmentation disorder. They occur in the form of irregular blemish on the skin which is found at the birth time and continues to develop a few weeks after birth. Birthmarks are of two types – vascular birthmarks (caused by vascular disorders) and pigmented birthmarks (caused by overproduction of melanin). Some common types of pigmented birthmarks are Moles, Mongolian spots, and Cafe-au-lait spots.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is caused by increased melanin production triggered by an inflammatory response. Inflammation may occur as a result of trauma to epidermal and dermal layers of skin. The causes of trauma may include acne, dermatitis, infections, allergic reactions, medications, and certain diseases. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is usually temporary.
Now that you have come to know about the types of pigmentation, you can get proper treatment according to the type, you are experiencing. If you think dark patches on your skin are the signs of pigmentation, we recommend you to see a practitioner and get your condition treated.
At Dubai Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, we offer a wide range of pigmentation treatments –from topical medications to laser and skincare treatments like chemical peeling and Fractional CO2 treatment. So, if you want a clear and even skin tone, don’t delay booking a free consultation with us. To book an appointment call us now or fill the consultation form below.