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Pigmentation of the skin is a medical term, which refers to the phenomena of colouring. Our skin is made up of cells that produce a pigment named melanin. The colour of the skin largely depends on the production of melanin. If more melanin is produced, the skin looks darker and vice-versa. When the melanin producing cells are damaged due to long exposure to sunlight, pregnancy or any other disease, pigmentation of the skin takes place. The skin may get dark entirely or in patches due to pigmentation. In some cases, decolouration takes place or white patches are formed on the skin.
Causes and Types of Pigmentation
The type of skin pigmentation depends on the cause behind it. Here are some of the common causes and types:
- Melanin: The skin colour varies from one person to another due to the presence of a pigment called melanin. It is produced by melanocytes cells in our body. Melanin protects our skin from damage on exposure to sunlight. When we spend long hours under the sun, the melanin production is increased. This gives a tanned look.
- Freckles: These are caused by clusters of melanin. These gets accumulated or concentrated in clusters on being exposed to sunrays.
- Liver Spots/Age Spots: These are also known as solar lentigos. This can be due to ageing or excessive exposure to UV rays.
- Birthmarks: These are referred to the irregular blemish that appears on any part of the body soon after birth or at the time of birth. These are of two types: vascular and pigmented.
- Melasma/Chloasma Faciei: This is usually found in pregnant women. It occurs due to the over-activation of melanocytes as there is a hormonal imbalance.
- Post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation: This refers to inflammation as a result of inflammation caused by trauma.
Treatment: There are several ways to treat skin pigmentation. There are medicines and cosmetics available in the markets, which help in getting rid of the pigmentation. Skin pigmentation can also be tackled by certain home-based remedies. Here are some of these remedies:
- Milk and honey face pack: Milk is known to contain lactic acid. Apply a mixture of milk and honey on the affected part of the skin. This makes the hyper pigmented skin lighter in colour.
- Vegetable juices: Some vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber and potato are effective in getting rid of the skin pigments. Cut slices of these vegetables and rub them over the affected parts. The juices from these vegetables will lighten the pigmented part.
- Avocado magic: It is advisable to peel off an avocado and apply its juice with honey over the affected area.
- Add Vitamin E to your diet: Include foods rich in vitamin E in your meals. It helps in restoring the pigmented skin back to its normal form.
- Face mask: There are several face masks available that can work wonder in curing pigmentation of the skin. You can use face packs containing oatmeal, honey, sandalwood, turmeric powder, raw milk, and orange powder.
- Sun screen: It is important to guard your skin against the ultraviolet rays. UV rays lead to pigmentation of the skin. So, apply a sunscreen lotion or cream before stepping out of your home.
- Take up some exercise: A key to a healthy skin is a good lifestyle. One must exercise regularly to maintain proper blood circulation throughout the body. Proper flow of blood keeps the skin healthy and free from pigmentation.
- Avoid consumption of alcohol and cigarettes: The consumption of alcohol and cigarettes leads to the generation of toxins in our blood stream. This is harmful to our skin.
- Cocoa butter: It has nourishing and de-tanning effects on the skin. Use a cream that contains cocoa butter extracts on daily basis.
- Oil massage: Certain oils like olive and almond are good for treating damaged skin. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist and ask a free question.
I have small holes on my face Caused by chicken pox will you pls tell me how to get ride of that pls.
- Exposure to ultraviolet light through sunbathing, tanning booths, and outdoor sports increases the chance of developing wrinkles earlier.
- UV light breaks down the collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. These fibers form the skin's connective tissue. They are located under the surface of the skin, and they support the skin. Breaking down this layer causes the skin to become weaker and less flexible. The skin starts to droop, and wrinkles appear.
- Clothes that cover the body, such as hats and long sleeves, may delay the development of wrinkles.
- People who work in the sunlight have a higher chance of early wrinkles. Jobs that involve this type of exposure include fishing and farming. Sailors, golfers, beach lifeguards, and gardeners may also be more prone to skin aging.
- Regular smoking accelerates the aging process of skin, because of the reduced blood supply to the skin. Alcohol dehydrates the skin, and dry skin is more likely to wrinkle.
I wants to tell you about the problem of skin whitening. This problem is started from the month of March. I have already take the treatment but can't feel relief please tell me the solution of this problem?
Quite strikingly, Acne can become a persistent cause of your worries, if left untreated. Acne not only harms you physically, but also damages your psychological health. Persistent acne can result in a pockmarked face, making you feel sullen and unsure of yourself. Acne refers to a condition where the skin perpetually develops stinging, red bumps. Red pimples might show on your face, shoulders, back or neck. The bumps usually take a lot of time to heal and they leave behind deep scars. And, in order to treat, such scars one can go for cosmetic dermatology procedures.
Acne Scars: What are they?
When inflamed blemishes, result from crushing of excess oil, bacteria and dead cells in your skin pores, enlarge and swell up breaking the follicle wall, acne scarring is caused. One can get rid of acne scars through the natural healing process of your skin if the lesions are not very deep. Deep lesions will require medical assistance. New collagen formation can heal such scars, but it doesn't restore the radiance and tautness of your original skin. Acne scars can be divided into two broad types:
Hypertrophic and Keloid scarring: Raised tissue on the surface of the skin following excess collagen production causes such kind of scars.
Atrophic or depressed scarring: These scars are caused due to reduced tissue production. Small, but noticeable holes on your skin are called Ice picks. However, the boxcar is a scar, which is similar to a chicken pox mark.
Causes of Acne scars:
- Malfunctioning of hormones even after the age of puberty can lead to acne formation in both males and females.
- Food items rich in carbohydrates can trigger acne. Dairy products could also worsen the condition.
- Any medicine that contains lithium, androgen or corticosteroids can worsen this skin condition.
- Bacteria, excess oil, blocked pores, and dead skin cells are the primary reasons behind acne.
Treatments of Acne scars:
Cosmetic dermatology procedures can successfully help you do away with acne scars. Blue-light therapy, is a procedure in cosmetic dermatology, which can work wonders for acne scars. A narrow- band, but high - intensity Blue-light is used to counter Porphyrins released by bacteria causing acne. Porphyrins easily absorb Blue-light and the light leads to radical damage of Porphyrins when used in certain wavelengths.
There are certain topical creams available, which can improve mild scarring, most of the acne scars are either depressed or raised type and need a combination of surgical procedures and skin resurfacing. The therapeutic options that are currently available to treat acne scars include subcision, dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, derma rollers, chemical peels, TCA cross, ablative lasers, fractional lasers and dermal fillers.
Fractional resurfacing laser is one of the most effective treatments for acne scars. It is a minimally-ablative technique that creates microscopic zones of dermal injury in a grid-like pattern. This helps in collagen remodelling, skin tightening, scar improvement, reduction in fine lines, improvement in texture, tone and colour of the skin. A series of 4 to 6 sittings are usually needed for optimal results. Each session lasts for one hour and is performed at monthly intervals.
Certain types of scars such as the ice pick and rolling scars, pixel laser are combined with subcision, dermal rollers and TCA cross. In addition, punch excision and softening of margins with laser can be done for box scars. All the mentioned procedures are well-tolerated with local application of anesthetic creams before procedure. With these procedures, improvement of scars is seen over several weeks.
Lately, injectable dermal fillers are being used for correction of acne scars, giving it a smoother appearance. This is semi-permanent and needs to be redone as and when required. Timely treatment of acne is necessary to keep, both unwanted pigmentation and scars at bay. So, get rid of your scars and make the dream of blemish free and smooth skin come true.