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Most skin problems develop due to external damage. However, skin problems may also occur due to the internal problems, such as an unhealthy diet and lifestyle issues. One of the fairly common problems is skin pigmentation.
What is skin pigmentation?
Skin pigmentation primarily refers to the change in skin color in patches across the body. These could occur all over the body including your face. Skin pigmentation problems primarily include:
- Hyperpigmentation: The darkening of skin in specific areas
- Hypopigmentation: The lightening or development of paler spots on the skin.
Both of these disorders are caused by anomalies in the levels of melanin (the pigment that imparts color to the skin, hair) with either overproduction or underproduction of the pigment.
Primary causes of hyperpigmentation:
Although both problems affect the skin in a multitude of ways, the excess deposition of melanin causing skin darkening is much more common than the hypo-pigmentation variety. Some of the causes of hyperpigmentation are described as follows:
- Sun damage: This is one of the obvious factors that will cause skin pigmentation as sun exposure causes melanocytes or melanin producing cells within the skin to become hyperactive and thus cause dark patches.
- Hormonal issues: Another common issue which results in patches are hormonal changes or issues within the body such as spikes in estrogen or progesterone levels or even problems with insulin.
- Other factors: Diet and lifestyle are also other factors which may cause internal changes that reflect on your skin. Even using certain skin care products and using certain medications can result in skin hyper pigmentation.
Skin brightening techniques:
Some of the common skin brightening techniques that are used to deal with skin hyper-pigmentation are:
- Chemical methods to brighten skin: Chemicals such as peels, exfoliates and other brightening products change the skin color by affecting the epidermis or the top layer of the skin. Some of these medications and products are made with retinol and tretinoin and other chemicals which push vitamin A into the skin to lighten the tone.
- Prevention of pigmentation: The best method to fight pigmentation is to not let it happen in the first place and sunscreen is a great way to go about it. Sun damage is by far the most common cause for pigmentation issues. Also dietary and other lifestyle changes, such as excessive alcohol consumption may cause skin pigmentation. Keep off tobacco and limit your alcohol consumption.
- Use of Mechanical means: Mechanical means, such as dermabrasion (cosmetically removing the skin’s superficial layers), microdermabrasion (removal of dead skin cells from the face) and lasers and other means actually skim away a thin layer of skin to allow for new skin to grow back which results in the elimination of pigmentation.
It is however, advisable that you visit your dermatologist first and then decide on the best course of action to deal with skin pigmentation problems as well as devise a strategy to halt further skin darkening.