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Hyperpigmentation is a relatively harmless condition, but can affect a person’s self-image and psyche. This skin condition is characterized by dark patches on the skin due to exposure to UV radiation or as a sign of aging. It is caused by an excessive production of melanin in the body. Hyperpigmentation affects people of all ages and with all skin types. However, fair-skinned people are at a higher risk of suffering from this condition than dark skinned people.
This condition can be treated in a number of ways including:
- Laser: Laser treatment for hyperpigmentation improves skin tone and boosts collagen production. With advancement in laser technology, scarring is no longer a very big risk with this form of treatment. Depending on the degree of hyperpigmentation argon or carbon dioxide lasers may be used in with short pulses or long pulses. Treatment can take anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes and is relatively pain free.
- Chemical peels: Chemical peels rid the skin of its top most layer and bring new cells to the surface. This gives the skin an even tone and eliminates dark spots and patchiness. A light salicylic acid or glycolic acid peel is ideal for hyperpigmentation treatment. This is often used in cases where the patient’s skin is resistant to over the counter topical treatment. The concentration of active ingredients in the peel depends on the skin tone. Mild skin discolouration and blotchiness can be treated with a superficial peel while age spots and freckles require a medium peel.
- Topical ointments: Topical ointments are usually the first form of treatment for hyperpigmentation. Hydroquinone or retinol are the most commonly prescribed ointments. Broad spectrum sunscreen that offers protection against UVA and UVB rays can also help prevent further sun damage and dark spots. Skin lightening creams with soy or niacinamide as active ingredients also help brighten skin tones.
Apart from these forms of treatment, there are also a number of home remedies for this condition. Some of these home remedies are:
- Rubbing a freshly sliced or the juice of a grated potato on the skin
- Applying a combination of cucumber and lemon juice on the skin
- A grated papaya face mask
- Soak almonds in milk overnight and then skin them and puree with the milk. Apply this mixture on the affected areas.
- A mask of guava and banana pulp. Consult an Expert & get answers to your questions!
A mole, sometimes known as a birthmark, is a non-cancerous disorder of pigmented skin cells. Moles can vary in their colour and shades. They are by and large, medium to dark brown and can even be skin-coloured or black at times. Most of the moles are regular in shape, flat and moderately even as well. A few moles are raised and these are typically delicate to touch and lighter in shading. They may or may not cause any kind of pain.
Everybody needs to check their moles at least every three months. However, following are the reasons why you should get your moles checked:
In case you have grown new moles or have a nearby relative with a medical background marked by melanoma.
You need to watch out for any moles that do not look like your other moles specifically. Dysplastic moles will be moles that look different than normal moles and may lead to melanoma. In case that you have different dysplastic moles, you are in serious danger of getting melanoma.
In case you have any moles that are bigger than most ones, have smudgy or unpredictable edges, which are uneven in shading or have some pinkness, you need to see a specialist and get them checked. Also, if you see a change in the colour or shade or the mole gets irritated, agonisingly painful or begins to bleed, see a specialist instantly.
Any moles that show up suddenly will need to be checked. The most concerning sign, nonetheless, is an evolving mole.
Most moles are non-cancerous and not that dangerous. However, there are certain moles that convert into lumps and can be cancerous in nature. Although, the chances of that happening are very rare, they still exist.
In case that you see changes in a mole's shading or appearance, you need to have a dermatologist assess it. You likewise need to have moles checked in case that they start to produce a liquid discharge or pus, start to itch, tingle, seem layered or become delicate or excruciating.
With regards to your well-being and health, it is a smart thought to be proactive and look out for risky moles. Moles can be connected to skin cancer. This is particularly possible in case you have a family history of skin diseases connected to moles.
Self-diagnose and examine your skin in front of a mirror. Give careful consideration to the zones of your skin that are frequently exposed to the sun, for example, the hands, arms, abdomen, face and head. Along with limiting your exposure to sunlight and utilising sunscreens, inspecting yourself for moles can help with early detection of melanoma (the deadliest kind of skin tumour) and hence, get some treatment.
Staying out in the sun too long can cause you to suffer from a host of skin problems such as age spots, wrinkles and even increase your risk of developing skin cancer. During the summer months, you need to take extra care of yourself as the sun is at its peak at that time. Here's what you can do in this summer to ensure that your skin remains protected:
1. Avoid the rays of the sun between 10 am and 2 pm - The strength of the UV rays depends on a number of factors such as reflective surfaces, height, and time of day. The sun's UV rays are at their strongest between 10 am and 2 pm. If you're outdoors, seek a cool area to protect yourself from the damaging rays of the sun. You could stand under a tree or use an umbrella to shield yourself from its ultraviolet rays.
2. Don't use tanning beds - Several studies reveal that tanning beds can cause skin cancer. According to these studies, individuals under 30 who use tanning beds increase their risk of melanoma (the most deadly of all skin cancers) by about 75%.
3. Increase your fluid intake - One of the ways in which you can beat the sun and protect your skin is by increasing your fluid intake during this time. On an average, one should have about 3 liters of fluids every day, which is about 1.5-2 liters of water and 1 liter of fluid from solid foods. From summer foods like watermelon and berries to beverages like fruit juice, milk, etc and liquid-based meals - all these avenues should be considered.
4. Have a proper cleansing regimen - To help your skin look fresh even during the summer months, you should exfoliate regularly. When you do this, all the dead skin cells are removed, giving your face a youthful and fresh appeal.
5. Use a sunscreen all the time - To protect yourself from the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun, you should never forget to apply sunscreen when going out. Ideally, a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 should be applied thoroughly to your skin 30 minutes before leaving your house. More importantly, it should be applied again every 2 hours.