This is Dr. Rahul Shetty MD dermatologist. Today we will be talking about pigmentation. Pigmentation is the discoloration or the discoloured patches which appear on your face. Pigmentation is usually caused because of the excess production of melanin or the lack of melanin in your skin. Excess production of melanin causes hyper pigmentation where as the lack of it causes hypo pigmentation. Today we will be discussing mainly about the hyper pigmented patches which appear on your face. Hyper pigmentation usually occurs because of the commonest cause being the sun exposure causing the Brown sunspots, melasma post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation, age spots and birthmarks. So the commonest pigmentation is because of the exposure to the sun. The sun causes something we call as photo pigmentation in the skin because it produces an excess of melanin in the skin and results in hyper pigmentary spots on your face.
So, these can appear as freckles and can range from freckles to melasma as well. Now the treatment differs according to the pigmentation present in the face. Freckles will appear as dark brown spots on your face which usually are present during summer and they fade out in winter. The treatment varies depending on the severity of the freckles and usually just sun protection will help in reducing the freckles for you. Melasma, on the other hand is a more stubborn pigmentation which is usually present on the face and usually on the butterfly area of the face ranging over the nose and the cheek area. Now this is usually present in pregnant women called as sclersma and it can persist for many years together. Now the treatment in it requires certain persistence on the part of the patient as well because it requires sun protection, a variety of treatment options such as peels, lasers and also PRP to be done. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is another common cause of pigmentation. It usually appears after a certain amount of infection or inflammation which occurs in the body and which may lead to an overflow of melanin to the skin. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is another common cause of pigmentation which can occur anywhere on the body.
It usually occurs after an infection or an injury which can lead to the melanin actually becoming excess in these areas. The melanin excess causes the pigmentation and that can last for at least months to years if left untreated. So the treatment options involved in these cases usually involve again a certain amount of peel sessions to be done. So, the treatment of post inflammatory hyper pigmentation usually involves a certain amount of medical treatments, it involves a certain amount of treatments done in the clinics such as peels and lasers which can help in lightening these areas. Now coming to the treatment of pigmentation, treatment of pigmentation usually requires a certain amount of persistence from the patient’s part because they have to follow a proper skin regimen on their own as well as certain treatments which can be done in the clinic. Now the treatment what the patient usually has to follow that is a skin regimen which is usually prepared by a dermatologist usually involves photo protection with the help of a sunscreen, de-pigmenting agents which can include hydroquinone and lastly they have to apply certain other natural components like vitamin C which can help in reducing the pigmentation as well.
Now coming to the treatments which are done in a clinic setup usually involves peels which can be done, they usually involves Q switched lasers and they can also involve newer technique such as resurfacing carbon dioxide lasers, pico lasers as well as platelet rich plasma can also be used to reduce the melanin content. Now peels and lasers these are the commonest things which are used to help reduce the pigmentation and when done in conjunction help in reducing the pigmentation to considerable amount. Peels help in reducing the melanin content of the skin by exfoliating the superficial layers of the skin whereas a laser can be used to reduce the melanin content targeting different layers of the skin depending on what layer the pigmentation has usually settled in. Whenever you have a pigmentation problem, always consult a dermatologist so that they can make a proper skin regimen for you and do the necessary treatment required.
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