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Pigmentation: Tips For Managing It!

Dr. Nandini Teli 88% (15 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Dermatology, Fellowship In Anti Aging & Aesthetic Medicine (Germany)
Dermatologist, Pune  •  10 years experience
Pigmentation: Tips For Managing It!

There would only be a handful of people who are happy with the way their skin looks. While acne and pimples are the concerns at a younger age, but with age the concerns shift to dark circles and pigmentation. Both light and dark pigments become worrisome, and one continuously looks for ways to manage them.

The skin has a pigment called melanin, which is responsible for the color; more the melanin component, darker the skin complexion. This can either decrease or increase and can affect people of any age or gender. Whether or not you will be a victim of pigmentation depends on genetics, sun exposure, skin care regime, hormonal changes (puberty, pregnancy), stress levels and hormonal changes. While hyperpigmentation is very common with old age, hypopigmentation is not very normal and it is advisable to seek medical attention to rule out more serious underlying diseases. The most common types of hyperpigmentation include:

  1. Melasma: This is caused by hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy.

Preventing hyperpigmentation:

  1. Minimizing sun damage is the first and most important step in reducing onset and severity of pigmentation. Use a sunscreen that at least has an SPF of 15 regularly. It is not just on sunny days that the sun causes damage. If you are heading out (even cloudy days), it means the sun can damage you. Avoid sun exposure as much as possible if you know you are prone to pigmentation.
  2. Regular use of scrubs and exfoliators ensures the buildup of dead cells is removed, which itself leads to hyperpigmentation in many people. For dry or sensitive skin, exfoliate 1 to 2 times a week. For oily skin, exfoliate 2 to 3 times a week. Try to avoid scrubs on acne as the abrasive effect can worsen the condition.

Treatment for Hyperpigmentation-

Pigmentation issues run in the family and if your mother and grandmother had it, it is very likely you are prone for hyperpigmentation too. In these cases, aggressive skin care routine can help improve appearance. Ensure that the skin care products used contain at least an SPF of 15 and other active ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). The glycolic and lactic acids are examples of AHAs, which aid in removing dead cells that form on the skin. This produces a clearer skin with lesser discoloration. Vitamin C and E and kojic acid are also effective for treating hyperpigmentation. Other dermatological treatments-

  1. Chemical Peels: Chemical Peels are a more intensive treatment used in cases of more persistent pigmentation or to hasten the lightening effects of the topical prescription products. Peels work by exfoliating the upper-most layer of your skin and the dark area with it. There are many different types of peels and they are usually solutions that the dermatologist applies to the skin.
  2. Medication: Topical treatments such as hydroquinone, azelaic acid, tretinoin cream, GA, and trichloroacetic acid. Skin whitening products are used for clinical treatment of postinflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  3. Q-Switch Laser Treatment: The Q-switched laser is used to remove unwanted brown spots, sun freckles, or tattoos from your skin. The laser energy pulse, which is in billionths of a second, releases the pigment into the skin so it can be naturally reabsorbed and disposed of by the body.

In addition to these, ensure you eat a healthy diet with loads of fresh fruits and vegetables, stay hydrated, reduce sun exposure, and you surely will have be able to deal with pigmentation.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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