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Acanthosis Nigricans - Know More About It!

Dr. Brinda David 92% (52 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Skin & VD
Dermatologist, Pondicherry
Acanthosis Nigricans - Know More About It!

Acanthosis nigricans is a pigmentation disorder, which leads to velvety, black patch formations on the skin. In some cases, the patch of skin may also give off a foul odour while itching is also a normal symptom of the condition. It can appear at several spots of the body, including the knees, elbows, palms, knuckles and neck. Here is a look at the diagnostic procedure for the condition as well as the treatment prescribed to patients.

Diagnosis of Acanthosis Nigricans
Acanthosis nigricans is more common in males than it is in females. Additionally, being overweight, having darker skin or diabetes are some of the risk factors. Here is how the disease is diagnosed-

  1. Diagnosis of the condition is easy since examination with the naked eyes reveals the patchy black areas of skin on the patient.
  2. Doctors will perform tests to understand what is causing the condition. There can be two primary causes, namely, insulin resistance or diabetes. Usually, a test to measure the blood glucose levels in the blood is conducted.
  3. Doctors will also check if any medication is acting as a contributing factor for causing the problem.
  4. The doctor may also order a biopsy test if he/she feels that the issue is being caused by something other than Acanthosis nigricans. However, such a test is rarely performed during the diagnosis of the skin condition.

Treatment for Acanthosis nigricans
Acanthosis nigricans is not a disease by itself but a symptom caused by an underlying condition affecting the patient. This is why the treatment of the skin condition involves dealing with the underlying ailment.

  1. If your excess body weight is causing the appearance of the black patches on the skin, doctors will advise you to lose weight and get back in shape.
  2. The help of certain medications may also be taken in such a case to keep the blood glucose levels under check.
  3. Cosmetic treatments such as chemical peels, Laser, etc are used to treat the condition.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the only long-term solution for the disorder. If you suffer from the same, make sure that you eat healthily and exercise regularly, if you want to stay free from the symptoms of the condition.

1323 people found this helpful

Skin Brightening - Know Forms Of Them!

Dr. Chinmoy Raj 87% (10 ratings)
MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Bhubaneswar
Skin Brightening - Know Forms Of Them!

Skin Brightening products, also referred to as bleaching creams, whiteners, skin lighteners or for instance, fading creams, work by helping to reduce a pigment known as melanin that is present on the skin. Most people who make use of skin brighteners, do so in order to treat skin problems like freckles, spots due to aging, scars as a result of acne or skin getting discoloured that is mainly related to hormones.

This is an effective skin care regimen that has been particularly formulated to restore skin brightness as well as radiance due to the fact that it helps in reducing the appearance of dark spots and fine lines.

What Really Determines Colour of the Skin?

A person’s skin colour is mainly determined by the extent of melanin present in the skin. Melanin is a pigment that gets produced by some special cells known as melanocytes. People, who have dark skin, tend to contain more melanin.

Some of the factors that can affect production of melanin are:

  • Exposure to Sunlight
  • Hormones
  • Damage to skin
  • Role of Skin Brightening for Skins

Skin Brightening is also referred to as skin illuminating. This refers to an advanced skin care collection that seeks to address the different degrees of skin discolouration along with uneven texture and tone.

Skin Brightening assists in getting rid of the discolouration and dark patches on the skin in the following manner:

The primary role of a skin brightener is to maintain a bright as well as radiant complexion but not to whiten the skin up. It rather helps a woman to get their skin’s glow back.

As people tend to grow older, the skin turnover slows down as there is a decrease in the turnover of collagen. Hence, cells do not shed quickly enough and thus, create an extremely dull appearance along with the damage due to exposure to sunlight and stress. Skin Brightening is the ideal mode of treatment to brighten the skin up through exfoliation.

Brighteners Preferred by Dermatologists


Hydroquinone helps in fading out many spots when used on a consistent basis and also prevents the enzyme required for creating new spots. This along with a prescription retinoid, assists to lighten the patches within 4 to 6 weeks.

Azelaic Acid:

Dermatologists usually prescribe this for soothing out skins that are sensitive as well as rosacea-prone. Azelaic Acid targets only the excess amount of melanin that is present on the skin.


Researches carried out by scientists made them realize the fact that this helps to dissolve the melanin, which is present on the skin’s surface. Melanozyme works wonders within four weeks while most other brighteners take nearly two months.

2 people found this helpful

Q-Switched Laser - What Should You Know?

Dr. Nivedita Dadu 91% (170 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma In Dermatology And Venerology And Leprosy (DDVL), DNB (Dermatology), MNAMS
Dermatologist, Delhi
Q-Switched Laser - What Should You Know?

A Q-switched laser is a non-invasive laser, which emits high-intensity pulsed beam light, and is used as a treatment for dermatological conditions. The laser beams are powerful enough to shatter small fragments of ink or pigmentation and stimulate the production of collagen.

Q-switched lasers, with advanced technology, can be used to rectify the following conditions –

Tattoo removal
• Treatment of toenail fungus
• Sunspots
Age Spots
• Freckles
• Spider veins
• Angiomas
Skin rejuvenation
• Port wine stains

Each type of dermatological condition is treated with a different type of Q-switched lasers.

Types of Q-switched lasers:

The most commonly used Q-switched lasers are –

• Q-switched Nd – YAG laser is used in laser toning, freckles, pigmentation, etc.
• Alexandrite Laser – Used for hair removal

How does laser treatment work?

The laser energy pulse releases the pigment into the skin so your body can reabsorb and discard it naturally. The laser energy may feel like several tiny hot dots tingling on the skin. However, the discomfort is reduced when a stream of cold air is directed at these spots immediately after the procedure.

If you are opting for Q-switched laser treatment for tattoo removal, you will likely be given anaesthetics on the particular area because the procedure is rather painful.

Benefits of Q-switched Laser Treatment:

The benefits of modern Q-switched laser treatment are umpteen. Here are a few ways the procedure will prove advantageous to you –

• Helps tighten loose, sagging skin
• Improves facial appearance by removing wrinkles and fine lines
• Gives your self-esteem a boost as stretch marks and birthmarks are eliminated
• Helps you get rid of skin conditions and improves skin tone
• A trusted treatment approach for tattoo and hair removal
• The results are long-lasting, usually three years
• Does not involve severe complications or side effects
• A single machine used to treat a range of skin conditions
• Non-invasive, painless procedure
• Can be used in combination with other cosmetic procedures

What to Expect after the Treatment?

Following the treatment, you can expect a few cuts and bruises on the area that has been treated. To speed up healing, your doctor or dermatologist may recommend petroleum jelly or plain Vaseline that you will need to apply on the treated area and cover it with bandages for a couple of days. Full recovery takes about a few days to 2 weeks, depending on the area being treated.

Q-switch laser treatment is a breakthrough procedure in the field of dermatology. If you are considering going for the treatment, talk to your doctor and discuss the details of the procedure beforehand.

4113 people found this helpful

Leucoderma - How Can Homeopathy Resolve It?

Dr. Zameer F Refai 87% (10 ratings)
BHMS, MD - Homeopathy
Homeopathy Doctor, Surat
Leucoderma - How Can Homeopathy Resolve It?

Leucoderma in the medical world is also referred to as Vitiligo. Leuco means white and derma means skin. Leucoderma is an autoimmune skin disorder wherein parts of the skin start to lose colour. This leads to the appearance of patches of white skin. The human skin contains a pigment referred to as Melanin, which is produced by cells known as melanocytes. The pigment is dark in colour and gives the skin its colour. Melanin when present in our skin also helps to provide protection to the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.

When there is deficiency or destruction or loss of the melanin pigment the skin loses whatever colour it had initially and in its place leads to the appearance of the white patches. The patches have no fixed shape and size and over time they tend to keep growing in size unless due treatment is received.

The areas of the body that are most prone to losing skin colour are:

• Body fold areas such as the armpit or groin
• Body openings such as hands or face

Leucoderma is neither infectious nor does it cause any pain.


The causes of Leucoderma’s occurrence are not definite. However, some of the most common associated reasons are:

• Mental Stress
• Poor Immune System
• Acute Gastric Disorder
Hepatic functions such as jaundice
• Defective sweating mechanism
• Deficiency of either calcium, protein, or cupro minerals
• Presence of defective enzyme Tyrosinase
• Injuries sustained as a result of a burn
• Long-term disorders such as dysentery
Diabetes mellitus
• Addison’s disease
• Hereditary factors

Homoeopathy Treatment of Leucoderma:

In the medical world homoeopathy treatment of Leucoderma has shown positive results because homoeopathy true to its nature goes to the root of the issue and tries to give holistic treatment. It aids in improving the immune system and in due time restores the lost pigment melanin back to the skin and in turn, the white patches disappear.
Homoeopathy believes that Leucoderma is merely the skin’s way of expressing that there is some system disturbance on about. In some cases, homoeopathy requires a detailed understanding of the patient’s medical history and mental condition.
The duration of treatment and as well as the success of Leucoderma is a long-drawn process and depends on the extent of the white patches and the time taken by the illness to persist. As logic would say the bigger patches take a longer time to disappear whereas the smaller ones disappear faster. Generally, the time taken to treat Leucoderma can range from one year to a couple of years and even a lifetime, if in the latter case, the white patches have spread to more than 60 per cent of the body.

The Treatment Procedure:

• Once the treatment has begun the white patch areas will turn pink and then brown and then will slowly begin repigmenting.
• As part of the treatment procedure, the white patch areas need to be exposed to the sun in the early morning for about half an hour.
• A mild medicated soap should be used.
• Avoid or limit the use of cosmetic products on the skin
• Ensure that your daily diet contains sufficient portions of vitamins and proteins derived from food
• Avoid consuming citrus fruits, red meat, prawns, crabs and sour food items such as tamarind
• Try to keep yourself stress-free as much as possible
• And maintain a positive attitude

If the above-mentioned rules are followed then over time it is possible that your Leucoderma condition can be treated.


2 people found this helpful

Facial Hyperpigmentation And Uneven Skin Tone!

Dr. Niharika Chugh 89% (13 ratings)
BDS, MD - Alternate Medicine, PGDHSc-Acupuncture
Acupuncturist, Delhi
Facial Hyperpigmentation And Uneven Skin Tone!

Acupuncture is a very effective remedy for the treatment of facial hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, dark circles, fine lines.

6 people found this helpful

Skin Pigmentation - How To Avert It?

Dr. Rachna 93% (31 ratings)
Master in Dermatology
Dermatologist, Noida
Skin Pigmentation - How To Avert It?

Most skin problems develop due to external damage. However, skin problems may also occur due to 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 the 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Hormonal issues: Another common issues 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.
  3. 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 hyperpigmentation.

Skin brightening techniques:
Some of the common skin brightening techniques that are used to deal with skin hyperpigmentation are:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

4394 people found this helpful

Scalp Micro Pigmentation - Know Good & Bad Of It!

Dr. B. Lakshmi Divya 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Hyderabad
Scalp Micro Pigmentation - Know Good & Bad Of It!

For long, people have had a tough time dealing with hair fall and baldness. In some people, especially men, the baldness may appear in patches, affecting their overall appearance, with people looking way older than their age. Scalp Micro Pigmentation has been a revelation in the truest sense, taking the market by storm. It is a natural and non-surgical procedure to deal with hair fall and the associated problems.

Scalp Micro Pigmentation can be used to treat a host of hair problems including

  • Alopecia (hair loss which is genetically triggered), crown balding, partial or complete baldness in men, as well as diffused hair loss.
  • Women, too, can benefit from the Scalp Micro Pigmentation.
  • Scars (in the scalp), resulting from an injury or an accident can be successfully camouflaged using SMP.
  • Also termed as the Medical Hairline Tattoo, Scalp MicroPigmentation is much more than any ordinary hair tattoo. It is a scientifically approved procedure which uses natural and hypoallergenic (thereby eliminating the chances of any allergic reactions) pigments.

Unlike Hair transplant, Scalp MicroPigmentation (SMP), does not help in hair regrowth. However, the bald patches (partial or complete) can be perfectly camouflaged using SMP. In SMP, natural pigments are applied to the scalp (the 2nd dermal layer). These pigments give the impression of natural hair follicles. In the case of complete baldness, your scalp will appear to be clean shaved (due to the pigments that mimic the natural hair follicles).

It takes 3 sessions (each lasting for 3-4 hours) for a complete Scalp MicroPigmentation, performed by highly skilled and experienced practitioners. For better results, the practitioner maintains at least a week's gap between the sessions. The procedure usually needs a touch-up every 2-3 years.

Merits and Demerits of Scalp MicroPigmentation (SMP)

  • Scalp MicroPigmentation comes as a blessing for people who have made desperate and all possible attempts to deal with the hair loss and the associated stigma that comes with it.
  • Being a non-surgical procedure, SMP involves no incision (unlike hair transplantation).
  • SMP is not very expensive and leaves only a small pinch in the pocket.
  • The use of natural and hypoallergenic pigments minimize the chances of infections or associated complications.
  • Side-effects are seldom observed in SMP.
  • It has a quick healing time of about 2-4 days.

Like most of the surgeries and procedures, the Scalp MicroPigmentation too comes with its share of demerits.

  • The biggest drawback of SMP is that it does not cause any hair growth. All it does is to hide the bald patches or the receding hairline with the natural pigments.
  • The procedure will only give the scalp a fuller look. It can do nothing about the length of the hair, unlike a hair transplant, where you have a hair growth of the desired length.
  • If you intend to go for hair transplant at a later period, do not opt for SMP, as it will leave a disparity in the hair color.
  • In spite of the few demerits, SMP is still widely recommended, although the ultimate decision will always be yours.
2613 people found this helpful

What Is Scalp Micro Pigmentation?

Dermatologist, Noida
What Is Scalp Micro Pigmentation?

Micro Scalp Pigmentation is also known as Scalp Micro Pigmentation is a great new solution for anyone who suffers from baldness. This procedure is ideal for people wanting a long term hair loss solution without any surgery or scars.

MSP is a method of depositing pigment into the dermal layer of the skin on the scalp, which replicates hair follicles. When viewed from a few inches or further away, the pigment dots appear as hair follicles and the client has the appearance of a full head of recently shaved hair. MSP is colour matched on a grayscale for most clients and can be used to treat clients of very pale complexion to extremely dark skin tones. Pigment changes also allow treatment for clients with red hair, blonde hair or older clients who have much grey or white hair. A Scalp Micro Pigmentation procedure is also much more cost-effective than normal hair transplant procedures. SMP companies or MSP companies offer there same services and professionalism even though the prices are lower for the procedure.

I am well aware that many people are a bit sceptical about having this Scalp Micro Pigmentation procedure done as it's a fairly new hair restoration solution/procedure on the market and one must be sure that the procedure is going to be done properly and professionally by people who know really what they are doing. This is why you need to be sure about the company that you choose for this procedure. Usually, a Scalp Pigmentation test procedure is done before the main procedure which will be applied to a very small area of your scalp. After this test procedure, you can see a photograph of this area and have it magnified many times so that you can see exactly how good the results really are with your own eyes. Please note that this process is nothing like a hair tattoo.

The Scalp micro pigmentation procedure has a very natural-looking effect due to the fact that smaller specialized needles and specialized pigment inks are used. This enables the matching of human hair pigments and doesn't change colour over time. You will also be able to see how your natural hair colour matches with the pigment colour which is applied for the Scalp Micro Pigmentation. Also the chosen Micro Scalp Pigment colour is as close a match as possible to your natural hair colour which will, as a result, be almost undetectable and look very natural. You have nothing to lose by trying this out.


Know The Causes And Treatment Of Freckles!

Dr. Jyotsna Deo 85% (11 ratings)
MD - Dermatology, MBBS, DNB
Dermatologist, Navi Mumbai
Know The Causes And Treatment Of Freckles!

The complexion of a person is determined by a pigment known as melanin. More the amount of melanin in a person, darker the complexion. The benefit of melanin is effective sun protection, and it prevents damage from sun exposure.

We have noticed people with dark (brown/black) spots that are darker than the surroundings skin. Commonly affected areas are the face, neck, hands, back, etc. These are melanin concentrated areas and become more visible in fair complexioned people. They are caused due to overproduction of melanin by the melanocytes, which are responsible for the production of melanin.

Now, what causes freckles is not clearly established, though the following are proposed.

  1. Exposure to sunlight: The cells responsible for melanin production absorb the sun and therefore produce excessive melanin. This is a natural defence mechanism of the skin.
  2. Ethnicity: Races with white skin are more likely to have freckles than races with darker skin.
  3. Weather: Some people tend to have freckles only in the summer with fairly clear skin during the winter.
  4. Genetics: If your parents or siblings have freckles, the chances of you having it are quite high.
  5. Tanning: Whether by natural means of greater exposure to the sun or artificially done if the salon, increases the chances of developing freckles.

Treatment: There are rumours stating that freckles are “angel kisses,” and “good night charms” and should not be removed as it would bring bad fortune. This is, however, not true and for purely cosmetic reasons, they need to be removed. The commonly affected age group (<30) also is cosmetically sensitive, and therefore the need to treat these.

Prevention is the best and the first solution. Whether by race, heredity, or lifestyle, if you are prone to develop freckles, ensure you are taking the necessary steps to avoid getting freckles in the first place. Avoid sun exposure without sun protection, avoid tanning, and you will be surprised how you can actually prevent freckles. Watch out for weather changes and avoid sun exposure. Reducing the amount of sun exposure can also help in keeping the freckles light, thereby not making too much of a cosmetic concern.

If prevention is not possible, some of the effective treatment measures include:

  1. Topical creams: These contain bleaching agents like Retin-A. One disadvantage though is that it acts on the entire skin and not just the freckles.
  2. Laser: A beam of the laser is used to get rid of the unwanted melanocytes which produce melanin. It also improves skin tone and colour.
  3. Cryotherapy: Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the melanin-producing cells, thereby removing freckles.

After treating freckles, preventing freckle formation with limiting sun exposure and sun protection is extremely essential.

4740 people found this helpful

Pigmentation - How Can It Impact Us?

Dr. Sumit Sharma 88% (490 ratings)
MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Panipat
Pigmentation - How Can It Impact Us?

Pigmentation or the colour of your skin can be a sign of the state of your health. The skin colour can become lighter (hypopigmentation) or darker (hyperpigmentation) when you go through some physical illness or sustain an injury. Melanin is the agent which is responsible for the colour of our skin. When the cells responsible for melanin production get damaged, pigmentation disorders start to appear. When the body produces excessive melanin, the skin tends to get darker.

Excessive exposure to sun, Addison’s disease and pregnancy are some of the factors which might make the skin look darker. On the other hand, limited production of melanin makes the skin lighter and creates light patches. The condition in which your skin develops light patches is known as Vitiligo.

  1. People with darker skin tone are more susceptible to changes in pigmentation. Since dark skin contains more melanin, individuals with dark skin are more prone to ‘melasma’. Melasma is a condition wherein dark patches appear on the surface of the skin and are generally triggered by a change in the level of hormones. Though pregnant women are susceptible to this condition, it can also appear in men.
  2. Pigmentation around the neck could imply a kind of diabetes which is resistant to insulin. Whenever you find that the dark patches around the neck aren’t remedied by regular scrubbing, you need to see a doctor.
  3. Changes in skin pigmentation are also indicative of thyroid problems. Carotenemia is a condition wherein the skin colour turns more yellowish. It could be the result of hypothyroidism where there is an increased production of an antioxidant called beta-carotene in the blood. The beta-carotene, which is found in a number of fruits and vegetables, is generally processed by our thyroid gland. However, when the individual is suffering from hypothyroidism, the vitamins aren’t easily metabolized and thus get accumulated. This leads to orange and yellow skin hues which is indicative of thyroid issues.
  4. People with diabetes often experience bronzing of skin which is generally linked with iron metabolism. Yellowish skin pigmentation, on the other hand, is usually indicative of liver problems. Yellowing of skin along with yellowish tinges on the whites of the eyes is surely indicative of liver failure. Extreme cases of skin darkening or hyperpigmentation in areas around the joints (knees and elbows) could signal some kind of hormonal problem like Addison’s disease. It is always suggested that you consult with your physician whenever you notice a drastic change in your skin tone.
4138 people found this helpful

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