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:
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-
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.
Vitiligo is a long-term skin condition characterized by patches of the skin losing their pigment. The patches of skin affected become white and usually have sharp margins. The hair from the skin may also become white. The inside of the mouth and nose may also be involved. Typically both sides of the body are affected. often the patches begin on areas of skin that are exposed to the sun. It is more noticeable in people with dark skin. Vitiligo may result in psychological stress and those affected may be stigmatized.
The exact cause of vitiligo is unknown. It is believed to be due to genetic susceptibility that is triggered by an environmental factor such that an autoimmune disease occurs. This results in the destruction of skin pigment cells. Risk factors include a family history of the condition or other autoimmune diseases, such as
Hyperthyroidism, alopecia areata, and pernicious anemia. It is not contagious. Vitiligo is classified into two main types: segmental and non-segmental. Most cases are non-segmental, meaning they affect both sides; and in these cases, the affected area of the skin typically expands with time. About 10% of cases are segmental, meaning they mostly involve one side of the body; and in these cases, the affected area of the skin typically does not expand with time. Diagnosis can be confirmed by tissue biopsy.
There is no known cure for vitiligo. For those with light skin, sunscreen and makeup are all that is typically recommended. Other treatment options may include
Steroid creams or phototherapy to darken the light patches. Alternatively, efforts to lighten the unaffected skin, such as with hydroquinone, may be tried. A number of surgical options are available for those who do not improve with other measures. A combination of treatments generally has better outcomes. Counselling to provide emotional support may be useful.
Globally about 1% of people are affected by vitiligo. Some populations have rates as high as 2–3%. Males and females are equally affected. About half show the disorder before age 20 and most develop it before age 40. Vitiligo has been described since ancient history.
Signs and symptoms-
Classification attempts to quantify vitiligo have been analyzed as being somewhat inconsistent, while recent consensus have agreed to a system of segmental vitiligo (sv) and non-segmental vitiligo (nsv). Nsv is the most common type of vitiligo.
In non-segmental vitiligo (nsv), there is usually some form of symmetry in the location of the patches of depigmentation. New patches also appear over time and can be generalized over large portions of the body or localized to a particular area. Extreme cases of vitiligo, to the extent that little pigmented skin remains, are referred to as vitiligo universalis. Nsv can come about at any age (unlike segmental vitiligo, which is far more prevalent in teenage years).
Classes of non-segmental vitiligo include the following:
Segmental vitiligo (sv) differs in appearance, cause, and frequency of associated illnesses. Its treatment is different from that of nsv. It tends to affect areas of skin that are associated with dorsal roots from the spinal cord and is most often unilateral. It is much more stable/static in course and its association with autoimmune diseases appears to be weaker than that of generalized vitiligo. SV does not improve with topical therapies or uv light, however surgical treatments such as cellular grafting can be effective.
Chemical leukoderma is a similar condition due to multiple exposures to chemicals. Vitiligo however is a risk factor. Triggers may include inflammatory skin conditions, burns, intralesional steroid injections and abrasions.
Other conditions with similar symptoms include the following:
There is no cure for vitiligo but several treatment options are available. The best evidence is for applied steroids and the combination of ultraviolet light in combination with creams. Due to the higher risks of skin cancer, the united kingdom's national health service suggests phototherapy only be used if primary treatments are ineffective. Lesions located on the hands, feet, and joints are the most difficult to repigment; those on the face are easiest to return to the natural skin color as the skin is thinner in nature.