Pigmentation means coloring. Skin pigmentation disorders affect the color of your skin. Our skin gets its color from pigment melanin. Special cells in the skin synthesize melanin. When these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it affects melanin production. Some pigmentation disorders are localized patches of skin. Others affect the entire body.
Skin pigmentation is a very common cosmetic problem faced by many. Melanin synthesis within melanosomes and their distribution to keratinocytes within the epidermal melanin unit determine skin pigmentation. Hyperpigmentation occurs when this system goes awry. Acne in the healing phase may also cause unsightly hyperpigmented areas.
Melanocytes are the pigment-producing cells of the body. When they produce too much pigment the condition is called hyperpigmentation This causes light to dark brown spots or patches on the skin surface. Hyperpigmentation can appear anywhere on the skin. Common causes include inflammation and/or trauma on the skin, medications, contact with certain cosmetic or plants and melasma. Pigmentation that follows trauma to the skin, such as a cut, burn, abrasion or surgical incision, or inflammation in the skin, such as after a rash, acne or severe skin dryness, is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It mimics the pattern of the original event.
Pigmentation problems can be made worse by
These are small lesions seen with acute or chronic exposure to the Sun. Common areas are the face and back of hands. They are also called Senile lentigos because they are generally seen after the age of 50. They are not seen in sun-protected areas
They are well-demarcated tan to dark brown macules that occur on the sun-exposed skin and darken in response to sunlight. They generally appear in childhood. Their incidence decreases with age.
Some are born with them and in others, they appear in the first few weeks of life. They may be brown, blue or red. Vascular ones have a leash of blood vessels inside them.
It is an acquired usually symmetric light to dark brown facial pigmentation or hypermelanosis. It develops slowly. It may have a genetic component. It is often seen in pregnancy or may be associated with ingestion of oral contraceptives. It may appear on cheeks, nose, upper lip and forehead. Common in patients with dark skin tones though can occur in all skin tones.
Sun exposure, heat, dry skin and some cosmetics may worsen melasma
Naevus of Ota
It consists of bluish-gray patches on areas of face supplied by the Trigeminal nerve or the nerve supplying the face. There may be associated pigmentation of the eye on the same side. Most often found in Asians and Africans
It is essentially a vascular disorder of the skin. The causative factor is thought to increase in Demodex mites. They may play a role in the inflammation of rosasea common areas of redness are nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead. It is commonly triggered by exercise, sun exposure, wind, heat, spicy foods, and stress.
Most cases of hyper-pigmentation can be improved over time after the underlying cause has been removed and managed. As sun exposure worsens hyperpigmentation it is important to protect the skin with sunscreen on a daily basis. Treatment often begins with a skin care regimen composed of a daily sunscreen, moisturizers, and skin care brighteners. Some of the more common skin brighteners include hydroquinone, vitamin C, azelaic acid, tretinoin and kojic acid.
At least 4-6 sessions depending on the pigmentation type. A gap of 4-8 weeks is necessary between sessions.
Some laser are chill tip ones so are very comfortable. In the other types numbing cream for 2 hours before the procedure makes it pain free.