In the previous post, we talked about skin discoloration, areas where it can happen, and treatment options.
In this article, we will shed more light on skin pigmentation disorders, possible factors causing pigmentation, and viable treatments.
As mentioned in the last post, human skin contains melanin, which is responsible for the color of the skin. The imbalance in melanin production in different body areas can cause the skin to appear discolored.
The complex process of melanin production inside the layers of skin determines the color of the skin.
There are two key types of melanin: Eumelanin and Pheomelanin:
The balance between these two types of melanin determines the color of the skin. This can shift depending on hormones, interactions of other cells in your body, the impact of certain genes, and more.
The amount and balance of these types of melanin define pigmentation in the skin. Here are some common types of pigmentation:
As the name suggests, birthmarks appear after birth. They are abnormalities of the skin that usually appear within a few weeks. Most birthmarks are not serious and do not pose a risk; some might even go away on their own. Among the most common birthmarks are:
This type of hyperpigmentation can be caused by serious injuries, acne breakouts, burns, or different types of infections. The developed hyperpigmentation can appear as brown or black spots that form after the skin is healed.
Vitamins such as B12 and vitamin D have a strong association with skin pigment changes. The imbalance of these vitamins can be caused as a result of disorder, lack of sun exposure, or other reasons which can lead to skin complications.
Another determining factor for hyperpigmentation is age. As you age, you may notice more spots on the skin around the face, chest, and other areas. The risk of developing these spots is higher if you fail to apply sunscreen to these areas properly and frequently enough.
So far, there are over 125 genes known to affect skin pigmentation. These genes are responsible for regulating and balancing melanin production in the skin. Genes can determine how much Eumelanin and Pheomelanin are produced by the skin cells, as well as how they function and survive over time, which determines the change in skin color.
There are several reasons that can lead to a change in the color of your skin, such as pigment disorders, injuries, and a variety of internal or external factors. Skin pigmentation can happen anywhere on the skin, and appear as Hyperpigmentation, Hypopigmentation, and Depigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation, in which patches of skin become darker, is quite common and usually harmless. The darkening of the skin occurs due to an unusually high amount of melanin in the skin.
Hyperpigmentation can be caused by:
Hypopigmentation causes the skin to appear lighter because of an abnormally low amount of melanin.
Reasons for hypopigmentation include:
This condition causes the skin to lose pigments and become white. One of the common causes of depigmentation is Vitiligo.
Melasma is identified by tan or brown patches that appear on different parts of the body, like the forehead, upper lip, nose, and chin. Melasma is often called the “pregnancy mask;” however, in rare cases, men can also develop it. Women who are consuming pregnancy prevention medication or postmenopausal medication can develop melasma. Sunlight can make this condition worse.
Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack the pigment cells, which leads to pigment loss. This condition leads to the formation of white patches that appear around the mouth, eyes, or back of the hand, and sometimes, all over the body. Other immune system diseases associated with vitiligo include diabetes, pernicious anemia, thyroid disease, and Addison’s disease.
Other skin pigmentation disorders include:
One of the safest and most effective treatments of skin pigmentation and discoloration is the groundbreaking technology of photofacial treatments and the most trusted device for this procedure is Lumecca.
By utilizing Intense Pulsed Light or IPL technology, the Lumecca device can target the pigmented tissues, which are hidden deep in the layers of the skin, in a quick and painless session that lasts only 20 minutes.
Lumecca is highly effective in targeting age spots, sun damage, pigmentation issues (vascular lesions), port-wine stains, spider veins, freckles, pigmented lesions, and rosacea.
The Lumecca device is safe to use, has no side effects, and can be used to treat skin discoloration in areas such as the face, neck, legs, back, arms, hands, chest, stomach, between the buttocks, abdomen, and around the mouth.
If you are already familiar with this technology and would like to book a session, our clinic in Beverly Hills offers different packages of Lumecca treatments. Your skin matters to us, so feel free to contact us if you need further information. The next post, will answer your frequently asked questions about IPL and Lumecca device.