Skin pigmentation is a condition that causes a change in the color of your skin. Skin cells darken in color by making a substance called melanin. When these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it increases or decreases melanin production and affects small or big patches of skin.
Pigmentation can make your skin either lighter or darker depending upon an increase or a decrease in melanin production. Factors such as Addison’s disease, pregnancy and sun exposure can make your skin darker whereas Vitiligo- a condition that reduces the level of melanin in your skin can make your skin lighter. Other factors causing the skin to become white is albinism, which is a genetic condition, making a person’s entire face and body white and eyes, reddish. Blisters, burns and infections can also make the skin white.
Hyperpigmentation also consists of age spots, brown spots and liver spots that are a result of the skin’s exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Lentigines are other flat brown spots resulting from sun exposure and Kerasotes, other skin coloration issues that can be corrected with laser treatment include broken capillaries, moles and freckles, melasma and rosacea.
The good news is that a number of pigmentation treatments are available that include hydroquinone crème- a popular cream to remove dark spots, Power peels- a skin exfoliation procedure using aluminum oxide crystal and kojic acids that cure pigmentation as well as lighten scars and tone the skin.
One truly state-of-the-art method to treat hyperpigmentation is by the use of laser treatment. Laser treatment removes existing pigmentation by absorbing dark skin.
The IPL treatment is one amazing treatment that produces immediate results. IPL stands for intense pulse light and is also known as photo rejuvenation. This treatment uses high intensity pulses of broadband light that penetrate beneath the epidermal layer of the skin down to the dermis, therefore not affecting the skin’s surface. The advantage of this is that the patient does not experience burning, blistering or scabbing and quick recovery unlike other laser resurfacing procedures.
People suited for this treatment generally have a fair to medium complexion; it does not work very well on dark skinned or tanned individuals but large, dark, mottled pigmentation may require something other than the IPL lasers.
It is important to consult a skilled and certified cosmetic surgeon for your pigmentation treatment, as it requires the expertise of a skilled veteran.