Pigmentation pigmentation
July 07, 2022 501


Pigmentation refers to the darkening of the skin caused by excess production of melanin, the skin pigment that gives skin its color, particularly in areas where the sun would naturally expose more skin, such as the face and hands. There are many types of hyperpigmentation, including age spots, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Each can be caused by certain medications, including chemotherapy drugs, Endocrine diseases such as Addison's disease or Graves' disease, or simply age and sun exposure. Each has a range of treatments and products, including creams and cosmetic procedures.

Causes of Pigmentation

There are several causes of pigmentation: melasma, certain medications including chemotherapy drugs, pregnancy hormones, skin irritation or trauma, insulin resistance, and Endocrine diseases such as Addison's disease. Medical history is essential to differentiate between some of these causes, such as pregnancy hormones (chloasma), skin irritation, or trauma (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) versus pre-existing melasma or endocrine diseases, including insulin resistance (acanthosis nigricans). It is also essential to distinguish between post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation versus melasma which is 2 different conditions. An in-person exam may be necessary to clarify specific pigmentary changes on your skin.


Treatments for Pigmentation

With treatments like IPL Photofacial, chemical peels, and Erbium laser resurfacing, pigmentation can be removed and improved in as little as one visit. The pigment causing sun damage is often referred to as solar lentigo. The skin will appear darker after exposure to UVA or UVB rays from either natural sunlight or tanning beds because it can't protect itself adequately against those rays. As a result, it may look more like freckles than brown spots for some people, while others may have small discoloration patches. Treatments for pigmentation vary based on your specific needs and condition.

Are the treatments safe?

Pigment in your skin will naturally start to get darker as you age, particularly in areas that have been exposed to the sun over many years. This is what is often referred to as age spots, and they are typically benign (non-cancerous). However, if you're looking for a way to reduce pigmentation, treatments available—such as IPL Photofacial and chemical peels—can safely remove these spots. Some treatments may require more than one session before you start to see results, so always be sure that you talk with us about how long it will take before deciding whether a treatment is proper for you.

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