Hyperpigmentation – A recapitulation

The greatest blessing one can have is the well being of body, mind and soul. With advancement of science and technology, the lifestyle of people also has changed drastically. Pollution has taken a toll on everyone’s skin health. The skin is under ever greater assault from the toxic elements present in the environment. The biggest enemy, nevertheless, and one that have probably been overlooked is pollution and this is something which none of us can escape from. But, the flawless, blemish and acne-free skin that is always wished for is no longer a dream, but a reality.

As the skin is one of the most precious parts of the body, it needs special and dedicated care to keep the skin of the right age. Lack of proper diet, climate, hormonal changes, pollution are few factors that can cause severe and lasting damage to the skin. Hyperpigmentation is one of them.

What is it?

Hyperpigmentation is a term that refers to a skin condition where patches of skin appear darker than the surrounding area of skin. These patches result from excess production of melanin, the pigment that gives colour to the skin. This common skin condition can affect people of all skin types. It can occur in small patches or cover large areas effecting the entire body.

Reasons and Causes:

Hyperpigmentation on face can arise mainly due to physiological and pathological.

  • One of the most commonly seen areas affected by hyperpigmentation is on face and forehead, which can be aggravated by constant rubbing on the affected areas. rubbing/friction.
  • Other reasons for emergence of hyperpigmentation marks on forehead can be attributed to balms used for headache and allergies to hair dyes and hair colours.
  • Pigmentation can also affect the area around the eyes which is commonly called dark circles. This can be imputed to irregularities in lifestyle and lack of proper sleep. Smoking can also make the dark undereye circles worse due to the presence of toxins which damages the delicate tissues around them. Other reasons of dark circles are dermatitis and lot of other allergies.
  • Pigmentary Demarcation Lines (PDLs) are physiological lines. These lines correspond to the border of abrupt transition from highly pigmented areas to lesser affected areas. These lines can occur due to genetic conditions or sometimes due to low haemoglobin.
  • Pigmentation can also show up on other areas like nose, cheeks, eyebrows and sometimes upper lips as well. This is known as Melasma or ‘Butterfly Pigmentation’. The known reasons for Melasma are hormonal changes, intake of contraceptive pills and exposure to sunlight. Although Melasma is not completely treatable, but by avoiding known triggers and reducing sun exposure, the aggravation can be reduced to some extent.
  • Perioral Pigmentation, which is commonly seen on the lower face. The reason for this can be because of allergic dermatitis due to lipsticks, toothpaste, sometimes scented creams or also because of lipbalms.

There are also other entities that can cause hyperpigmentation. They are:

  • Lichen Planus: Lichen Planus (LP) is a chronic, inflammatory and autoimmune disorder that affects the skin, nails, hair and mucous membranes. This condition requires medicated drugs for treatment along with proper care at home.
  • Pigmentation also might crop up due to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). This is a common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age.
  • Fixed drug eruption, which is characterized by single hyperpigmented spot can occur due to an allergic reaction to certain drugs like painkillers. It recurs in the same place every time that particular drug is taken.

For any kind of pigmentation, certain rules need to be followed religiously. Listed below are few of those tips straight from one of the Best Dermatologist in Bandra.

  • It is extremely essential to apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 or PA+++ of broad spectrum. When outdoors, sunscreen with an SPF of 50 must be used and it is advisable to reapply sunscreen every two hours.
  • It is necessary to avoid rubbing the skin or to use any kind of scrub.
  • Trying to avoid smoking is very much important as it can aggravate the pre-existing pigmentation.
  • In addition to using sunscreen, it is necessary to wear proper protective clothing such as wide hats, long-sleeved clothes and pants, umbrellas or scarfs.

In addition to these regular precautions, it is advisable to visit an experienced dermatologist, or a skin specialist, or an incredibly good skin doctor. Dr Soma’s Aesthetic Clinic provides a wide range of treatments for all kinds of skin problems. Particularly for hyperpigmentation, below listed treatments are available:

  • Chemical peels: Chemical peels are cosmetic treatments, where a chemical solution is applied to the skin. This can cause exfoliation of skin superficially to deeper layers depending upon the agent used. Multiple sessions are required depending upon the results desired. These peels are known to be quite safe and up to 60% of result can be expected.
  • Lasers: Lasers are devices that are used for treating deep pigmentation very effectively. Lasers treatments require multiple sessions and generally they do not have any down time. It is basically a lunch time procedure.
  • Other Medications:  Topical skin lightening creams can be used for pigmentation like vitamin C, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Mandelic Acid Night Serum, Licorice Extract and Kojic Dipalmitate.

Although these treatment options are available, it is always advisable to visit a renowned Dermatologist to know the underlying problems and discover the actual reasons to see effective results. Hyperpigmentation might take a lot of time to experience good results and it is extremely important to religiously follow the doctor’s advice.

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Dr. Shoma Sarkar is a well known celebrity dermatologist with more than 10 years of experience in the field of Aesthetic & Clinical Dermatology.

Disclaimer: The content on this website (www.drshomasarkar.com) is solely for the purpose of educating and creating awareness about the domain i.e. Dermatology. This shall not be treated as a substitute to a professional dermatologist’s advice or prescription. There is no guarantee of specific results and the results for any treatment mentioned on the website may vary, as every individual and their skin conditions are different.

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