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Friday, January 31, 2014

Skin Pigmentation: Coloration or Discoloration...

Pigmentation means coloring. Skin pigmentation disorders affect the color of your skin. Your skin gets its color from a pigment called melanin. Special cells in the skin make melanin. When these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it affects melanin production. Some pigmentation disorders affect just patches of skin. Others affect your entire body.
If your body makes too much melanin, your skin gets darker. Pregnancy, and sun exposure, use of bleaching agents found in creams can make the skin darker or discoloured. If your body makes too little melanin, your skin gets lighter.

Severe Forms of Skin Pigmentation
 Vitiligo is a condition that causes patches of light skin. Albinism is a genetic condition affecting a person's skin. A person with albinism may have no color, lighter than normal skin color, or patchy missing skin color. Infections, blisters and burns can also cause lighter skin.

Why are brown spots, melasma and other pigment problems so hard to treat?
Pigment (melanin) in the most superficial layer (the epidermis) is the easiest to treat because as the skin renews itself, the pigment will slough/shed (example –brown/black spots after acne). But when the pigment drops deeper down into the dermis, the renewal process is much slower and treatment cream/lotions don’t reach it.

Possible causes of brown spots, melasma and other pigment problems:
  • Too much sun.   This can be at any point in your life including childhood
  • Pregnancy, oral contraceptives and hormone replacement
  • Acne
  • Ageing
  • Various facial rashes and any skin irritation
  • Your genes
  • Rarer causes like overuse of hydroquinone creams, adrenal gland problems, etc.

General Information On How Different Pigment Problems Are Treated

One of the most common pigmentation problems in darker-skinned individuals is hyperpigmentation (or the darkening of the skin). 
Usually the result of some type of inflammation or injury to the skin, such as a cut, burn or scrape,  use of harsh chemicals in lightening creams; hyperpigmentation produces darkened areas of the skin that can last months or years. Even healed acne lesions can leave permanent dark spots in darker-skinned people that, in some cases, can be more distressing than the original acne. 

Dr. Breadon (American Academy of Dermatology) noted that treatments for hyperpigmentation are based on whether or not the dark areas are confined to the surface of the skin or if they have penetrated to the deeper layers of the skin. For superficial dark spots, a prescription topical medication consisting of hydroquinone, retinoic acid and mild hydrocortisone can be effective in fading skin discoloration. Deeper dark areas require an in-office surgical procedure, such as dermabrasion, chemical peels, or microdermabrasion with an infusion of hydroquinone solution. In patients with lighter skin, intense pulsed light (IPL) or one of the pigmented lasers could be considered. 
(Ensure that you see a highly certified dermatologist (skin specialist) before you decide to go for ANY laser treatment)


Often referred to as the “mask of pregnancy,” melasma is a skin condition marked by brown patches on areas such as the face, neck and arms that most often affects dark-skinned people and women during pregnancy. Many dermatologists have long believed that there may be a hormonal component to melasma, and a recently published study found that there were an increased number of estrogen receptors in areas where patients developed melasma. 

According to Dr. Breadon,  patients with melanoma should consider stopping oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy due to the large amount of estrogens in these medications. Regular sunscreen use is vital to protect the skin from further hyperpigmentation. 

Here Are The Dos And Don’ts:
  • Don’t scrub or exfoliate too much.  This can be irritating and make the pigment worse.
  • Stop any skincare product that is irritating you or making the pigment worse.
  • Use your doctor’s medications as directed – more is not better. If it’s getting worse, then stop the product and call the doctor.  Also understand that medications may take several months to work.
  • Be very wary of any product sold on the internet.  Many of these companies prey on the frustration and desperation of women and men with pigment problems.
  • Don’t overuse hydroquinones.  With too much, they may make pigment worse not to mention that they may cause mutations in DNA if overused.   
  • Use a good sunscreen every morning that blocks Ultraviolet‑A (UVA) and UVB radiation with at least zinc oxide 10% or a zinc/titanium combination that is at least 10%.  Double sunscreen by using a cream or 
  • Wear a wide brimmed hat whenever outside.
  • Stay out of the sun especially midday, and if you are on vacation, sunscreen again every time you get out of the water.
The information provided above is based on a research I found on  and American Accademy of Dermatology website 



  1. This information will help..thnx Sandy

  2. God bless u 4 dz both.... Pls aw can we see , I mite be of help inoda to work with u....smiles

    1. thank you for your volunteer. but right now, i am not in search for an employee. but thanks for showing interest.

  3. i have to admit this article is quite helpful. Working part-time in a skin clinic in Australia has helped me realise the importance of Skin Pigmentation Treatment for those who suffer from skin conditions such as acne scars, age spots, brown spots, dark patches, freckles, lentigos (liver spots), melasma (Chloasma), rosacea and sun damage. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Pigmentation removal. Cheers!

  4. Great Information, Skin Pigmentation treatment Sydney helps removal of scars,age spots and dark patches on face.

  5. Great information about skin pigmentation can take proper treatment from Dr. Rinky Kapoor availbale at The Esthetic Clinic