Do You Know What Pigmentation You Are Treating?

Do You Know What Pigmentation You Are Treating?

There are many different types of pigmentation and treatments vary depending on the cause and the type. The discolouration can manifest in the form of sun spots, dark patches or even stubborn acne scarring. Hormone imbalances and UV exposure are two of the main contributors to pigmentation. Melanin has a very important job to play as it acts as a barrier to the external environment protecting our skin from UV radiation. Other changes occur as we age.

The number of melanocyte cells decrease, but the remaining cells increase in their size. This alters how the pigment is distributed in the skin, it becomes more distinct as to where the pigment is placed. These changes to the melanocyte may give some explanation as to why certain lesions occur as we age.

Hyperpigmentation is the word used to describe the increased colour in the skin, hypopigmentation is the word that describes loss of colour in the skin.

Solar Lentigines: Over time these pigment lesions have been given many different names (sun spots, age spots. liver spots). They appear any where on the body but are common on the backs of hands and the face. Causes are UV radiation and senescent cells.

Melasma: This is a dermal pigmentation that appears on the face. Melasma affects both males and females though is more common in females. Hormonal changes such as imbalances to estrogen levels are the cause of this type of pigmentation.

Hypopigmentation: This is a loss of skin colour due to disease or trauma to the skin. It may occur all over the body or be localized, with the appearance being multiple patches of white skin. The size and shape of the patches can very widely.

Pigmentation can be a very frustrating concern to have, as it’s easily amassed yet often difficult to get rid of. It is important to understand the under lying cause and the type of pigmentation when developing a treatment plan.

Head to my online course to deepen your understanding of different types of pigmentation and the causes and development the skin disorder.

Yours in skin,
Gay Wardle

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