The skin, hair, and iris of the eyes of different people are different because of the presence of a varied amount of melanin pigment in their body. The levels of melanin depend upon individual genetics and the amount of exposure to sunlight. With overexposure to sunlight, more melanin is produced in the skin. Sometimes, hormonal changes can also affect the production of melanin.
Pigmentation is a term describing the skin color caused by the deposition of melanin pigment produced by the melanocytes (specialized cells responsible for the skin color). Skin pigmentation disorders are caused by unhealthy or damaged melanocytes that influence melanin production. These disorders may result in either unusual darkening of the skin or lightening of the skin based on the amount of the melanin pigment produced. Sometimes, the pigmentation disorders of the skin occur in patches while in severe cases it affects the entire body. Dark unwanted pigmentation patches on the skin can affect one’s appearance. Dr. Rajdeep Mysore, a skin doctor in Bangalore at Charma Clinic can help one to get pigmentation-free skin by providing safe and effective pigmentation treatment in Bangalore, JP Nagar.
If the skin has too much melanin or overactive melanocytes, it leads to skin darkening (a condition called hyperpigmentation); if it has too little melanin or underactive melanocytes, it causes lightening of the skin (a condition called hypopigmentation); and if it has no melanin (a condition known as depigmentation).
The factors responsible for hyperpigmentation include:
The causative factors of hypopigmentation include:
There are several types of pigmentation. Understanding the signs and symptoms of each could help prevent and tackle them when they appear. Some common types include:
1. Solar Lentigines (also referred to as sun spots or liver spots)
These are characterized by black or light brown colored skin lesions with a well-defined edge. Any part of the body that is exposed to direct sunlight or UV light can get affected by them. It’s important to keep a check on these discolored spots as they may develop into melasma or skin cancer.
2. Freckles (ephelides)
The most common type of pigmentation disorder in fair skinned people which develops after frequent sun exposure. These freckles may appear darker during sunny days of summer and subside in the winter. Sometimes, genetic factors also play a role in the appearance of freckles.
3. Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
It is the skin discoloration caused due to inflammation in response to the skin injury. Friction, burns, acne breakouts, or aggressive skin treatments like IPL, dermabrasion, chemical peels, and laser can all result in this type of skin pigmentation. It usually resolves with time as the wound heals and can be treated by some topical creams.
It involves the appearance of uneven, large, brown, or black-colored patches that do not have clear edges and originate deep within the skin’s dermis. Most commonly, it affects pregnant women and especially affects the face. It is usually stimulated by hormonal modifications. This skin condition worsens with stress, medications, UV exposure, and pregnancy.
5. Vitiligo or White Patches
It is a skin condition that causes whitening of the skin in smooth patches because of lack of melanin caused by damage of the melanocytes. Although rare, there’s social stigma attached to it. Hence, awareness is much needed. Many believe that vitiligo is contagious and incurable which is not true. The main causative factor of white patches is still unknown but it definitely doesn’t spread by touch. Also, there are several treatments available that are proven to be effective in reducing the vitiligo marks.
6. Fungal Skin Infections such as Tinea Versicolor
It is caused by an overgrowth of Malassezia that is naturally present in the skin. The skin discoloration occurs in patches with sharp edges and fine scales. The skin lightening usually takes place on the chest, neck, underarms, back, and upper arms. It is important to consult a skin expert to determine the root cause of pigmentation to achieve desired results.
7. Idiopathic Guttate Hypomelanosis
This skin condition is a type of hypopigmentation that affects body parts that are exposed to the sun like the arms.
It is a rare, genetic skin disorder wherein the person has missing or patchy skin color, no color, or lighter than surrounding normal skin color. Not only the skin but hair and eye color also changes. People suffering from this condition must protect themselves from sun exposure.
9. Pityriasis Alba
It is a common skin concern wherein the skin loses its original color in patches. Often, it begins with an appearance of scaly and slightly red-colored skin lesions that are oval or round shaped which later fades away and develops into light-colored skin patches.
At Charma Clinic, a renowned skin clinic in Bangalore, all the treatments are offered after assessing the patient's skin and diagnosing the root cause of the problems. The doctor provides individualized treatment based on the patients’ concerns and considering factors like the desired goal, required downtime for recovery, patient’s age, and their tolerance towards the treatment.
Based on the type and cause of the skin pigmentation, the initial treatment may involve addressing an underlying medical condition or stopping the intake of certain medications.
Medical treatments available for skin pigmentation disorders include the use of some topical medications like corticosteroids, UV light therapy, light-sensitive medications, depigmentation, and sometimes minor surgery. Some of the medical treatments recommended by Dr. Rajdeep Mysore, a dermatologist at Charma Clinic, are:
1. Chemical Peel
This is a skin exfoliation treatment wherein the damaged skin cells are removed or peeled off by applying a chemical solution on the affected skin area. It is a cosmetic procedure that helps to rejuvenate the skin, thereby providing smooth, refreshing, and youthful-looking skin. Chemical peel is commonly performed on the face, hands, and neck. There are different types of chemical peels based upon the strength of the chemical being used and its degree of penetration. These include superficial (mild acids like alpha-hydroxyl groups), medium (trichloroacetic acid or glycolic acid), and deep chemical peel (like phenol). A superficial or moderate chemical peel works best for treating age spots, moderate skin discoloration, melasma, and freckles. This is a safe treatment that does not require anesthesia. It is a non-invasive, outpatient procedure that takes about 30 minutes and has minimal to no downtime. To know more about chemical peel treatment in Bangalore, consult with the skin expert at Charma Clinic in JP Nagar.
It involves the use of sterile microneedles on a micro pen or a derma roller for piercing the skin and creating controlled microscopic injuries. This treatment results in the stimulation of the normal wound healing process which leads to regeneration of the skin cells and dispersal of the excess melanin pigment which lightens the dark-colored spots. It is a minimally invasive, safe procedure. People with scarred tissues or inflamed skin shall avoid this treatment because it may lead to some complications.
3. Laser Toning
During laser toning for pigmented skin, Q-switched laser (a non-ablative type) is used to target the discolored skin. The laser beam generates heat which causes selective photothermolysis of the melanin pigment producing cells called melanocytes. The melanosome or pigment granule production is significantly decreased and also the transfer of the melanin to the skin through melanocytes. As a result, collagen remodeling is also encouraged which makes the skin appear healthy and evenly toned. Multiple sessions may be required to get the desired radiant skin tone. To know more about laser toning treatment in Bangalore, please feel free to contact us.
4. Medifacial or Medical Facial
It is a versatile treatment involving a combination of different cosmetic procedures, medical devices, and skincare products like skin lightening serums. This procedure can be availed by all skin types as it can be customized according to the needs of the individual skin type and skin concerns. Medifacials may not be able to treat deep and persistent types of pigmentation but for superficial pigmentation like tanning or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation good results can be achieved. Mostly, the medical facial procedures require up to 1 hour and are associated with little or no downtime.
5. Intense-pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy
It is also referred to as photo-rejuvenation or photofacial. It can undo the damage or pigmentation caused by sunlight exposure and help improve the overall skin texture and tone. In this therapy, a powerful, pulsating light energy (with more than one wavelength of light) is focused on the discolored patches of the skin. This causes the heating of the affected skin layers which cause thermal destruction of the topmost pigmented skin cells and eventually help get rid of the unwanted melanocytes. As a result, the upper skin layers get renewed from underneath after 10-14 days. The pulsated light energy also promotes collagen and elastin production in the skin which provides firmness and elasticity to the skin. It is a quick procedure that can effectively and safely treat large pigmented areas. As it involves delivering the light in short pulses, only a mild sensation is felt during the procedure. Multiple sessions (about 1 to 4 treatments) are required to fade the pigmentation.
The treatment uses unique pharmaceutical ingredients, natural medications, plant extracts, vitamins etc. that are injected just below the surface layer of the skin. During the treatment, the special ingredients are directly administered in the target skin area. This treatment is effective in managing skin pigmentation conditions like melasma, blemishes, freckles, and post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation.
The formulation used in this treatment can brighten the skin, inhibit melanin production, and help in the removal of free radicals. One can see results after just one treatment, but a course of up to 3-5 treatments at regular intervals is recommended for optimum results.
This treatment causes soft exfoliation of the surface layer of skin and allows better active-ingredient penetration. It also helps in cell regeneration, improving collagen production, skin elasticity and tone.
General Tips to manage Pigmentation
The following are some skincare tips recommended by Dr. Rajdeep Mysore to help manage skin pigmentation concerns:
To know more about pigmentation treatment cost in Bangalore, JP Nagar, schedule an appointment now with the skin expert at Charma Clinic!
Disclaimer: This website (www.charmaclinic.com) aims to spread awareness about skin, hair, nail problems and their relevant treatments. The information shared here is generic in nature and can not replace the advice/ prescription of a qualified medical professional. Every individual may have different skin, hair, nail concerns and must be treated accordingly. Hence, medications or treatments mentioned on the website shall not be consumed/ utilized unless prescribed by a certified medical professional.