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Types of pigment spots and discoloration of the skin

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

Melanin is a pigment that gives skin its color and is produced by special cells in the skin. Melanin production is compromised when these cells are damaged or diseased.

Some pigmentation diseases only affect a tiny part of the skin, while others can affect the entire body.

Pigment spots and discolouration of the skin
Pigment spots and discolouration of the skin

If your body produces too much melanin, it can cause your skin to darken or even have uneven skin tone and dark spots in different places. Pregnancy, skin disease and excessive sun exposure can cause irregular melanin production leading to a range of skin problems including discoloration and uneven skin tone.


Types of skin discolorations / pigment spots

The following is a list of the most common types of skin pigmentation disorders and some of the treatment options available:


1. Uneven skin tone

What is uneven skin tone?

Uneven skin tone (pigment spots), also known as hyperpigmentation, is an irregular darkening of the skin that results from a variety of causes, including stress, sun exposure and pollution. The cause is an increased production of melanin, the pigment that determines skin and hair color. Dark spots and blemishes from this are commonly perceived as "aged skin" and can make you look older.


How to treat uneven skin tone?

To fix uneven skin tone and return to healthier skin, you need to follow a skincare routine that includes skin care products to correct pigment spots. Don't forget to cleanse and moisturize your skin daily, exfoliate, exfoliate, and use sunscreen.


2. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

What is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation?

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, also known as hypermelanosis, is caused by an overproduction of melanin following inflammation. Post-inflammatory pigmentation is transient pigmentation that occurs after a skin injury (e.g., a burn) or an inflammatory condition (e.g., dermatitis, infection). It is more common in people with darker skin (see ethnic dermatology). Acquired melanosis is another name for post-inflammatory pigmentation.


How is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation treated?

Various topical treatments are available to lighten/bleach hyperpigmented lesions in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation of the epidermis, e.g. B. Vitamin C cream, corticosteroid creams and glycolic acid peels to name a few. While chemical peels, laser treatments, and intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy can help with epidermal pigmentation, they can also aggravate it by injuring the epidermis. It's important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or higher daily to prevent UV-induced darkening. Cosmetic camouflage is an option.


3. Melasma

What is melasma?

Melasma usually shows up as patches of pigment on the face, ranging from dark brown to grey-brown. During pregnancy, this is known as the pregnancy mask. Melasma is thought to be caused by sun exposure, hormones, and birth control pills.


How is melasma treated?

Melasma can be prevented by using sunscreen and avoiding sun exposure. Prescription treatments like hydroquinone and tretinoin can also be used to lighten the spots. Chemical peels and laser therapy are also possible.


4. Skin damage leading to loss of pigmentation

What is skin damage?

When your skin is damaged by physical trauma such as ulcers, blisters, burns or infection, the skin may not be able to restore some of the pigment in the affected areas. The affected areas are usually clearly visible and fade over time.


How are trauma scars treated?

Post-inflammatory and light post-traumatic discolouration can be treated with dermatologically developed creams and serums to reduce the appearance of scarring and discolouration. Medical laser treatments are also possible to reduce the appearance of severe scarring.


Whether you suffer from skin pigmentation and/or discoloration, be it in the form of acne scars, white skin patches, dark spots on the face, red skin patches, skin rashes, etc., it is always best to have a skin care routine that treats your skin with the care it deserves.


Make sure the products you choose for your skincare routine are safe and backed by clinical studies, such as B. the dermatological products from IMAGE Skincare, ZO Skin Health, Sesderma, Heliocare, Endocare or NEOSTRATA against pigmentation and discolouration.


You can find the best products whose effectiveness has been proven in studies here.


In summary, any change in skin tone can be alarming or disconcerting. It's natural to feel worried or frustrated when dealing with skin damage or a chronic skin condition. If you need additional help, don't hesitate to contact your health professional or therapist.



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