Skin Pigmentation: types & treatment
There are a number of reasons for and types of skin pigmentation, but what they have in common is that people don’t want to have them. Pigmentation can show up as dark or light spots on the skin, and common types of skin pigmentation are acne scars, melasma and sun spots. Due to the desire for youthful, even skin, there is a wide range of potential treatments for pigmentation. However, finding a successful treatment means determining the cause of the problem.
Here is a breakdown of some of the most common types of pigmentation and the most effective treatments.
Sometimes inaccurately called sun spots, hyperpigmentation shows up as brown spots that are the result of too much exposure to the sun. The body will attempt to protect itself from the sun with a tan, and as DNA is damaged by doing this multiple times, melanin is less evenly distributed, which results in darker spots on your skin.
Treatment is usually based on brightening products and serums as well as exfoliation and ensuring that you’re protecting your skin with sunscreen. Products containing vitamin C, licorice extracts and azelaic acid tend to be the most effective.
Known as solar lentigines, liver spots tend to look like large freckles, and they are the result of UV and UVA exposure. If you’re fair skinned, you’re more likely to develop liver spots, and they appear most frequently on your hands, face and shoulders. Unlike sun spots, they are harmless and do not indicate a risk of cancer.
Products with retinoids in them can help reduce the appearance of liver spots, but the most effective treatments are those involving pigment lasers.
Melasma is hormone-related, and they normally appear on women who are pregnant as uneven spots on the cheeks, forehead and upper lip. Although the cause is hormonal, sun exposure can make the spots worse, so sunscreen and avoiding too much time in the sun are important parts of keeping these spots from becoming larger or more apparent.
The most effective treatment for these spots is hydroquinone, which blocks tyrosinase, an enzyme that causes the production of pigment.
Often appearing as brown specs, sun spots are a precursor to squamous cell cancer, although they are frequently harmless. They may appear as rough patches on your skin, and they show up in areas that are most often exposed to UV rays, such as the back of your hands, the sides of your face and your neck.
Retinoids and salicylic acid can make them less visible, but since they can be precancerous, it’s a good idea to have them looked at by a doctor or removed if there’s a potential for a problem.
Self tan for pigment correction
Self tan products are perfect for smoothing and evening out any skin imperfections and pigments in a super easy way that doesn’t involve all the doctor appointments! Smoothing a self tan product over your skin to develop a healthy glow and topping your glow up regularly with a gradual tan will have your skin smooth, even and glowing in no time!