What is skin pigmentation? Skin pigmentation disorder is damage to the colour of the skin. The skin contains cells that produce a pigment called melanin. It is this melanin that provides colour to the skin. When these cells become dysfunctional, damaged and unhealthy, it influences the production of melanin which in turn is reproduced on the skin in the form of patches or discolouration.
Types of skin pigmentation
1. Hyperpigmentation: Hyperpigmentation is development of dark coloured patches on the skin. It is a harmless condition and can appear anywhere on the body but tend to appear on areas most exposed to the sun. Melanin is over-produced and creates spotting on the skin which varies in size and shape.
Causes: Over-exposure to the sun
2. Age spots: Age spots are also called solar lentigines or liver spots. They are black or brown in colour with a flat texture and can appear anywhere in the face, shoulders or arms. The spots may seem cancerous but are predominantly harmless. Common amongst adults over the age of 50, it is quite common among young people too.
Causes: Exposure to UV rays, usage of tanning lamps and tanning beds
3. Lentigines: Lentigines (singular lentigo) appears in spots either brown or black in colour and is slightly raised. It is small in size and evolves very slowly over the years. Causes: Over exposure to sun and aging
4. Melasma: Melasma is appearance of brown patches of skin mostly on the cheeks, upper lip, chin, forehead and nose. It is a very common problem and can occur anywhere on the body but occurs mostly on parts that is most exposed to the sun.
Causes: Over-exposure to sun, hormonal changes, usage of irritable cosmetic products
5. Xeroderma pigmentosum: Usually known as XP, xeroderma pigmentosum is a condition which shows marked sensitivity to ultraviolet rays emitted from sunlight. It is generally inherited and affects areas most exposed to the sun and includes the eyes. Signs of xeroderma pigmentosum develop in childhood itself. Minimal exposure to sun causes the child to tan normally but over exposure to the sun can cause acute sunburn with blistering and redness which can take weeks to subside.
Causes: Heredity, Exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun
6. Acanthosis Nigricans: Acanthosis Nigricans is a skin disorder which usually occurs in obese and diabetic individuals. It appears in the folds and creases of the body and is dark and patchy with a velvety texture. It sometimes smells bad and is thickened. The disease usually affects the armpits, groin and neck areas. The condition can develop in adults as well as children. Children who are afflicted with acanthosis nigricans are susceptible to the development of type 2 diabetes at a later stage.
Causes: Obesity, Diabetes
Treatments for skin pigmentation
Systemic treatments: Oral steroids can be used to treat many diseases including skin pigmentation. Cortisone and corticosteroids are hormones which occur naturally in the body to decrease inflammation whilst suppressing the body’s immune system. With the intake of corticosteroids, it suppresses the immune system much like the natural substance and controls the immune system from mistakenly attacking the healthy tissues.
Topical treatments: Topical corticosteroids are effectively used to treat several skin conditions. They are anti-inflammatory preparations also called glucocorticosteroids or cortisone. Different parts of the body absorb topical applications at different rates. Absorption and rectification rates are higher in areas of skin which are thinner and thick skinned areas such as soles of the feet and palms might take a while to absorb the ointment or gel or might require a stronger concentration. These medications should only be used after consulting a Dermatologist
Satya’s Clarifying Peel is a non-toxic peel used as a skin pigmentation treatment. It has the characteristics of vinegar and can be used in a combination with other prescribed creams in treatment for pigmentation. When the TCA peel is applied in case of skin pigmentation, the top layer of the skin is peeled off. The process may take several days to a week. It reveals smoother skin texture and colour to the skin. Effective in the treatment of skin pigmentation and melasma as they are considered safe, effective and particularly a good option.
Satya’s Age Defying Peel has naturally extracted chemicals from sugar cane and are very mild, light peels. It belongs to the family of alpha-hydroxy acids or more popularly called fruit acids. This peel is normally used in a concentration of 50% or higher. A sponge is used to apply the solution on to your skin for a predetermined amount of time. It is especially effective on dull and dry skin with skin renewal cycles spaced at about 20 days after the upper layer of the skin is sloughed away.
Microneedling Radiofrequency: One of the newest methods of skin pigmentation treatment. It uses a combination of radiofrequency and microneedle therapy. The machine consists of 25 RF electrodes with microneedles which work on the surface of the pigmented skin. With precision control, it heats both the dermis and the epidermis with needle depths from 0.5mm to 3mm. It has very minimal downtime followed by an accuracy rates of 0.1 mm.
Skin polishing: is especially used for scanty or light skin pigmentation. It is a safe and non-invasive procedure where surge of sterile diamond micro particles are rub against the superficial layer of the skin and exfoliate it. The abraded cell particles are vacuumed away from the skin to stimulate production of collagen and growth of new skin.
Thread Lift: Thread lift is one of the proven and result oriented treatment in skin pigmentation and melasma cases. The biodegradable threads are implanted with the help of specialized needles using zero pain anaesthesia techniques. The threads slowly dissolve in to the skin tissues leaving behind a huge mesh of collagen bundles and provide a great pull to the skin. Because of the pull and new collagen tissue formation , pigmentation disappears. This is a absolutely magical treatment in case of melasma and pigmentation on cheeks especially.