3 Dark spots/hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is the umbrella that describes any area of darker discolorations on the skin. Pigmentation of the skin is regulated by the level of melanin, which gives the skin, eyes and hair its color. If too much melanin is produced in one area of the skin, it can create brown spots or patches. This can be caused by many factors like the sun, irritation, hormones, heat or oxidation. The increased amount of melanin is your skins attempt to protect the DNA from further damage, as it acts as an UV-absorber and possesses antioxidant properties. It is advised to use a day creme with a broad spectrum SPF and antioxidants, to avoid hyperpigmentation.

Skin lightening

There are different ingredients known for their ability to lighten the skin, by preventing the formation of melanin. Lightening creams take time to work, and most people only start to notice results after several months of consistent use. Be aware that most skin-lightening ingredients can be very harsh on dry and sensitive skin, and also make the skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Ingredients that lightens the skin

Laser treatment

Lasers and light therapy done by professionals can help get rid of unwanted pigmentation. Different lasers work at different wavelengths, and have different levels of penetration. The purpose is to destroy unwanted skin cells, so that new skin cells can replace them, resulting in a more even skin tone and texture.

Laser treatments to reduce hyperpigmentation

Pigmentation and treatment

There’s varies reason why the skin can become pigmented in different areas with varies treatments;

Sun spots
Sun spots, also known as actinic keratoses, are often mistaken for age spots, as they are both caused by too much sun exposure. Sunspots however are characterized by being red and feel scaly to the touch. They can also be mistaken for patches of dry skin, but moisturizing won’t help the condition. They often appear on the face, hands, shoulders and arms, as these areas are greatly exposed to sunlight.

Treatment
– SPF (prevention)
– Cryotherapy
– Sciton ProFractional Laser
– Photodynamic therapy
– BroadBand Light
– Prescription lightening cream


Age spots
Age spots, also known as liver spots or solar lentigines, are flat oval areas of increased pigmentation. They are called age spots, as they often occur after the age of 40, but age spots can occur at any age if exposed to too much sunlight. Age spots form as a result of prolonged sun exposure, when melanin becomes “clumped” or is produced in high concentrations. They often appear on the face, hands, shoulders and arms, as these areas are greatly exposed to sunlight. Also the lighter your skin is, the more likely you are to get age spots.

Treatment
– SPF (prevention)
– Laser
– Chemical peels professional
– Cryotherapy
– Micro dermabrasion
– Prescription lightening cream
– Chemical Peels
– IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
– Non-Ablative Laser
– Fractional Carbon Dioxide CO2 Lasers
– Skin creams with retinoids and lightening agents


Freckles
Freckles are small harmless brown spots usually found on the face, neck, chest and arms. Especially fair-skinned people with red or blonde hair are prone to getting freckles. Freckles are mainly caused by genetics but can become more appearant due to sun exposure.

Treatment
– SPF
– Liquid nitrogen treatment
– Chemical peels
– IPL laser
– Dermabrasion
– Chemical peels
– Skin creams with retinoids and lightening agents


Post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation
This type of hyper-pigmentation can be caused by any inflammatory injury like acne, burns, sunburns, bug-bites, rashes like psoriasis and eczema, or any trauma to the skin.

Treatment
– SPF (prevention)
– Perfecta laser
– Fraxel dual
– Chemical peels
– ViPeel
– Diolite Laser
– Skin creams with niacinamide, vitamin C, retinoids, soy, kojic acid, licorice root, daisy or peony extract


Melasma
Melasma, also known as chloasma, causes dark, discolored patches on the skin. It often forms symmetrical patches on both sides of the face, usually on the cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose and chin, but it can also form on the neck and forearms. Darker-skinned people, especially women, have a higher risk of forming melasma. It is often triggered by hormones, pregnancy, stress, thyoriod disease and sun damage. For some people melasma disappears on it’s own, if it’s caused by hormonal changes like pregnancy and birth control pills, but the condition should generally be treated by a professional.

Treatment
– SPF (prevention)
– Prescribed lightening creams
– Professional chemical peels
– Dermabrasion
– Skin creams with retinoids and lightening agents


Moles /skin tags / Seborrheic keratoses
Moles – also known as nevi, are brown or black bumps, often with hair growing out of them. Moles occur when cells in the skin grow in a cluster, instead of being spread throughout the skin, and can darken due to sun exposure. Irregular moles that aren’t birthmarks, have a higher chance of becoming cancerous, and should be kept an eye on. Always look out for changes in moles as they can potentially become melanoma.

Skin tags – also known as acrochordons, are small skin colored or slightly brown bumps or flaps. Skin tags can be caused by genetics, but they may also appear on places with a lot of friction, caused by skin rubbing against skin or clothing.

Seborrheic keratoses – also known as seborrheic verruca, are brown or black growths usually found on the chest, back and head. They can have a warty appearance, but are not contagious. They appear in varies colors and are round or oval, feel flat or slightly elevated.

Treatment
Skin tags, moles and keratoses are harmless in nature, but can be removed if they become itchy and inflamed, or for cosmetic reasons. In that case it is always advised to have them removed by a doctor or a dermatologist, to ensure minimal damage to the surrounding areas of your skin. Skin tags can be removed by cutting them off with a scalpel, freezing them off using liquid nitrogen (cryosurgery) or burning them off with an electric current (electrosurgery), with the use of a topical anesthesia cream.


Melanoma (skin cancer)
Melanoma is a form of cancer that can develop in the skin pigment cells. In cases of melanoma, moles can start growing and dividing in an uncontrolled way. If it grows deeper into the dermis it can hit the bloodstream, and spread to other parts of the body like the lungs, liver, brain or bone. Factors like fair skin, a high mole count, a history of sunburns or a family history of skin cancer, can all increase the risk of melanoma. Luckily melanoma has the highest cure rate of all cancers at more than 90 % when discovered early on.

Treatment
Irregular growing moles should always be view by a doctor. The best prevention against melanoma is daily use of sunscreen and awareness of existing moles. Look for growth, asymmetry, irregular borders or change in color. Melanoma will usually only affect one mole, which makes it stand out and look deformed compared to the rest.


Warts
Warts are contagious hard bumps that grows deep into the skin. These flesh-colored growths will mainly be found on hands, feet and around the nails, but could potentially infect any part of the skin. They may have black dots that looks like seeds as well.

Treatment
Warts need to be treated as soon as possible, to avoid passing on the virus. The fastest way to remove warts are by freezing them of(cryosurgery). Also burning them off with an electric current(electrosurgery) or using a prescribed cream, can help the healing of warts. You can also prevent infection and spreading of the virus, by wearing flip flops at public bathing facilities.

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