Skin discoloration can have multiple causes and take many different forms. Discoloration of the skin can cause low self-esteem and have an impact on people’s self-confidence. Below, we discuss two of the most common forms of skin discoloration and how they may be treated.
What is Melasma?
- exposure to the sun
- changes in hormones
What kind of Melasma Treatments are available?
Treatment for melasma is notoriously difficult and it is important to note that the condition is chronic with no reliable cure. Patients may have periods where they are well controlled, but it is very common to relapse and the slightest insult to the skin may cause flares. Your dermatologist may prescribe a cocktail of prescription-strength lightening agents in combination with other procedures to expedite clearing. It is important to proceed conservatively, as aggressive treatments have been known to exacerbate melasma. Aggressive sun protection is paramount to maintaining results and to prevent recurrence.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is characterized by an excess production of melanin that causes patches of skin to darken. This includes freckles, brown spots and age spots. People of all ages, races and skin types experience these conditions. While these patches are usually harmless, people often dislike them and can feel self-conscious about them.
Age spots, freckles, and brown spots often occur through exposure to the sun. Frequent overexposure to the sun can make these spots even darker. Other causes include genetics, aging, and scarring or injury to the skin. Acne may also be a contributing factor to skin discoloration.
What kind of treatments are available?
There are different kinds of topical treatments available to reduce or eliminate hyperpigmentation. Your dermatologist may prescribe topical lightening agents, in conjunction with chemical peels and laser treatments depending on the cause and skin type. As with melasma, aggressive sun protection is key to preventing exacerbation.