Unwanted pigmentation problems, like brown spots or splotchy skin, have many causes and can occur in all skin types. Fortunately, dermatologists have investigated a variety of skin-lightening methods and have developed many promising treatments. Depending on the severity and extent of the pigmentation problem, a dermatologist can tailor a patient’s treatment based on his or her individual skin tone, and the treatment may include a single therapy or a combination of one to two therapies.
SUN DAMAGE CAUSES PIGMENTATION PROBLEMS IN LIGHT-SKINNED INDIVIDUALS
The main cause of dark spots in light-skinned individuals is sun damage. Years of sun exposure can result in spotted hyperpigmentation, a condition marked by increased pigment production that results in patchy skin color or a blotchy complexion. The extent of sun damage depends largely on a person’s skin color and his or her history of long-term or intense sun exposure. To treat pigmentation problems due to sun damage in lighter-skinned individuals, Dr. Callender recommends the following:
DARK-SKINNED INDIVIDUALS MORE PRONE TO HARD-TO-TREAT PIGMENTATION PROBLEMS
Two of the most common pigmentation problems that occur in people with darker skin tones are melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Melasma is a patchy brown discoloration that occurs on sun-exposed areas of the face and is commonly referred to as “the mask of pregnancy” because it often occurs during pregnancy. Those with light skin can develop melasma, but the condition is more common in dark skin. Because a deeper skin layer (the dermis) may be affected, melasma can be difficult to treat and requires a multifaceted treatment regimen.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is a condition in which an injury or inflammation to the skin causes increased pigment production. PIH occurs in darker-skinned individuals and, like melasma, can be difficult to treat when it involves a deeper skin layer. The most common cause of PIH is acne, but it also can result from psoriasis, a burn, or an injury.
It is important to address the underlying cause of the pigmentation problem. For example, to treat PIH due to acne, Dr. Callender recommends treating both problems simultaneously with topical retinoids, a group of medications derived from vitamin A. These medications are available by prescription and include tretinoin, adapalene, and tazarotene.
People with melasma or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can benefit from the following therapies:
Brightening cream for face tone evening
44ml DMS®-Basiscreme Classic