Signs of Skin Pigmentation:
- Dull and uneven skin tone
- Acne pigmentation
- Wrinkled or tired-looking skin
Pigmentation is more than ‘light and dark patches’ on your skin, and while possibly harmless, increased pigmentation can be a symptom of an underlying illness. You can treat skin pigmentation effectively once you identify the kind of pigmentation on your skin.
There are 10 different types of Skin Pigmentation:
Usually, light brown or tan in color, freckles are flat circular spots that do not cause any change in skin texture. Freckles mostly develop randomly on areas heavily exposed to the sun.
Usually brown in color, Sunburn Spots do not cause a change in skin texture. When compared to freckles, they are more irregular and darker in appearance. These spots can be mostly seen on nose, cheekbones, and cheeks.
Caused by hormonal changes (during pregnancy), sun exposure, skin irritation, and genetic predisposition, Melasma is a state in which brown patches appear on the face, especially the cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin.
The screens of computers, tablets, and smartphones emit UV rays like blue light that increase the risk of developing radiation spots.
Post Acne Pigmentation
Developed from healed acne wounds, pimple marks are broadly divided into two types – reddish-colored caused by broken blood capillaries and dark-colored caused by overproduction of melanin in reaction to skin inflammation.
Uneven Skin Tone/ Hyperpigmentation
Due to the overproduction of melanin in the body, uneven skin tone appears as patches of darkened skin. It often makes one look older despite the efforts made to reverse the signs of aging.
Also referred to as chloasma and melasma, pregnancy spots are dark splotchy spots that commonly appear on the forehead and cheeks and appear due to increased pigmentation during pregnancy.
A pigmented lesion, lentigines are darker than the surrounding skin and do not fade away naturally. They may be caused by sun exposure or genetics.
Resulting from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, these are dark spots caused by environmental factors and are common in people over the age of 40 years.
These refer to bruises on the skin resulting from cuts and acne abrasions. The color in the affected area darkens due to an increase in melanin production while the skin tries to heal from the trauma/inflammation.
Steps you can take to control skin pigmentation:
- 1. Always use an SPF30 sunscreen after cleansing and moisturizing even if you don’t go out during the day. It is because, while you’re at home, your skin is still exposed to the sun’s rays that reflect off floor tiles and blue light radiation from cell phones and tabs.
- 2. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure as it allows the skin time to absorb it effectively instead of melting away under the scorching heat. Reapply within a gap of two-three hours after cleansing and moisturizing. Repeat until dusk.
- 3. Protect exposed parts of your body, when out in the sun, with appropriate clothing or shield (umbrella, hats, and scarves).
- 4. Keep yourself hydrated at all times, even when you’re not thirsty. Eating citrus foods, carrots, watermelon, blueberries, leafy greens, tomatoes, nuts, and almonds are known to boost skin’s protection against the sun naturally.
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Dr. Soma Sarkar
MBBS, MD - Dermatology
Aesthetic Dermatologist, 12 Years Experience Overall (12 years as a specialist)