Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dark Spots on the Skin, Hyper Pigmentation and You

By Cindy Charles

The last time you looked in the mirror did you notice any dark spots on the skin that did not belong there? Did you notice that there was some darkening in some areas of your face, neck or lips that was not the same color as the rest of your face? If you have been suffering from any of the above you may have what many in the skin care field call hyper pigmentation. While this big word sounds like it may have an equally big diagnosis, have no fear as the answer is that it does not. This is a common occurrence that has no other ill effects except for the outward appearance of discoloration.

Hyper pigmentation is a harmless occurrence that occurs when sections or patches of skin begin to get darker than other areas of the skin. This happens when the melanin in our skin, or what causes our skin to get darker, begins to form areas where the melanin builds up. This condition can affect people of any ethnic background regardless of the color of their skin. There are many different causes of discoloration. These can range from outside sources such as the sun to internal ones such as an excess of hormone production in the body.

One form of hyper pigmentation is age spots. These spots are natural and usually come with time. As the name indicates, age spots are a result of our skin aging as well as being exposed to the sun. It is just a fact of life that the older we get, so do our bodies. These spots usually affect our face and hands or other areas of our bodies that may be exposed to the sun for long periods of time.

Melasma is another form of discoloration that affects mostly women and can also be found during pregnancy or during the use of a birth control pill. The hormones seem to trigger an increase in melanin production and therefore cause the discoloration of the skin. Dark spots on the skin or dark patches on the skin can usually be found when hyper pigmentation or melasma is present.

Dark spots on the skin can result from different things. They can be from a birthmark or a freckle. Dark spots could be a result of acne or hormones. There are many different causes for hyper pigmentation, so it is vital that you keep track of any new or size changes of existing dark spots on the skin. While we have seen that for the most part, dark spots seem to be more of a cosmetic issue than anything, dark spots or discoloration could also be a warning sign of other issues. Don't take any chances. If you start to notice dark spots, discoloration or size changes in spots, see your Doctor immediately to make sure it is not anything severe. If it is mainly a cosmetic issue, either your doctor can prescribe a treatment or you can try an over-the-counter skin lightener or whitener to help alleviate the stares. Don't wait until it's too late!

Looking for a solution for age spots that works? We were too.

We purchased several of the top skin lighteners and skin brighteners on the market and put them to the test. Read our reviews to find out which ones worked and which you should avoid entirely (some can actually do more harm than good).

If you're struggling with dark spots on your skin, read our review before you buy anything else.

Friday, August 15, 2008

All About Hyperpigmentation

By Zaneta Kulaga

Hyperpigmentation is abnormally increased pigmentation of the skin. The cells responsible for this are found in the basal layer and are called melanocytes. These are the cells that manufacture the pigment of the skin and are involved in tanning. They do this by producing a chemical compound called melanin. In the beginning the melanocytes look similar to other cells, flat with a dark spot in the center, but as the melanocytes mature they develop hollow arms with extenders that project from the sides. These extensions reach out to neighboring cells and provide them with melanin, which results in coloration of the skin.

Hyperpigmentation may occur as a result of the following factors: chronic inflammation or injury, hormonal disturbances from oral contraceptives or pregnancy, psoriasis, and tinea versicolor. Hyperpigmentation may also occur from using perfumed cosmetics in the sun, because the chemicals they contain can cause photosensitivity. Changes in skin pigment are significantly more common in persons of medium skin pigment (Asians, Hispanics, light-skinned blacks).

Medical Treatment: Hyperpigmentation may be treated with Retin-A and bleaching creams that contain hydroquinone. There are many treatments for tinea versicolor (hyperpigmentation), including sodium thiosulfate, selenium sulfide, dandruff shampoos, zinc pyrithione, topical antifungal creams, and oral ketoconazole.

Cosmetic Treatment: Cover creams will successfully mask the uneven pattern of dark blotches caused by hyperpigmentation. Recommend that the patient use either theatrical makeup or opaque cover cream that matches his or her skin tone. If the cosmetic solution bleeds through it could alter the color of the camouflage makeup. To avoid this either use a thicker application or apply a thinner coat first and set it with powder, then re-apply a second coat. Remind the patient when he or she is concealing hyperpigmentation to pay special attention to the darker borders; it may be necessary to go back over them to make sure the spots are completely concealed.

Zaneta's Kulaga editor of Teeth Whitening Guide, Anti Aging Guide and Anthelios Sunscreen

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hyperpigmentation - Information on Hyperpigmentation

By Corwin Brown

Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in the skin. Hyperpigmentation can affect the skin color of people of any race.

Hyperpigmentation may be caused by sun damage, inflammation, or other skin injuries, including those related to acne vulgaris. People with darker Asian, East Indian, Mediterranean or African skin tones are also more prone to hyperpigmentation especially if they have excess sun exposure.

Hyper pigmentation macule often is the remnant of an inflamed acne lesion. PIH macules can follow relatively minor pimples and papules, in addition to more serious lesions. However, the more inflamed a breakout, the larger and darker the PIH macule tends to be. Picking or popping a pimple increases the chance of developing postinflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Sun exposure often reverses the results of therapy, compromising the lengthy treatment process. Consequently, the first line of therapy for hyperpigmentation is a broad-spectrum sunscreen used in conjunction with a phenolic agent such as a hydroquinone, or with a nonphenolic agent such as tretinoin, azelaic acid, or kojic acid. There are hundreds of sunscreen formulations with different UV absorbing chemicals in various concentrations.

Overall darkening of the skin may be due to pigmented chemicals in the skin.Silver, gold, and iron each have a characteristic color when visible in the skin. Several drugs and body chemicals, like bilirubin, can end up as depositsin the skin and discolor it.

Hyperpigmentation is caused by an increase in melanin, the substance in the body that is responsible for color (pigment). Certain conditions, such as pregnancy or Addison's disease (decreased function of the adrenal gland), might cause a greater production of melanin and hyperpigmentation. Exposure to sunlight is a major cause of hyperpigmentation, and will darken already hyperpigmented areas.

Melanin, a brown pigment manufactured by certain cells in the skin called melanocytes, is responsible for skin color. Melanin production is stimulated by a pituitary hormone called melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH). Other pigments appear in the skin much less often.

hyperpigmentation and skin-lightening creams are sold over-the-counter that claim they will help these spots to fade more quickly. Most of them use a 2% hydroquinone solution, something that will not alter your natural skin tone. However, you should treat the entire skin area with the product and it will lighten a tan. If the 2% solution is not working for you, you can ask your dermatologist about getting a treatment with a stronger concentration.

The sudden onset of a single unraised, spot of even color tone (pink) is not the usual esthetic hyper-pigmentation we run across. More likely, that is a pre-cancerous atrophic keratosis which has become visible. The visible evidence is not alarming IF this is accompanied by a therapeutic regime, which may in fact have "lighted up" the spot.

Azelex does work for PIH, but it's a secondary agent, IMO. I usually go with HQ first, but use kojic acid or Azelex if they have issues with the HQ. I get a 6% HQ cream compounded locally for stubborn cases.

Skin sensitive to sunlight must be protected by shade or sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or greater. Skin cancers must be, and unsightly benign lesions may be, surgically removed. Laser surgery is an effective removal technique for many localized lesions. Because it spreads so rapidly, melanoma should be immediately removed, as well as some of the surrounding tissue to prevent ragwort.

Read about Herbal Treatment Natural Remedies Cures. Also read about Breast Enhancement and Breast Enlargement and Health Questions Answers Discussion Forum

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hyperpigmentation Removal - 4 Ways To Fade Hyperpigmentation Fast

By Linda Florentine

Hyper-pigmentation is a nuisance for anyone who has to deal with these unflattering dark patches on their skin. As a result, a growing number of sufferers look for the best ways to fade hyper-pigmentation and restore their skin to its natural, beautiful appearance. Optimal hyper-pigmentation removal is often attained by employing one of many cosmetic surgery procedures or topical applications. Let's take at the ones that work best.

Bleaching Creams With Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is a popular phenolic derivative used in lightening and skin bleaching creams. For hyper-pigmentation removal, hydroquinone is often applied to affected areas either alone or in combination with salicylic acid, tretinoin, corticosteroid, or glycolic acid. Hydroquinone in a 4-percent concentration can fade hyper-pigmentation but it also increases your chances of sun damage. Plus, continuous use can cause some adverse side effects including skin irritation.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

While more expensive than most other treatments, a number of people use laser skin resurfacing to quickly fade hyper-pigmentation. The entire procedure lasts about one hour and involves the use of a laser to removes wrinkled or damaged skin layer by layer.

The average person can expect to spend roughly $2,378 on a single laser skin resurfacing treatment. For most effective hyper-pigmentation removal, multiple treatments may be required. In which case you could spend nearly $5,000 or more to achieve maximum results. Potential complications could include everything from burning and scarring to skin discoloration. Dormant infections or viruses can be awakened in some rare cases.


Microdermabrasion is a fairly new cosmetic procedure that uses a special machine to remove layers of dead skin on the surface of the treated area(s). Microdermabrasion usually requires 8 to 10 weekly treatments to successfully fade hyper-pigmentation. As a result, the entire process can take two months or more before you achieve the desired results. Even though this treatment is administered over such a long period of time, it only removes a very small percentage of the epidermal layers.

Microdermabrasion can range in cost from $75 to $150 per treatment. Since six or more treatments may be needed for nominal hyper-pigmentation removal, you could end up spending $450 to $900 or more for minimal results.

Home Chemical Peels

For many individuals, home chemical peels are an affordable and effective way to fade hyper-pigmentation in a short amount of time. Many of these kits allow you to remove dead skin as much as four layers deep as opposed to more expensive methods that may still leave blemishes behind. Some kits, like Skin Culture Peel, claim to help users achieve maximum hyper-pigmentation removal in as little as six days. Depending on the level of treatment, the typical home chemical peel kit will cost you anywhere from $80 to $660.

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