Monday, December 13, 2010

How To Treat Skin Discolorations?

Skin discoloration or pigmentation as it’s popularly called, is a common skin problem among women no matter what their ethnic background or their skin color is. Your skin can either appears lighter or darker than normal in certain areas. You may notice blotchy, uneven patches of brown on your face or freckling.

Skin pigmentation is mainly caused by the uneven melanin production in the body. Depending on whether your body produces excessive melanin or very little melanin, your skin can develop darker or lighter patches. And the faulty melanin production is a result of unprotected sun exposure or hormones imbalance.

Melanin actually serves to protect your skin from sunlight. It absorbs the UV rays of the sun and prevents it from causing any damage. The amount of melanin in your skin, the more protected are you from the sun’s UV rays. This is why people with darker complexions are less susceptible to sunburn and the overall effects of sun damage. However, this does not mean you can skip using sunscreens!

How to Prevent Skin Pigmentation?

Start with Sunscreen!

Sunscreens are your first line of defense against any sort of skin pigmentation. So make sure you use a broad spectrum sunscreen all through the year irrespective of the season and weather conditions and slather it liberally all over your body before you venture out in the sun. Don’t forget to reapply it when needed. Diligent use of a well formulated sunscreen is the first step to repair as well as protect your skin from further sun damage and thus prevent any chances of skin pigmentation.

Make sure you use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or greater that contains UVA-protecting ingredients like titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, Mexoryl SX, or Tinosorb. Remember, no amount of skin lightening products is going to be of any help if you don’t use proper sunscreen. So, reduce your sun exposure before you look forward to reducing the skin discolorations.

Use Melanin-Inhibiting Ingredients

Another important thing that you need to do to prevent skin discolorations is to stop the increased melanin production caused by long term sun damage. For this, you may use a variety of topical lotions and or gels that contain melanin-inhibiting ingredients. Also, don’t undermine the importance of prescription retinoids such as Renova or tretinoin. These skin care products are greatly helpful to lighten the appearance of skin discolorations and even your skin tone.

Use Skin Lightening Ingredients

Topical hydroquinone is a powerful skin lightening ingredient that helps to reduce and eliminate skin discolorations. Even dermatologists vouch for hydroquinone to be an extremely safe and effective treatment for skin discolorations.

It is yet another effective ingredient that helps to treat hyperpigmentation of sun-damaged skin.

Kojic Acid
Kojic acid, either alone or in combination with glycolic acid or hydroquinone displays an inhibitory action on tyrosinase (an enzyme that creates the color of our skin, eyes, and hair)

Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Popular forms of AHAs like lactic acid and glycolic acid are able to penetrate effectively into the top layers of skin and help to stimulate the cell turnover rates and remove unhealthy or abnormal layers of superficial skin cells. As a result, the hyperpigmented cells that accumulate on the skin surface are removed and skin discoloration is visibly reduced.

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