Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How to Treat Skin Pigmentation Problems

Flawless skin is what everyone (especially women) dream of. You probably follow a strict skincare regime to keep your skin youthful and supple. As opposed to all that you do, skin pigmentation is a problem, which when affected with, can drive you crazy. Pigmentation is the discoloration of skin. Melanin, is a substance our skin makes, which is responsible for giving our skin its very color. Melanin absorbs the harmful UV (ultraviolet) radiations and protects our skin, but in the bargain darkens our skin color. The more melanin our skin makes the darker skin tone we ought to have. Sometimes the skin makes too much melanin, which results into a skin condition called hyperpigmentation, while sometimes the skin lacks or has very little melanin, this condition is called hypopigmentation. There are various forms of each skin pigmentation. Listed below are a few of them and ways to treat skin pigmentation.

Sun Spots: When we are exposed to sunlight, the production of melanin is triggered to protect our skin from the harmful ultraviolet radiations. The result being a tanned skin and sunburns. These problems can cause skin cancer and even play a major role in developing hyper pigmentation. So, how do you treat these skin pigmentation problems? Read on...
How To Treat Them: Your number one defense to this problem is to use a waterproof sunscreen with SPF 15 (Asians can go in for sunscreens having higher SPF for better protection). Whether you are a homemaker or work, using a sunscreen should become like a habit for you. Even if you use sunscreen, it becomes important to cover yourself thoroughly to limit sun exposure. Look for creams and lotions containing vitamin C in the form of Ascorbyl and Kojic acids, which help in combating this type of skin pigmentation problem. Use of Aloe Vera gel also works wonders in soothing sunburns and also treats them well.

Melasma: Melasma causes brownish-grayish patches on the skin and especially on the cheeks. This condition usually occurs amongst women and the culprit being the hormonal imbalance. Pregnancy is the time when women get affected with this type of pigmentation problem. Other then fluctuations in hormones; birth control pills, certain medications and cosmetics also cause melasma.
How To Treat Them: Melasma generally fades on its own after the pregnancy phase. If the discoloration still exists, creams containing glycolic acid should be used. These creams help exfoliate pigmented skin, that leads to shedding the top layer of the skin giving you an even skin tone. Skin lightening products that contain retinoids and kojic acid can also be used. Tomatoes and carrot juice can be applied to the affected area, to lighten the discoloration. Tomatoes and carrots stimulate skin growth and prevents premature aging of skin. Inclusion of nuts rich in antioxidants in your daily diet can help in reducing skin pigmentation.

White Spots: White spots as opposed to the above forms of hyperpigmentation, is a common form of hypopigmentation. Hypopigmentation is the loss of melanin, which results in white skin. Inappropriate laser therapies, burns and blisters result in loss of color in the skin. Albinism and vitiligo are skin disorders that cause white spots. Albinism is a genetic disorder that is passed from the parents to their children. Whereas the cause of vitiligo is unknown, however both result in white patches on the skin, where melanin is not produced. Moreover, people affected with hypopigmentaion are at higher risk for sun damage and skin cancer.
How To Treat Them: Normally it is assumed that forms of hypopigmantation cannot be cured. However one has to remember, that the condition can worsen on exposure to the sun. Hence, your first step to fight it ought to be using a sun block every day, whatever weather it might be. As a temporary option you can also cover up these white spots using make-up. In all other cases for a permanent result topical steroid therapies and surgical therapies work wonders. Consult your dermatologist and opt of an apt solution.

Birthmark: A birthmark is a harmless colored mark on the skin (in some cases develops later after birth). However, some fade away with time while some darken or even grow in size as we age. In rare cases, birth marks can cause problems or even be cancerous. Therefore it is important you get it examined by a good dermatologist.
How To Treat Them: Treatment of birthmarks has always been a controversial topic. Moreover, it is important for us to know that not all birthmarks can be treated. There are no medications as such that will lighten these patches. However, one can try different hairstyles and make-up to camouflage these birthmarks. Laser therapy and plastic surgery can help you get rid of it permanently. The success rates of such treatments are not very impressive, hence it is not recommended to resort to such methods. They might leave a scar or lead to certain side effects, which can be troublesome.

Never self diagnose, when it comes to pigmentation disorders, it can make things worse instead of better! Make sure you get an official confirmation about it from a medical practitioner or a dermatologist. Drink plenty of water and exercise regularly, this regulates the blood flow and promotes cell growth, giving you a fresher, younger appearance.

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