Everyone’s skin is different. You may wonder why your skin isn’t the same even tone across your body. This could be caused by areas getting more sun than others. However, there’s a chance of developing more intense and noticeable skin pigment irregularities which appears in blotches, patches or specks. Pigment irregularities are caused by a number of things, some of which are helped with treatment. By understanding your pigment irregularity and what causes it, can better help you seek treatment and possibly resolve the tonal differences.
Melasma is a condition that causes brown or grayish patches to appear most commonly on the face, but also on areas that are vulnerable to sunlight— such as the neck and shoulders. There are two common triggers for melasma, sun exposure and hormone changes. Pregnant women are more prone to developing melasma; although, during pregnancy, this is called chloasma.
To protect your skin against melasma, it is important to wear sun protection. If you are suffering from this pigment irregularity, a dermatologist can prescribe a number of treatments like topical medicine, corticosteroids or even procedures. Once a woman is no longer pregnant, they can begin to treat the condition through hormone therapy or any of the above treatment options.
This condition is considered to be an autoimmune disorder, as there is no definite cause of vitiligo. Vitiligo causes patches of skin to lose pigment due to the death of pigment-producing cells. It is important to note that vitiligo only affects one’s appearance and causes no internal harm. If you have vitiligo, you can seek treatment through topical steroids or forms of light therapy. These treatments make your skin very vulnerable in the sun, so it is important to only treat vitiligo with the health of a dermatologist.
These irregular, brown spots are more commonly known as “liver spots.” Solar Lentigines affects areas of the skin that are often exposed to the sun including the hands, face, shoulders and lower legs. To lessen the appearance of these dark spots, your dermatologist may prescribe a laser treatment, chemical peel or topical cream. Most importantly, you should always wear sunscreen and protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. This is the most effective way to prevent solar lentigines from appearing.
Named for their dark red or purple color, port-wine stains appear at birth and become thicker and deeper in color with time. These birthmarks are caused by tiny blood vessels that grow beyond what they are supposed to. A port-wine stain needs to be monitored by your doctor or dermatologist. Especially if it is located on the face, as this could potentially cause issues with eyesight. If you were born with this type of birthmark, it is no reason to be concerned. However, there are treatment options available to lessen or even remove the pigment irregularity.
This is not a comprehensive list of conditions that cause pigment irregularities. For more information about why you may have tone discrepancies in your skin, check out this blog and be sure to visit your dermatologist. To guard yourself against the potential of harmful pigment irregularities, wear sunscreen each day, especially on the face. If you have noticed or were born with a pigment irregularity and would like to seek treatment, it is time to visit the experienced staff at Knoxville Dermatology Group. To make an appointment, visit our website or call at (865) 690-9467.