PIGMENTATION – A Big Problem for Youngsters
Dr Jaya Sharma
Hrbr layout, Bengaluru Feb 15, 2017
WHAT IS PIGMENTATION?
A condition which causes the skin to emerge lighter or darker than normal and if you have brown patches, you have what’s known as hyper-pigmentation.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
The increased level of melanin in the skin that produces color is pigment. It could be the consequence of injury, inflammation (after a treatment, like laser), sun burn or hormonal changes (which cause melasma). Birthmarks and spots are a different type of pigmentation, which is genetically determined. At times the appearance of patches can be the result of a disease, so it’s worth verifying with your GP if you don’t know the cause.
HOW CAN I PROTECT AGAINST IT?
‘The most significant thing is to protect your skin from the sun.’ ‘Apply a sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection daily, not just in summer.’ This is important at times when your skin is receptive to pigmentation, such as pregnancy.
‘Non-prescription creams may use components such as liquor ice extract, antioxidants and niacin amide to produce a brightening effect. They’re less strong than prescription creams, but there’s no reason why you can’t try them, as long as you are using sun protection too.’
But don’t take a chance with your health. ‘It’s good to get pigmentation transforms assessed by a GP or a dermatologist. It might not be harmful, but some sun spots can be pre-cancerous and need to be diagnosed.’
If non-prescribed creams don’t work, your doctor or dermatologist can prescribe stronger creams or recommend on choices such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels or laser treatment. But, don’t be attracted by beauty salons. ‘Beauty therapists are the incorrect people to diagnose pigmentation skin problems’. ‘They might make the problem worsened or they may unknowingly treat potentially dangerous marks, such as pre-cancerous moles or even melanoma. Pigmentation is a very complicated clinical problem.’