Did you know that more than 150 genes directly or indirectly control our skin color? Moreover, the various sizes and numbers of melanocytes (skin cells) result in different skin colors. Therefore any abnormalities in this cell may lead to uneven skin color, also known as pigmentation.
Usually, pigmentation is a harmless skin condition, but in some cases, it may be caused by an underlying medical condition and can come back even after proper treatment.
What Causes Pigmentation?
The more serious cause of pigmentation is Addison’s disease and hemochromatosis. Addison’s disease affects the adrenal glands and causes pigmentation in certain body areas such as folds of skin, lips, toes, inside of the cheeks, elbows, and knees. Hemochromatosis is a disorder which causes iron overload in the body.
Prolonged sun exposure leads to the excess production of melanin that can cause dark skin spots or patches, also called sunspots.
Usually, pregnant women experience this type of pigmentation during pregnancy. Melasma occurs because of hormonal changes and results in dark patches.
Reactions to Drug Use
Sometimes, certain medications such as antimalarial drugs and tricyclic antidepressants may result in pigmentation where gray skin patches appear on the skin. Chemicals in topical treatments may also cause pigmentation.
Can pigmentation Come Back?
Pigmentations often come back even after successful treatments. It happens because of various factors, such as continuous exposure to sunlight or hormones, but you can stop this from happening by adding a few things to your skincare routine.
First, never go outside without applying sunscreen on your face; ensuring proper sun protection measures will give you long-term sustainable results. If you fail to maintain sun protection measures, it will affect the pigmentation results.
Moreover, treatments can only clear your pigmentations. It’s up to you to properly take care of your skin to prevent pigmentation from coming back. Remove your pigmentations first, then prevent recurrence by diligent care of your skin.
How To Treat Pigmentation
There are several medical treatment options that you can opt for based on the cause of your pigmentation. These treatments are:
- Intense pulsed light (IPL)
- Chemical peels
- Laser resurfacing
- Oral supplements
However, you can also opt for home remedies to treat mild pigmentation.
One of the most effective treatments for pigmentation is milk, buttermilk, and even sour milk. All of these contain lactic acid that works great at lightening dark skin patches.
Another natural treatment for skin discoloration is using aloevera. It contains aloin, a natural depigmenting compound proven to lighten skin, and is an effective nontoxic hyperpigmentation treatment.
Skin pigmentation is usually not any serious concern except in some cases. Several medications and home remedies are available for pigmentation that can help you lighten skin discoloration. But before taking any medication, see your doctor, know the cause of your skin discoloration, and then treat accordingly.