There are certain skin conditions that can leave your face blotchy or speckled, and you may feel insecure or bothered by it. The common culprits are hypo and hyper pigmentation: hypopigmentation causes some areas of the skin to look lighter because of an absence of melanin and hyperpigmentation means that certain areas of the skin become darker from an overproduction of melanin.
Major causes of hypopigmentation
The major causes of hypopigmentation include skin infections, injury or trauma, such as cuts, burns and anything that can lead to scarring. The condition may also be hereditary and cause vitiligo, which is an autoimmune disease that causes skin to lose pigment.
Causes of hyperpigmentation
The root cause of hyperpigmentation is an overproduction of melanin, which can be caused by an array of conditions including pregnancy and hormones. Other reasons include menopause, rosacea, melasma or scarring caused by acne or an injury.
Treatment options for hypopigmentation
- Phototherapy: This type of treatment uses ultraviolet light to even out skin. Small, targeted areas can be treated, as well as larger areas of the body.
- Topical corticosteroids: These may alleviate this skin condition but always speak to your dermatologist before buying.
- Immune-suppressant creams and ointments for vitiligo: Since vitiligo is an autoimmune condition, your doctor can prescribe you a cream or ointment that can suppress your immune system to help treat hypopigmentation problems.
Treatment options for hyperpigmentation
- Fractional CO2 laser: These lasers are gentle and applied over a cooling gel on your skin. The lasers encourage skin to produce more collagen and increase skin cell turnover. The treatment might feel like tiny rubber bands popping over your face. The treated skin will peel in about two weeks, revealing a fresh layer.
- Microdermabrasion: Crystal-like particles are applied over the skin to buff off the very top layers. Microdermabrasion might feel like your skin is being sanded with very fine sandpaper or your cat's tongue, and recovery time is minimal. Your skin will look smoother and more even in about two weeks.
- Chemical peels: Alpha or Beta Hydroxy Acid peels gently dissolve away the very top layer of your skin, and the hyperpigmented spots with it. Depending on how strong your chemical peel is, your recovery time can vary between one and three weeks.
Your Atlanta-based plastic surgeon or dermatologist can give your skin a thorough evaluation to find out what type of skin conditions are causing you trouble. If your skin qualifies, you may be able to try one of the top skin treatments for patchy, damaged skin. Within weeks, your skin can go from drab to beautiful!