What is Skin Discoloration and Pigmentation & How to Treat It Effectively?
Considering the growing number of cosmetic products that provide skin discoloration treatment commonly found in the bags of most Americans, it is safe to say that the issue is becoming a growing concern.
Discoloration comes in plenty of forms; from birthmarks that you may be born with or developed at some point in life, to pigmentation caused by serious health issues or inherited disorders.
Whether you are suffering from a serious case of discoloration such as pigmentation, dark spots on skin, or simply looking to learn if your whitening cream is actually beneficial to your complexion, this article offers you valuable insight on some branches of discoloration, its causes, and possible ways to combat it.
Ever wondered how your skin got its color? It actually gets its color from a pigment in your body called melanin. This pigment is a complex polymer derived from tyrosine (an amino acid), commonly found in specialized cells: Melanocytes, which are distributed throughout the epidermis, the top layer of the skin.
Special cells in your body are always hard at work producing melanin. Once the pigment is produced, it is distributed amongst cells, allowing them to maintain a uniform color throughout the different parts of your body.
While most of us take our spotless color for granted, we should be giving credit to a well-maintained production of melanin cells, when exposed to unhealthy conditions, can lead to skin discoloration condition and give rise to the possibility for skin blemishes, spots, and other signs of pigmentation, or hyperpigmentation to occur.
Skin Discoloration and Pigmentation
Seeking inspiration from the original meaning of the term ‘pigmentation,’ meaning ‘coloring,’ skin pigmentation refers to a disorder that affects the color of your body’s surface and causes discoloration.
Any change in the production of melanin, such as an increase in its production, can cause the dermal layers to darken in color and black spots to occur. Conversely, a decrease in the production of the pigment can cause them to lighten considerably.
Some of the most common pigmentation disorders include the following:
An inherited discoloration disorder that is caused due to the absence of melanin in the body, Albinism results in the absence of pigmentation in the eyes, hair, and dermal layers. Although there is no cure for albinism, people with this disorder are recommended to ensure proper use of sunscreen, since they are more likely to contract skin cancer and severe sun damage.
More formally known as chloasma, melasma is the appearance of black spots on topmost dermal layers. They are commonly visible as brown patches and tan on the chin, cheeks, forehead, and upper lip. While melasma is a common case of discoloration amongst women that take birth control pills and is called the ‘pregnancy mask,’ it can also be developed by men. Individuals with melasma are recommended to consider over-the-counter dermatological care products and seek help from laser therapy, if required.
This is a condition where the body’s immune system begins to attack pigment cells and cause serious pigment loss. Vitiligo is associated with the appearance of white patches on the dermal surfaces especially around the eyes, mouth, and back of the hands. Patients with Vitiligo often carry the risk of contracting other immune system diseases such as thyroid, Addison’s disease, and diabetes. While there is no cure for Vitiligo, patients are suggested to consider spot treatments, such as topical immunomodulators and topical steroid preparations to lower the effects of the condition.
With pigmentation being associated with some of the most serious dermatological diseases, it is essential for everyone to invest in products that can protect their skin from sun damage and other causes of discoloration.
Dark Spots and Blemishes
Apart from pigmentation, dark spots and blemishes can also impact your overall appearance.
Black spots and blemishes remain the most common conditions out of all other branches of discoloration. Dark spots are associated with a condition called hyperpigmentation and more popularly occur amongst middle-aged women. These spots are caused due to a patch of excessive melanin deposit only in one specific area of the dermal layers.
Dark spots are commonly located on the cheek bone area or the forehead and carry the potential of promoting a significant cosmetic disfigurement.
The blemish, on the other hand, is usually caused due to blocked pores and can appear in a variety of forms. Most common blemishes include blackheads, marked as yellow or black bumps on the surface of the skin and papules, and a rash-like red bump on the skin.
The appearance of dark spots and blemishes, also known as the long-lasting aftereffects of your short-lived breakouts, are a serious issue that most of us need to face. In-between your mom telling you about a new remedy to treat a blemish or a dark mark on the skin that she found online — if you’re tired of applying cooking ingredients on your face, we recommend you read this till the end.
Hyperpigmentation is the central root of several different kinds of clinical dermatological conditions, such as discoloration. It is identified as the darkening of the derma and the formation of dark patches due to an increased deposition of melanin.
- Exposure to the sun causing discoloration
- Changes in the hormones
- Discoloration due to acne formation
- Hereditary factors
- Phony skin treatment options
Hyperpigmentation caused as a result of poor treatments, acne, or other examples of skin inflammation is known as post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).
(PIH) is said to occur as a result of irregular dispersion of melanin after inflammation or due to overproduction of the pigment.
“When PIH is confined to the epidermis, there is an increase in the production and transfer of melanin to surrounding keratinocytes. Although the exact mechanism is unknown, this rise in melanocyte activity has been shown to be stimulated by prostanoids, cytokines, chemokines, and other inflammatory mediators, as well as, reactive oxygen species that are released during the inflammatory process.”
– The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) under an article called, “A Review of the Epidemiology, Clinical Features, and Treatment Options in Skin of Color.”
Although skin hyperpigmentation is not very harmful, it can be a serious psychosocial burden on the patient.
Uneven Skin Tone & Brightening Products
If I was to count the number of skin care products that we currently own, including the ones that my roommate purchased just this past week, we could cover the cost of funding a luxurious trip to Costa Rica, this summer.
Let’s admit it: With the warm summer heading our way, we have already started preparing for our trips to the beach. However, for those looking to sport a sexy swimsuit this season, we suggest that you look into fighting discoloration and choose your even skin tone products carefully.
Taking into consideration that there are hundreds and thousands of even tone and brightening products to choose from, it can often be a stressful task picking out the right product to cure discoloration, treat blemishes and pigmentation.
While most of us often forget to read the label and run straight for the checkout line, it is important to spend a great deal of time researching for effective even skin tone products to avoid ending up with a botched routine.
The following are a few ingredients that you should look for in a product that cures dermal hyperpigmentation:
- Vitamin C: It is the most important ingredient for treating discoloration and promises a radiant effect on your complexion.
- Azelaic Acid: It limits the production of melanocytes – the cells responsible for producing the pigment that causes our skin to appear darker, resulting in discoloration.
- Phytic Acid: It interrupts the process of oxidation through which pigments are formed.
- Lactic Acid: It prevents discoloration from occurring and has a hydrating, anti-bacterial, and exfoliating effect on the skin.
- Retinoids: They promote the replacement of the cells found on the topmost dermal layers. Retinoids prompt the cells on the surface to turn over, which results in melanin being removed from the skin, thus preventing discoloration and the appearance of unsightly dark spots.
While these products work individually to treat the various signs of hyperpigmentation, dark spots or blemishes, they work together to ensure an even skin tone and an overall rejuvenated, and supple derma.
Reflecting upon the ever-increasing introduction of new even skin tone products in the market, the process of choosing the right products has become more complex than ever. NCI offers a complete range of products targeted towards preventing skin hyperpigmentation, reducing the appearance of spots, as well as rejuvenating all the dermal layers to form an even tone on your face and throughout your body.
Here are some options from the NCI Hyperpigmentation range of products that will prove effective as part of a thorough dermal care regimen.
- Hydrating Cleanser OR Mild Gel Cleanser
- Buffing Granules
- Restore Anti-Aging Serum
- Total C Complex
- Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 Sunscreen
- Hydrating Cleanser
- Ultra-Hydrating Moisturizer
- Eye Regeneration Complex
- Restore Anti-Aging Serum
- L3 Lightening Serum
- Vitamin C Rehydration Gel
Find more information about NCI’s exclusive range of products, or contact the skin experts at Newport Cosmeceuticals Inc. to receive the skin care help you deserve. If you are looking for more skin care advice you can head to www.nciskincare.com/basics-of-skincare for more great information on how to have glowing skin.
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