Skin discoloration is usually a purely cosmetic problem. It rarely indicates bad health, and it’s not really something you need to worry about. However, a lot of people find the appearance unappealing, and treating or hiding the discoloration can improve their confidence and make them feel good in their own bodies.
If you’re bothered by this problem yourself, you should know that there are several ways you can fix it. For those of you who want to know more, here’s a handy little guide that can help you out.
What is discoloration?
Discoloration merely means the appearance of either lighter or darker patches on your skin. Darker patches are called hyperpigmentation, and lighter patches are called hypopigmentation. Freckles, for example, are a form of completely harmless hyperpigmentation.
What can cause it?
There are several reasons why you might have discoloration. Frequent sun exposure is one of the most common causes, and if you have hyperpigmentation over your face, shoulders, and chest, this is probably the reason. These are also frequently called “age spots” because they tend to appear more as we grow older.
Another cause of discoloration could be pregnancy—increased estrogen production and endocrine changes are usually to blame, and around 90% of all women do experience it to some degree. It generally starts fading after birth, but it can take months for it to happen.
If you have light patches on your skin, the usual cause is vitiligo. It usually occurs once the cells in our skin stop producing melanin, but the doctors are not sure why these cells become damaged. It’s thought to be related to sun exposure, genetics, and autoimmune disorders.
Skin discoloration, particularly hyperpigmentation, can be successfully treated with proper skincare. If you struggle with dull and uneven skin, then using good cosmetics for age spot removal can really help you out, especially if you use it every day.
One of the most important parts of your regimen should definitely be sunscreen because protecting your skin from further damage will help it retain its youthful elasticity and even tone. Lightening products are also very useful, and you want to look for the ones that contain retinol and vitamin C. These two ingredients are really good at fighting those dark patches and restoring your glow.
When it comes to vitiligo, there is no real cure. Certain steroidal creams can be prescribed to help stop the inflammation, and UV light treatment is also used to control the condition. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to make your skin darken again from skincare alone, but skin grafting, certain tattoo techniques, and blister grafting could restore your former looks.
Laser therapy is also an option for people suffering from hyperpigmentation, and it can be quite effective. There are a few side effects, but you have to find a really good health professional to do the therapy if you want to avoid making the problem worse.
The lasers are used to destroy the cells that are overproducing melanin without damaging the skin, and the spots fade gradually, over the course of a few weeks or months. Several of these treatments are usually required, and while they are effective, bear in mind that they aren’t usually cheap.
When to see a doctor
It’s always a good idea to see a dermatologist. You shouldn’t start any intense treatments without consulting with a certified health professional.
While most discoloration is completely harmless, a doctor can examine it more closely and tell you about an appropriate course of action. You should also learn how to recognize cancerous changes on the skin just to be safe.
There’s one point we’d like to bring up again—use sunscreen. A lot of skin changes can be prevented with proper SPF protection, and pretty much anyone can benefit from using it on a daily basis.
This should be the most important part of skincare for both men and women and if you’d like to know more about sunscreen and why it’s so essential for your health, you can read about it here.
Don’t let simple discoloration degrade your confidence. There are many ways you can treat it and restore that healthy, unblemished radiance, so take steps to protect and care for your skin and you can have your beauty back.