What is Hypopigmentation?
Hypopigmentation occurs when there are not normal amounts of melanin in the body. Melanin is the chemical that gives skin its colouring. Hypopigmentation is caused by disease, illness, burns, injury, and trauma to the skin. Hypopigmentation is referred to as loss of skin colouring, and can be known as skin depigmentation. Anyone can have hypopigmentation, however, it is more common in those with darker skin tones.
What causes Hypopigmentation?
Hypopigmentation is most commonly caused by an injury to the skin. Pimples, blisters, chickenpox, and scrapes, as well as improperly administered skin treatments (laser peels, chemical peels, and other treatments) can also lead to hypopigmentation. Other causes of hypopigmentation include albinism (colourless hair, skin and eyes due to skin cells that produce very little or no melanin), seborrheic dermatitis (an inflammatory skin disease in which the skin is covered with itchy, red, scaly patches where the skin tends to be oily), Vitiligo (patchy loss of skin colour due to melanin skin cells dying or stopping production due to an unknown causes), pityriasis alba (colourless, patchy skin that effects mainly children), and tinea versicolor (yeast infections with scaly, itchy patches of skin that is light or pink in color). Other conditions that are associated with hypopigmentation include leprosy, leucsim, Angelman syndrome, and idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis.
What are Hypopigmentation Symptoms?
Signs that one has hypopigmentation include one or multiple areas of white or lighter areas on the skin. They can be any shape and size that depends upon what effect caused the hypopigmentation. Should you feel that you have hypopigmentation, you will want to stop the use of any products that contain benzoyl peroxide or strong cortisone. Medical attention will be needed if multiple lighter spots are left on the skin, if there is no known cause for injury to the skin and it is producing lighter spots, or if there is an area on the skin that is light that is going numb or has lost feeling.
There are a variety of treatments for hypopigmentation. There are many topical creams that can be prescribed. These may include Hydroquinone or TriLuma. These will bleach the skin so the hypopigmentation is easily blended into the skin. If hypopigmentation effects over half the body, depigmentation of the entire body could be used effectively. Some hypopigmentation is unresponsive to medications, so camouflaging the area with a permanent makeup could be an option. Treatments that have been used by skin specialist successfully to treat hypopigmentation include IPL (intense pulsed light) and the Fraxel laser. Microdermabrasion or chemical peels will treat hypopigmentation. Just look for a skin specialist that was trained properly to perform any procedure to reduce the risk of having a procedure administered improperly. At Advanced Dermatology medical clinic located in Sydney we offer a range of treatments that can help with Hypopigmentation, for more information please contact us or call us directly on 1300 788 800.
There are some at home remedies that may assist with easing the symptoms of hypopigmentation include the use of fresh ginger. Simply take a small piece of fresh ginger and dab it on the area of skin that has hypopigmentation. Do not rinse this off. Do this twice a day. It will take time to work but within a few months, scars will have faded away completely. This has not been tested by our skin specialists and we recommend other treatments for hypopigmentation.
How to prevent Hypopigmentation?
There is not a way to prevent hypopigmentation but one can take preventative measures. Always take good care of the skin, making sure to wash it on a regular basis, as well as exfoliate and moisturise. Treat acne and other skin issues right away, and use a high quality sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30.