Skin pigmentation - Causes, symptoms and treatment. MF.
The color of our skin determines melanin. It is synthesized from melanocytes located in the deepest layer of the epidermis. The function of melanin is to protect the skin from ultraviolet light. But this does not mean that more suntanned people are better protected from the sun. In high doses, ultraviolet causes burns, accumulation of free radicals, damage to DNA and skin pigmentation disorders, which leads to the formation of hyperpigmentation on the skin.
Skin can also be colored with bile pigments( yellow pigmentation), hemosiderin, silver compounds, ink, etc. But there are kinds of dangerous spots that can endanger health and even human life. Basically, they include different types of melanoma.
Causes of increased skin pigmentation
• Reinforced skin pigmentation usually appears in places exposed to the sun: face, hands, neck, forearm and shoulders.
• Ultraviolet radiation plays a key role in the formation of spots on the skin.
• The process of excessive skin pigmentation can contribute to changes in the hormonal background( birth control pills, hormone therapy, pregnancy).
• Acute and chronic inflammatory processes in the body.
• Photosensitizing substances present in medicines( eg antibiotics), perfumes and cosmetics( with bleaching properties without protective filters containing AHAS / BHA, retinol, alcohol, essential oils).
• Skin discoloration increases with age.
• Hyperpigmentation is caused by metabolic disorders.
Conditions in which pigmentation of the skin can be observed
- Freckles are small brownish spots, up to 1-2 mm in diameter, which appear on the face, neck, back of the hands. As a rule, this is preceded by solar irradiation, so in the summer they become darker, and in winter they brightens.
- Lentigo - occurs in places exposed to the sun( on the face, hands and lower neck).The spots are characterized by the correct shape and uniform coloration( from brown to black).Diameter from 1 mm to several centimeters, can merge with each other.
- Birthmarks( nevus).
Diseases in which abnormal skin pigmentation is observed
- Melasma( chloasma) - discoloration of the skin in the spots of irregular spots. The color of the spot is from light brown to dark brown. Most often, it appears symmetrically on the cheeks, forehead or upper lip, in women aged 30-35 years, during pregnancy, with the use of contraceptive pills. Also, the cause may be endocrine disorders or liver diseases. Sometimes the disease is inherited.
- Ryll melanosis - reticular hyperpigmentation on the temples, cheeks, neck, under the chin. The cause of the disease is photosensitizing agents and some foods.
- Phototoxic reactions - occurs when in contact with a photosensitizer( cosmetics, herbal preparations) and then irradiated with UF skin. Substances that can cause phototoxic reactions: dill, celery, St. John's wort, angelica, soothing, hormonal, diuretics, antibiotics.
- Melanoma is the most malignant tumor of the skin, which can lead to death if left untreated.
To which doctor and when should you contact immediately
Emergency care of a dermatologist, medical beautician or oncologist is necessary in such cases:
• Sun burns in the area of pigment spots( eg lentigo) and other skin defects.
• In the presence of spots arising during pregnancy, puberty.
• If freckles, stains or growths begin to increase in size very quickly.
• Sharp color changes occur.
• Itching, burning.
• Bleeding or inflammation in the area of increased skin pigmentation.
• Uneven contours or uneven stains.
• The presence of malignant neoplasms in other family members( close blood relationship).
• The spots do not have a visible, clear border separating them from the other skin.
• Strange color( pink, brown or black).
• Diameter from 5 to 15 mm.
• Preventive examinations in the presence of spots on the skin( if nothing bothers) once a year.
Symptomatic treatment of pigmentation
Treatment in a dermatologist begins with the examination of spots with a Wood lamp. Sometimes stains can not be removed completely, you can only brighten and make them less noticeable. Depending on the type of spot the doctor can recommend:
Application of bleaching agents. Most known:
- Hydroquinone in a concentration of 1.5 to 8%( arbutin, ericoline, arbutoside - ointments, alcohol solutions).Whitens at the initial stage of the appearance of the stain. Visible result is achieved in a few weeks. A side effect is the discoloration of the skin around the spot.
- Retinoids( tretinoin cream, synthetic vitamin A, Accutane, Retin-A) are analogues of vitamin A. The course of treatment lasts up to 3 months.
- Azelaic acid( 15-20% skinoren, azelik) - removes minor inflammation and hyperpigmentation, eliminates acne and acne. Frequent use can cause redness and burning of the skin.
- Kojic acid( 1-4% with the same name) - non-toxic, pronounced exfoliating property, suppresses the formation of melanin.
- Vitamin C( not less than 5%)
- Corticosteroids( prednisolone, hydrocortisone ointment, gel) - has a strong anti-inflammatory effect, reduce the activity of melanocytes. It is good to combine with bleaching agents.
Chemical peelings - the purpose of the procedure is to improve the appearance of the skin of the face, neck and hands, clean and smooth the skin and restore its color. Chemical peeling consists of acid( glycolic, trichloroacetic or koyeva), which has a controlled damaging effect on the skin. Peeling can remove fine wrinkles, discolor excessive pigmentation, eliminate small scars from acne.
Dermabrasion( deep mechanical peeling) - exfoliation is performed under the influence of the smallest particles. This is a mechanical abrasion of the upper layers of the epidermis and dermis. The treatment is carried out using a special electrical device with a rotating brush disk. The procedure is performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the skin surface area. After the procedure, make a dressing. Restoration of the skin takes several weeks. The treatment is indicated in case of acne scars removal, markings after smallpox, some posttraumatic scars, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, tattoos.
Microdermabrasion - mechanical removal of stratum corneum using abrasive wheels.
Cryotherapy - freezing spots with liquid nitrogen, and then removing dead skin areas. The method is very effective, but sometimes there are scars.
Laser procedures - skin pigment melanin absorbs light energy from the laser and, thus, burns.
High technology - includes preparations for ultraslighting of the skin( creams, serums, masks).The composition includes special substances from hyperpigmentation that inhibit the formation of the tyrosinase enzyme and, consequently, block the formation of melanoblasts, destroy the excess of melanin.
- Masks made of colloidal gold( golden masks) - restore the correct operation of melanocytes. The treatment is very effective, but its cost is about $ 1000 for one procedure, and to get the desired effect you need several such procedures.
- Lighting compounds resveratrol - rejuvenate the skin, effectively dissolve the stains remove melanin from the cells. Minus the method - does not interfere with the formation of melanin.
Phytotherapy and home treatments for pigmentation
- Juice or puree from pineapple - contains bromelain( an enzyme that dissolves melanocytes) and fruit acids.
- Citrus juice - has a strong whitening and peeling property.
- Infusion of lemon skin - contains essential oils and fruit acids. It whitens and moisturizes the skin well.
- Papaya puree - contains a large amount of vitamin A, improves the protective properties of the skin.
- Raspberry juice - whitening property, vitamin therapy.
- Whitening lotion: cut the cucumber into pieces together with the skin and put in milk buttermilk. The infusion will be ready in 3 hours. Wipe the face with a cotton swab dipped in infusion.
- Decoction from stains: grind a blender or in a coffee grinder several mother-and-stepmother flowers, grass ruta and sporicha in equal proportions. Spoon the mixture with a glass of water and cook for 5 minutes. Broth wipe your face several times a day.
- Brightening peeling - mask: mix a glass of chamomile and a glass of yogurt. Then add the dried milk to the thickening state. Apply the mask on face, rinse after 20 minutes.
- Wine clarifying tonic: 2 tablespoons nettle mixed with a spoonful of shredded horseradish and pour a bottle of white wine. Close tightly and let stand for 14 days. The received tonic should be used 2 times a day.
- Whitening Mask No. 1: 3 tablespoons of potato flour mixed with a spoonful of lemon juice and a tablespoon of kefir. Apply on face. Wash off after 10 minutes.
- Whitening Mask No. 2: squeeze juice from fresh lettuce or spinach leaves and mix it with honey( 3 to 1).Apply to the skin with a brush or cotton swab and wash off the field of complete drying. Note! This mask is not suitable for people with translucent or dilated capillaries.
- Whitening Mask No. 4: Mix the gruel of their grated celery with a spoon of natural medium-fat cheese, apply on face for 15 minutes and rinse.
- Whitening Mask No. 5: about 150 g of unripe currant berries, mash with a fork and add 1 tablespoon of warm( not hot!) Honey. You can dilute with lemon juice. Apply to skin and wash off after 30 minutes.
Remember that natural ingredients are powerful allergens. Before using the mask, you need to make a test test on the inside of the forearm. Then evaluate the skin changes.
Always choose fresh products, do not leave their surpluses for tomorrow, as they lose their properties.
Wash better with bottled or mineral water.
Doctor cosmetologist Kondratenko NA