Melasma - Melasma is a common skin condition represented by brown and black patches over the cheeks, nose, and forehead. Mostly seen in women of the childbearing age, it has become increasingly common in males as well. It has been widely recognized as one of the most common reasons for facial pigmentation. To read more about melasma and its possible treatments,
Tanning – Tanning or darkening of the skin in response to sun exposure is a common grievance of people. The skin condition is especially more common in darker skin individuals who tan more than fairer-skinned individuals. The proportion of the tan sometimes does not depend on the duration of sun exposure, and some individuals may get severe tanning just after spending a few minutes in the sun. Treatments aimed at removing tan are successful only if the patient avoids further sun exposure until tan removal is complete.
Freckles – Freckles or sunspots are tiny, brown or black pigment spots over the face, especially on cheeks, nose, neck or arms. These spots form in response to sun exposure or harmful UV radiations. Freckles can also be hereditary and are commonly seen in patients with fairer skin types. In some people, freckles can be less significant and do not cause any visible pigmentation. However, in others, these might cover up the whole face.
Lichen Planus Pigmentosus - Lichen Planus Pigmentosus or Ashy dermatosis is a skin condition commonly affecting face, neck, and arms. It starts off as small dark patches distributed over different parts of the face and then eventually combine to cover up the whole face. The color of the skin looks ashy or blue-black. This condition is triggered by the use of hair dyes containing PPD, but an autoimmune component is responsible as well. The pigment in this condition lies in the dermis, and in enclosed in cells called melanophages. The condition is initially diagnosed by a skin biopsy, followed by oral treatments and Q YAG laser treatments for effective pigmentation removal.
Reihl’s melanosis – In a country where people are besotted with fairness, many individuals use multiple fairness creams and home remedies, which may sensitize the skin, and cause pigmentation called Reihl's melanosis. This condition is treated by stopping the application of all skin creams, and then it is treated with the QYAG laser.
Acanthosis Nigricans – This skin condition involves a change in skin density in a few parts of the face which can be a result of weight gain, obesity, and diabetes. However, it has become extremely common in patients with sedentary jobs. The skin gets thicker especially around the eyelids, forehead, and the areas around the mouth. This thickening of the skin gives the appearance of pigmentation. The treatment involves strict lifestyle modifications such as weight loss and dietary changes along with chemical peels to reduce the thickness of the skin. However, cosmetic treatments are short-lived if weight is not managed post-treatment.
Perioral dermatitis - Pigmentation around the mouth is common in darker skin individuals. This could be caused by eczema or dermatitis which could be related to the application of certain cosmetic products. The skin in the perioral area is sensitive and reacts to cosmetics. Proper analysis of the skin condition includes patch testing for common allergens as well as asking a detailed cosmetic history from the patient. The treatment uses LED bio light in combination with Chemical peels or QYAG laser.
Seborrheic dermatitis – It is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes scaling and pigmentation over the sides of the nose and under the lower lip. Sebborheic dermatitis can cause skin sensitivity and appear as facial pigmentation. Associated with dandruff, scaling over the chest, and back gives hint to this skin condition while diagnosis. The treatment involves oral and topical antifungal medications.
Addison’s disease – It is a symptom of a medical condition related to endocrine glands. The individual experiences a sudden onset of hyperpigmentation which can be observed over the face, and other parts of the body. The diagnosis generally starts with a blood test. Treatment of the underlying medical condition helps to alleviate the skin condition.
Vitamin B12 deficiency – This vitamin deficiency leads to pigmentation over the knuckles as well as pigmentation around the mouth area. This skin condition is common in people who are vegetarians or women suffering from PCOS. Diagnosis requires blood tests, and the treatment is generally completed with the prescription of vitamin B12 supplements.
Pigmentary Demarcation Lines (PDL): PDLs are areas of abrupt transition from dark to light areas. Commonly found in darker skin individuals, these can be seen on the face- under the eyes and around the mouth. These can be treated well with QYAG laser.
Since there are multiple causes of facial pigmentation, it is important to diagnose the primary condition in order to perform a correct treatment. It is important to seek consultation from a dermatologist before undergoing any treatment.