Dealing with pigment loss is not pleasant, especially if you are not sure what caused such problems in the first place. It is important to understand that there are both inherited and acquired conditions that can favor pigment loss. Moreover, once the pigment loss has occurred, the change can be temporary or permanent. In the paragraphs that follow, we will discuss about common skin pigmentation disorders, as well as about the causes that lead to their appearance. We will also present a number of solution that you can turn to, in order to improve the aspect of the skin care.
Pigment loss, a change that can occur in more than just one way
The color of the skin is given by the pigment known as melanin. This pigment is produced at the level of melanocytes. In the situation that there is pigment loss at the level of the skin, this can have two main causes. Either the melanocytes have stopped working properly, failing to produce melanin or they have been destroyed altogether, as is the case with skin damage. The cause of the pigment loss can determine a suitable treatment approach for the skin pigmentation disorder, as well as the extensiveness of the discoloration (small patch/generalized).
Main causes of pigment loss
Pityriasis alba: This is a skin pigmentation disorder that is often seen in children but it can appear in adults as well. A characteristic rash is present at the level of the face and arms, with the skin being red and scaly. As the rash begins to heal, white patches of dry skin appear instead. The good news is that the white patches are going to disappear eventually, without any permanent pigment loss.
Infection: Fungal infections, such as tinea versicolor, can cause dry and scaly patches to appear at the level of the skin. These are lighter in color than the surrounding skin and they may be accompanied by itchiness. According to dermatologists, these patches can appear anywhere in the skin, being either limited to a certain surface or widespread. Viral infections, such as chickenpox, can cause a similar loss of pigment, with areas of hypo-pigmentation remaining on the skin after the lesions have healed.
Inflammation: There are a lot of dermatologic disorders that are associated with an inflammatory response at the level of the skin, including eczema, systemic lupus erythematosus, psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. Because of the chronic inflammation, it is possible and white & scaly skin patches appear. These patches are irregular and they may become permanent in case of chronic conditions.
Scarring: When the skin suffers from severe damage and scarring occurs, areas of hypo-pigmentation might be present as well. Severe scars are often accompanied by pigment loss, which also makes them more susceptible to the action of UV rays. Without the necessary protection, these areas on the skin present high risk of sunburns and even skin cancer.
Chemical exposure: A person who is constantly exposed to harmful chemicals, can suffer from pigment loss, among other changes. Recently, it has been discovered that the chemicals that are involved in rubber manufacturing process can lead to such problems. The same goes for germicides and disinfectants, so you need to protect yourself when using them.
Medication: The loss of pigment at the level of the skin can occur as a side-effect of various medication. Both corticosteroids and retinoids can cause temporary or permanent loss of pigment, depending on how long they are used. It is also worth mentioning that, once this loss of pigment occurs, the skin becomes more sensitive to the sun.
How to deal with skin pigment loss
When you suffer from skin pigment loss, whether it is temporary or permanent, it is only normal that you ask yourself: how to have beautiful skin? Well, there are a number of solutions that you can resort to, in order to improve the general appearance of the skin. First of all, it is important to apply sunscreen with high SPF, so as to avoid the further damage of the skin (no pigment, no protection against UV rays).
If you are suffering from hypo-pigmentation, you can resort to special dyes, in order to cover up the white patches on the skin. You can also try micro pigmentation, so as to compensate for the pigment loss. Topical treatments include corticosteroids (only short-term, otherwise they can lead to further pigment loss) and Calcineurin inhibitors. Phototherapy is helpful as well for those who suffer from pigment loss.
When you suffer from pigment loss, it is important not to despair. You need to seek out a correct diagnosis and, based on the respective diagnosis, follow the most recommended treatment courses. At the same time, you need to stay away from the sun, protecting your skin with sunscreen that has high SPF (when you do have to go out).