Pigment, or melanin, is a polymer found in the epidermis. Some skin pigment conditions are easy to treat because the pigment sheds as the skin renews itself. However, topical treatments do not reach the pigment when it settles into the dermis skin layer. Treatment difficulties may also occur when there is a growth in the number of cells that make pigment. Those who have a skin concern can get help and proper treatment with a Calabasas dermatologist professional like Dr. Hal Weitzbuch, who can correctly diagnose and treat their pigment condition.
A variety of circumstances can cause pigmentation problems. Some common causes are overexposure to sunlight, pregnancy, genetics, skin irritation, acne, facial rashes, hormone replacement therapy and oral contraceptives. While rarer than the aforementioned causes, adrenal gland issues and prolonged use of hydroquinone creams may also lead to pigmentation conditions.
There are certain steps you can take to address your skin pigmentation concerns. Patients should limit the frequency with which they exfoliate and scrub their skin to avoid irritation, which can worsen a pigmentation condition. Also, they should protect themselves from ultraviolet light by wearing sunblock that contains at least 10 percent zinc oxide.
Hydroquinone serums and creams can aggravate pigmentation conditions, and they sometimes cause DNA mutations. Therefore, patients should only use hydroquinone products for several months at a time. Additionally, numerous products on the internet are marketed to people who have pigmentation conditions. Before using any non-prescription creams or treatments, patients should seek the opinion of a board-certified dermatologist. If the dermatologist prescribes a medication, the patient should follow the doctor’s instructions, keeping in mind that results may not be noticeable for several months.
The patient’s diagnosis will determine the best course of treatment. Dermatologists often use peels, topical medication or lasers to treat freckles, non-textured age spots and lentigines. Laser procedures are ineffective and unsafe for treating moles; dermatologists usually suggest surgical removal to treat moles. Lasers are also unsuitable for managing melasma. Topical creams, microdermabrasion and light peels are more common treatments for not only melasma but also post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Patients who have a raised non-cancerous growth can have it removed with a hyfrecator procedure or liquid nitrogen.