Do you have areas on your skin that differ noticeably from your natural skin tone?
Skin discoloration happens when melanin levels vary on our faces and other areas. Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin appears darker than normal and may take the form of red or brown spots or splotches. Hypopigmentation is the opposite, and means the skin appears lighter than normal.
Many people notice discoloration increasing as they get older. Sun spots, also called age spots, are flat brownish areas that appear as a result of long-term exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. They appear most frequently after age 50 on the face, hands, feet, neckline and shoulders. However, there are other factors that may cause discoloration to appear at any age.
Correcting skin discoloration can help you achieve a more even complexion for greater confidence. Let’s take a closer look at different factors that may lead to discoloration, as well as the treatment options available.
What Causes Skin Discoloration?
Variations in skin tone are often caused by variations in melanin levels across different areas of the skin. In some people, this variation may result in birthmarks in different sizes or shapes. Others may be affected by melanin disorders such as melasma or vitiligo.
Discoloration may also be caused by inflammation due to infection, allergies or injuries such as burns. Bacterial infections from cuts or scrapes, fungal infections like ringworm, or viral infections like cold sores or warts may cause redness or other changes in skin tone. Some people experience discoloration due to medication side effects. Other factors may include uneven use of skin tone products and even weather conditions.
Skin conditions that may cause discoloration include psoriasis and rosacea. Psoriasis is a chronic condition that causes itchy, scaly patches that often have a reddish or silvery appearance. Rosacea is another common condition that may cause excess redness.
Other health conditions that may cause an uneven skin tone include lupus, Graves’ disease, Addison’s disease, scleroderma and skin cancer. Finally, some people are more prone to discoloration due to genetics.
Treatments for Skin Discoloration
How skin discoloration is treated depends on the cause. For example, if an underlying medical condition is the culprit, you may notice your skin’s appearance improving by treating that. Likewise, discoloration caused by a temporary infection may clear up when your skin heals.
There are also many effective cosmetic treatments available for eliminating or reducing unwanted discoloration. These may include over-the-counter products that you can apply to the affected areas, or professional treatments such as intense pulsed light, chemical peels or microdermabrasion. At Cayce Medical Spa, our care team will examine your skin and recommend the options best suited to address your needs.
Intense Pulsed Light
Intense pulsed light (IPL) provides a photofacial using a technology known as photo-thermolysis. It reduces skin irregularities, such as discoloration, for a smoother, more youthful appearance.
Lumecca is the most powerful IPL treatment available for pigmented lesions. It reduces age spots and other forms of red or brown pigmentation to improve the clarity of your skin. While it is safe to use on all areas of the body, it is most commonly used on areas that receive the most sun exposure:
For best results, patients should avoid excessive sun exposure or tanning one month prior to treatment. Lumecca uses a bright flash of light that feels similar to an elastic band popping. Some people experience temporary redness or a slight warming sensation that usually dissipates within one hour.
Within one to two days of treatment, some patients may notice a darkening of pigmented areas. These pigmented spots will then begin to flake off over the next few weeks to reveal a more even skin tone underneath.
A chemical peel uses ingredients specifically formulated to resurface the skin for a better appearance. It removes the outer epidermis and stimulates collagen production. For example, Glytone peels with Enerpeel improve skin tone over the course of multiple treatments at Cayce Medical Spa.
Skinceuticals Pigment Balancing Masque and Take Home Treatment is the leading standard for treating hyperpigmentation. It lightens discolored areas to reduce hyperpigmentation and improve overall skin tone. It’s also effective for protecting against future discoloration while avoiding the harsh side effects often caused by bleaching products.
Microdermabrasion is a gentle exfoliating treatment that removes the thicker, uneven outer layer of skin for an improved complexion.
DiamondTone Skin Resurfacing at Cayce Medical Spa is effective at reducing brown spots and other forms of discoloration. It stimulates collagen production to give you a more vibrant, healthy appearance. It’s noninvasive, causes no discomfort and requires no downtime after treatment.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you’re troubled by skin discoloration and unsure what to do, get in touch with Cayce Medical Spa. We’ve helped many patients reduce or eliminate hyperpigmentation for a better complexion. We’ll design a personalized treatment plan that addresses your concerns and helps you look and feel your best.
You can contact us online or give us a call at 573-234-6930.