Depigmentation treatments are designed to reduce the excessive pigmentation.
Pigmentation is skin discolouration. Hyper pigmentation generally referred to as pigmentation is an excessive accumulation of melanin pigment in some areas of the skin that gives it a darker colour. It is caused by various factors such as sunlight, age, genes, hormones, medicines, skin diseases like acne, eczema, lupus etc. Certain medical conditions can give rise to hyperpigmentation. Depigmentation treatments are designed to reduce the excessive pigmentation.
They aim to reduce blemishes, spots, sun damage, tan, melasma and other dark spots on the skin. Various ointments and creams can be tried over the counter at home first before seeking medical advice. Ayurvedic creams, home based turmeric, camphor, lemon juice all have skin lightening properties. Prescription strength ointments and creams may be prescribed by your dermatologist containing various active skin lightening agents such as kojic acid, arbutin, niacinamide, hydroquinone, retinoids etc. Treatments like peels and laser treatments may help get rid of the pigmentation much quicker along with skin ointments and creams.
A series of glycolic or tca peels can peel away the outer layers of the skin with excessive damage and pigmentation, and fasten the skin renewal system. The new skin shows more even skin tone with brightening and reduction in the pigmentation.
There are also one time peel systems that cause peeling and the result is further enhanced by the use of maintenance creams with a combination of alpha and beta hydroxy acids, hydroquinone and vitamins.
Lasers like IPL and Q switched lasers can also target sun damaged skin with pigmentation. Q switched lasers break the pigment deposits into smaller bits which are cleared away by the lymphatic system. The process is gradual and may take a few laser sessions to lessen the pigmentation.
The lasers also differ in parameters and procedural settings, depth of lesson next, and doctors expertise dictate how much of the pigment can be targeted and in how long with not just a fuller lip, but a genuine one!
– The writer is a dermatologist.