Hyperpigmentation refers to areas that are darker than the surrounding areas. There are many types of hyperpigmentation namely; age spots, melasma, freckles or acne marks (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation).
So, pigmentation is a broad term that covers many skin conditions. In this interview, Dr. Umar Mushtaq, one of the top dermatologist in Lahore, explains the causes and treatment of pigmentation. He has 12 years of experience and offers services for a wide range of skin concerns including laser treatments.
Q.1. What is pigmentation?
Well, you see, pigmentation, or more accurately, hyperpigmentation is a broad term that includes many skin concerns. The most common is melasma, that is commonly known as “chayyan” in urdu. Moreover, freckles, age spots or acne spots or scars also come under hyperpigmentation. Having said that, the leading category of hyperpigmentation is melasma.
Q.2. What are the causes of pigmentation?
I can tell you the most common reasons that cause hyperpigmentation.
Pregnant women can develop pigmentation marks when their immunity is suppressed.
Other than that, fair-skinned people are very likely to get pigmentation marks.
Also, people who spend a lot of time under the sun without applying sunblock are also prone to hyperpigmentation.
Lastly, overexposure to cosmetic products and getting excessive facial treatments can also leave the room open for hyperpigmentation.
Q.3. How can we avoid hyperpigmentation?
I can’t stress this enough but wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen is the most important step in keeping pigmentation at bay. In addition to this, try to limit your sun exposure as much as you can.
Q.4. How do you treat hyperpigmentation?
I would like to reiterate that most women self-medicate by using commercially available “de-pigmentation” creams. However, that is highly dangerous as the majority of such creams may contain steroids. Never apply any cream without consulting your doctor.
Now, coming back to the question, the first level of treatment is always a broad-spectrum sunscreen and a depigmentation cream. However, if this treatment is ineffective, then chemical peels are done. A chemical peel is a chemical solution applied to the skin that causes it to exfoliate and bring fresh skin to the surface. The new skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the older skin.
Another treatment option that is available is mesotherapy. Mesotherapy is done by applying a “depigmentation injection” to the topmost layer of the skin. Its side effects do include swelling but long term effects are extraordinary.
Q.5. Would you like to give any message to your viewers?
Yes, for sure! I would like to tell all my viewers to please stop self-medicating and indulging in home remedies for any skin concerns. Always visit a consultant doctor or a specialist since they know what’s the best treatment option for you.
You can watch his full interview to learn more about the hyperpigmentation and how we can steer clear from pigmentation. Moreover, if you have any skincare concerns, consult a dermatologist.