Pigment changes can occur on any part of the body. It’s often due to or worsen by trauma, use of toxic products, skin disease and/or excessive sunlight exposure without proper protection.
Hyper- or hypopigmentation often becomes a problem if located in exposed areas like the face, hands, arms or genital areas. It can cause people to avoid certain activities or limit their social or sexual life.
Melasma and Chloasma are two different names for the same condition, though Melasma is more commonly used. It’s a relatively common type of hyper-pigmentation affecting the face, neck, arms and/or the upper body. It’s frequently seen in women, especially during pregnancy and in people with darker skin, that is regularly exposed to sunlight.
Essentially, Melasma is a hyper-pigmentation of the skin, without any other signs and symptoms, that are often seen to a varying degree in different kinds of eczema or rash. Thus, Melasma does not differ in texture compared to the skin in the surrounding areas. There is no pain, no itching or redness as seen in infection or inflammation, the affected area is not elevated or sunken compared to the surrounding.
Melasma is associated with pregnancy, oral contraceptives and hormonal changes. Light induced and UV-light may be a contributing factor. Hyper-pigmentation is commonly worse during summer and less prominent or may altogether disappear during the winter.
People suffering from Melasma should try to avoid any known exacerbating factors such as sunlight or sun beds. Protecting against sunlight and UV radiation is essential and sun blocking agents with a high protection factor is recommended. SPF50 or higher should be used.
Treatment for Melasma (Chloasma)
There are several skin treatments that may reduce the hyper-pigmentation in Melasma.
HydraFacial or Microdermabrasion
With a combination of cleaning, exfoliation and the use of skin products the upper layer of the skin is removed, including cell containing pigment. This triggers repair and healing of the skin with new cell formation and a more even skin pigment.
There a number of peels or acids that can soften and improve the appearance of the skin and remove the outermost layers of the skin. This includes the cells where the pigment is formed. Removing these layers stimulate new cell growth with a more even pigment.
Medicated Skin Care
These will usually contain Tretinoin and Hydroquinone. Be aware that these skin care products are medical product and not beauty product. The dosage is high and it’s made to actually work. Therefore, a specified amount should be used, as prescribed by the doctor.
Our consultant will assess your situation and guide you regarding the treatment options available. It’s important that you aware of the pros and cons of the treatment so that your condition, your expectation and the treatment plan are aligned.
Pigment changes of the genital area
It’s normal for the skin in the ano-genital area to be darker than the rest of the body and it can further darken with age. However, in some patients, the darker colour can become quite bothersome even in patients that have light skin colour otherwise.
The causes can be due to a number of reasons, including the use of talcum powder, use of a razor, wax or cream for hair removal and hormonal changes.
It’s important that any known exacerbating factors are minimised along with any trauma.
As with most cases of (aesthetic) medicine, one size does not fit all. This is also true for the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of hyper-pigmentation in the genital areas.
What to do next?
Whether you are suffering from hyper- or hypo-pigmentation, melasma or dark genital areas, there are treatment options available. Some treatments can even be combined.
It can be hard to understand the pros and cons of a specific treatment. Naturally, there will be many questions and uncertainties. It’s vital that your expectations match what can realistically be expected from the various procedures.
We recommend contacting us on 0317 55 55 930 or 0317 55 55 920 to set up a consultation.