Yellow-brown spots or melasma is a notorious name for one of the most challenging pigmentation problems to treat, as it is often resistant to conventional therapies.
Yellow-brown spots can be caused by various factors such as aging, medications, genetics, hormonal changes, and UV radiation. Unlike freckles or sunspots, melasma appears symmetrically on both cheeks and covers a larger surface area. Melanin can be found in both the epidermis and dermis layers, but it is usually located deeper in the dermis, making it difficult to treat. Improper use of lasers can even lead to rebound hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation, so seeking professional medical treatment is highly recommended.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a type of pigmentation caused by inflammation in the skin, commonly from acne, eczema, or laser treatments. Treating this type of pigmentation with lasers is not recommended, as it may exacerbate the problem. Instead, topical agents and chemical peels are used to lighten the darkened areas.
Seborrheic keratosis, also known as “age spots,” is a common type of pigmentation on the face. These patches are rough and raised, varying in shades from light to dark brown. UV radiation and age are the main factors that contribute to its formation, causing an overgrowth of skin cells. The texture of these spots is different from that of normal skin, giving it a rough and uneven appearance. While technically not a pigmentation issue, treatment methods for age spots may not be effective.
Treating different types of pigmentation requires different methods. Many advertisements claim to treat or completely remove pigmentation, but patients should be cautious. As multiple pigmentation types can coexist, seeking professional diagnosis and determining the type and location of the pigmentation is critical for effective treatment. Epidermal pigmentation is more manageable, with topical medications or chemical peels effectively improving the condition. Dermis pigmentation is more difficult to treat and may require more extended therapy. Sometimes, dermal pigmentation can be associated with underlying medical conditions, making a professional diagnosis crucial. Treatment methods for pigmentation include topical agents, bleaching products, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser treatments, intense pulsed light therapy, and iontophoresis. A customized treatment plan should be developed by a healthcare professional based on individual skin needs. The following section will discuss the methods of pigmentation treatment in more detail.