Skin pigmentation refers to the colouring of the skin. This colour is determined by the amount of melanin, the pigment that gives skin, hair, and eyes their colour, present in the skin. When the skin cells that produce melanin become damaged or unhealthy, it affects melanin production and can cause patches of skin to become darker than the surrounding skin, a condition known as hyperpigmentation.
This refers to the presence of dark spots or discoloration which are perceived as cosmetically displeasing or bothersome.
These are well-defined, hyperpigmented spots or patches of varying sizes or patches that develop due to cumulative sun exposure, genetic factors and/or natural aging process.
This is a common skin condition which presents as irregular patches of brown discoloration on both sides of the face.
Triggered by a combination of hormonal factors, genetics and sun exposure.
Diagnosis involves a thorough examination of the affected skin by the dermatologist, potentially using devices such as a Wood’s lamp or a dermatoscope. A skin biopsy may also be required to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions.
Treatment of pigmentary disorders can be very challenging with a high risk of recurrence. It is crucial that you consult a dermatologist for a thorough assessment and diagnosis before proceeding with the most appropriate treatment option(s) in Singapore.
Some options include:
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Hyperpigmentation refers to the darkening of the skin due to an increase in melanin production, whereas hypopigmentation is the lightening of the skin due to a decrease in melanin production.
Using non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic makeup products generally do not worsen skin pigmentation.
Results take time to show depending on the type of pigmentation and the chosen treatment. Some treatments may show results within a few weeks, while others may require several months of consistent use.
Although skin pigmentation disorders are more common in adults, they can also affect children. Consult a paediatric dermatologist if you notice any unusual pigmentation on your child’s skin.
Some treatments, like topical creams containing hydroquinone, may be unsafe during pregnancy. Consult a dermatologist to discuss the most suitable and safe treatment options for you.
Yes, it can return, especially if the underlying cause is not addressed or proper skincare measures are not maintained. Regular follow-ups with a dermatologist can help minimise the chances of recurrence.
Preventing skin pigmentation often involves protecting your skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen, avoiding the sun during peak hours, and wearing protective clothing. It’s also important to manage any underlying conditions that can cause pigmentation, such as acne or eczema. Regular skin examinations with a dermatologist can also help detect early signs of pigmentation.
Most pigmentation removal treatments are generally safe when performed by a qualified dermatologist. However, all treatments carry some risk. Potential side effects can include skin irritation, changes in skin colour, and scarring. It’s important to discuss these risks with your dermatologist.
Effectiveness can vary depending on the type and severity of the pigmentation, the specific treatment used, and individual skin characteristics. Some may see a significant improvement, while others may see less visible results