Insecurity is the enemy you surely would not like to have, ever. Then again, if you can’t wear the right clothes for special occasions and you can’t sport attires which you think will look on you just because your skin is unevenly toned, then insecurity indeed has a place in your life.
You may have had your skin discoloration at birth while some had it later in their lives. No matter which way you acquired it, the marks can be disturbing, bordering on disfiguring. Skin discoloration is known to be bothering, be it a discoloration from age spots or melasma. According to a doctor in Washington D.C., Lynn McKinley-Grant, M.D., anyone who has skin discoloration problem wants it gone.
The good news is, it can be gone. Gone are the days when you had no choice but to wear any long sleeved top under the scorching heat of the summer sun just to hide the discoloration on your arms. Here is a list of skin discoloration problems you may have along with the appropriate treatment for each condition:
The Curse: Birthmarks
Birthmarks come in different sizes and shapes, which appear at birth. Some birthmarks look red, while others appear brown. Today, the exact causes are not yet defined. Then again, some conditions are associated to deformities in the blood vessel taking place as early as the first month of the embryo.
The Counter-Attack: Some birthmarks disappear while you are a kid. If you have gotten over your childhood days and your birthmark is still there, then you can go for Q-Switch Ruby or Flash Pump Dye. If you haven’t heard of these before, these are types of laser technology used to obliterate or reduce the blobs. (For more information on birthmark removal, read how to get rid of birthmarks)
The Curse: Moles
Yes, moles are discolorations, too! Moles are technically known as pigmented naevi in the medical world. Blemishes appear from brown to black. Sometimes a mole is flat, and in some cases it is raised. Worse, your mole may even grow as you age. Then again, some moles disappear as you grow. The coagulation of the natural pigment of your skin called melanin causes the formation of moles.
The Counter-Attack: As long as biopsies prove that your mole is benign, a Ruby laser treatment will help you get rid of it completely.
The Curse: Age Spots
Technically called solar lentigo, age spots usually appear on your hands, chest and face as you age. You may mistake age spots for freckles, but age spots have more irregular shapes. Age spots are generally larger than freckles, too. Once sun damage releases patterns of melanocytes that produce pigments, age spots starts to appear.
The Counter-Attack: Make your problem a thing of the past by using chemical peels and lightening creams. If you want to get rid of your age spots as soon as possible, then go through laser procedures. (More tips on how to get rid of age spots)
The Curse: Melasma
If you are expecting a baby, you may find brown stains on your chest or face. Melasma is usually experienced if you are on the second half of your pregnancy. If you are not pregnant but you are taking birth control pills, it is possible that your skin has discolorations, too. Hormones from birth control pills and pregnancy can increase melanin production in your body, which is why your color becomes uneven in some areas.
The Counter-Attack: It is best to stay out of the sun to avoid making the stains more visible. If you have to go out of the house, use an SPF 15+ sunscreen. You can also undergo Ruby laser treatment, use glycolic acid peels or apply topical creams on the affected areas regularly.
The Curse: Vitiligo
Vitiligo refers to the total loss of skin pigment. In fact, Vitiligo is accountable for the skin color of Michael Jackson. Vitiligo is a condition that affects only one percent of the population. If you are suffering from more serious problems like alopecia areata, decreased adrenal gland function, pernicious anemia or thyroid disorders, then you have a higher risk of acquiring Vitiligo. Possible causes of this type of skin discoloration include an autotoxic or autoimmune reaction where your pigment cells are damaged, or having abnormal nerve cells that obstruct pigment production.
The Counter-Attack: You have two choices when it comes to treating Vitiligo. If you have lost a high percentage of pigment, you can be under oral medication to rid you of whatever is left of the pigmentation to obtain a lighter, uniform look. For less pigment loss, ultraviolet therapy will help in restoring a significant amount of your skin’s pigment to the white patches.
The Curse: Thread Veins
Thread veins refer to dilated veins that appear like red traces on your legs or cheeks. Women experience this more than men do. Contributing causes include long periods of standing or sitting, injury, photo-damage, skin type, hormones and heredity.
The Counter-Attack: Lasers would be of good use. Another option is called sclerotherapy which refers to a procedure where a chemical like saline solution is injected into your vein. As the chemical is injected, your blood supply is shut off. Then again, sclerotherapy is risky especially around your ankles and neck. You may try vascular laser treatment instead.
Skin discoloration may be caused by other more serious problems like acanthosis nigricans, albinism, lichen planus, necrobiosis lipoidica and diabeticorum. Treatments depend on what your doctor suggests, but in most cases, he or she will explain each procedure to you and help you decide what treatment will work best for you.
It should make you feel good that this day, laser technology is here to help you get rid of the problem you never thought you’d ever get away with. For the past few years, technology had also given you color-changing creams to even out your color. Gone are the days when cosmetic procedures were nothing but dreams. Today has come when all you need to do is know what treatments are available, then choose your own.
Behind these treatments are reasons to make you realize that you no longer need to be insecure. You also need to know that it isn’t your fault why you acquired this condition, and an even skin tone is not all there is to real beauty. You have a lot to offer to the world aside from your skin so don’t feel bad about not affording the treatments yet. It is either you soon will, or you’ll finally realize that beauty is not skin-deep.
Click here for more information on how to get rid of skin discoloration.