A darkening of the skin caused by exposure to the sun, age, hormonal or even genetic issues, hypopigmentation usually starts with patches and then turns into swaths which are lighter than the original skin color.
Result? Mostly, self-image issues. When you are too self-conscious, you lose confidence and that’s not a good thing! So, first we need to understand the issue, then the remedies.
In confined hypopigmentation, white patches appear in different places and in varying shapes and sizes. In a hypopigmented person, there is a decrease of melanocytes or melanin. Usually, hypopigmentation occurs in people of all races, but it is more perceptible in people with darker skin tone because of the disparity between natural skin tone and white patches.
Causes Of Hypopigmentation:
There are many causes of hypopigmentation. But it usually happens as a result of sudden injury, burns, and trauma to the skin. Blisters, burns, and infections can all damage the skin and lead to hypopigmentation. If cosmetic skin treatments such as laser peels and chemical treatments go awry, they can also cause hypopigmentation.
When hypopigmentation occurs due to chronic diseases, it is present from birth to death.
Types Of Hypopigmentation:
There are many types of hypopigmentation. Some of them are listed below
Vitiligo is due to an autoimmune disease, which damages the cells that produce melanin. But the exact cause of vitiligo is still unknown. The rate of loss of color due to vitiligo is unpredictable. It can affect the skin on any part of the body. It may also influence hair and the inside of the mouth.
Symptoms of vitiligo
- Vitiligo signs include
- Change in color of the inner layer of the eyeball
- Greying of hair
- Loss of the color of the mucous membrane
Vitiligo is of three types
Generalized vitiligo (the discolored patches often progress similarly on corresponding body parts)
Segmental vitiligo (occur at a younger age, progress for a year or two, then stop)
Localized (focal) vitiligo (Only a few areas of the body)
It is the most common type of hypopigmentation. Pityriasis Alba usually occurs in children with darker skin tone and involves white, slightly raised patches on the face. It is also referred to as a type of dermatitis, also seen in young adults as dry, fine-scaled, pale patches on the face. It only demands moisturizer creams because it is self-limiting. The duration of pityriasis Alba varies from 1 month to 1 year, with most cases resolving over several months to a year. The leading cause of pityriasis alba Is still unknown, but it is associated with eczema.
When our body does not provide melanin or stops the production of melanin, the condition is called Albinism. The type and amount of melanin your body produces determines the color of your skin, hair, and eyes. Melanin plays a vital role in the generation and development of the optical nerve. So, people having albinism have vision problems. They are sensitive to sunlight because they have thin skin and are most likely to have skin cancer. There is no proper cure for albinism, but people with the disorder can take steps to protect their skin and eyes and maximize their vision.
Symptoms of Albinism
There are many symptoms of Albinism.
- SKIN: Albinism results in white hair and skin color difference from other siblings. Skin and hair color range from white to brown.
- With exposure to the sun, some people may develop the following symptoms
- Inability to tan
- HAIR: Hair color can range from white to brown. The people having albinism usually have white-yellowish hair
- EYE COLOR: eye color and eyelashes become pale. The lack of pigment makes irises somewhat translucent. It means irises cannot completely block the light from entering into the eye.
- VISION: Vision stultification is a crucial factor for albinism. Different eye issues include:
- Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
- Poor depth perception
- Legal blindness
- Complete blindness
- Extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness
- Abnormal development of the retina
- misrouting of the optic nerve
Tinea versicolor originates from a fungal infection that occurs from overactive yeast on the skin. It doesn’t cause any complication, but scaly spots appear.
Diagnosis Of Hypopigmentation:
During your physical test, your doctor will check all the areas of your skin and make proper notes to write down the areas where pigmentation is lighter than the other parts. They also note down the parts where suspicious moles are present. In severe cases, doctors usually do a biopsy by scraping a small piece of skin and send it to the laboratory for analysis. Your doctor may also want to determine the history of skin pigmentation in your immediate family. It can help them diagnose any genetic components.
Treatments Available For Hypopigmentation:
After diagnosis, your doctor will help you to develop a specific plan to treat your symptoms. Treatments related to inflammation, burns and scars for example, include:
- CORTICOSTEROID CREAMS: Topical corticosteroid treatments reduce inflammationand decrease skin lightening.
- LASER THERAPY
- SKIN BLEACHING In rare cases, dermatologists may recommend skin-bleaching ingredients like hydroquinone.