Have you recently noticed sudden changes in your skin, such as random white spots or brown spots on your legs? You’re not alone. Skin discoloration is fairly common, and while oftentimes might have undetermined causes, most cases of skin discoloration are benign. Skin discoloration cases can range from temporary splotchy skin to long-term discoloration.
With an overwhelming amount of information and number of products on the internet that promise easy answers and quick fixes, it can be challenging to know where to begin. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that healthy skin isn't’ all about looks. Like with any other organ in your body, keeping your skin healthy is essential for your overall health and wellbeing. If you are wondering how to get a more even skin tone, it’s important to first understand what causes skin discoloration.
What Causes Skin Discoloration?
Discolored skin is a very common problem with a range of causes. Skin pigment is controlled by melanin, which can be under or over produced at any time for reasons such as illness, skin damage, or in serious cases, skin disease. As you age, your skin can become rough and dry due to depleted collagen levels and lack of hydration. Additionally, acne and acne scarring may cause visible marks or uneven texture.
Causes of Skin Discoloration
1. Damage to Skin
One of the more common, and less serious causes of skin discoloration is damage to the skin. This can be caused by a range of activities, from as simple as picking at acne, a scar, or burn, to long-term exposure to UV-rays from tanning beds, tanning booths, or sun lamps.
One form of damage that can lead skin discoloration and irritation is shaving and/or waxing. If done improperly, or on someone who has sensitive skin, waxing or shaving can lead to pesky redness or even brown spots on the legs, arms and face.
An effective way to prevent irritation, scarring and eventual discolorations from shaving and waxing is to apply anti-scarring and anti-bump topical creams. Nacach’s Post Wax Refreshing Gel has a strong refreshing property that helps reduce redness from hair bumps and skin irritation post waxing. Imported from Italy where it is manufactured with the highest-grade natural ingredients, Nacach’s refreshing gel can be used to avoid the urge to turn short term bumps and scars from waxing into long term skin discolorations.
Hyperpigmentation is a particular skin condition that causes darkening on certain areas of skin. This darkening is primarily the result of an overproduction of melanin. Fairly common and generally harmless, hyperpigmentation can be genetically inherited. It also can result from a variety of environmental factors such as exposure to UV rays or as a side effect of certain medications. There are also natural cases of over production of melanin, such as birth marks, freckles, and more.
In order to prevent the further spread of hyperpigmentation, dermatologists recommend the use of SPF 30 strength sunscreen and higher whenever exposed to harmful UV rays from the sun. Other forms of prevention include consuming vitamin A products, using Hydroquinone & Kojic Acid, and exfoliating often to increase cell turnover.
Vitiligo is a fairly common skin disorder with no known cause. Contrary to hyperpigmentation, which is the over production of melanin, vitiligo causes the cells containing melanin to be attacked by the body’s immune cells, leading to white patches in differing areas across the body. While there may be an increased risk of autoimmune diseases in the future, vitiligo otherwise causes no adverse health effects.
Vitiligo is not known to have any consistent, safe, and accessible treatment options. However, some options that have shown to have positive results are topical creams, oral steroids, light therapy, or even skin grafts, though they all have considerable risk and side effects.
Noticing newly formed discoloration on your skin can be alarming, is most often nothing to be concerned about. However, skin discoloration can be unsightly, or it could be the result of a more serious health condition. Understanding the cause of the light or dark patches on your skin can help you determine the best method to even your skin tone and prevent further dislocation.