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Friday, January 21, 2022

Frustrated with your hyperpigmentation? Here’s what you can do


Hyperpigmentation is commonly associated with pregnancy, when taking the contraceptive pill, or the occurrence of some hormonal disorders, as well as genetics.

Harmless but frustrating to treat on your own, hyperpigmentation is one of the most common reasons for dermatologist visits in Qatar. 

During her pregnancy, Shaina noticed discolouration in her skin. Coupled with hormonal acne that left marks after it was gone, Shaina’s skin was nothing like it used to be. After giving birth to her daughter, she assumed her skin would return to normal, however, was disappointed when the acne cleared up, but the marks stayed. 

“Being a dark skinned woman, I was left with many spots on my face that made me very uncomfortable. The months passed and the marks slightly faded but were very noticeable,” Shaina told Doha News.

Despite this, she accepted herself but missed the way her skin used to look. After trying multiple methods and suggestions but finding no luck, Shaina realized it was time to see a dermatologist. 

Hyperpigmentation is commonly associated with pregnancy, when taking the contraceptive pill, or the occurrence of some hormonal disorders, as well as genetics. The skin acquires its colour through melanocytes, which are present in the skin.

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This helps produce melanin pigment in varying amounts between people, which explains the difference in skin colour between human races. When this mechanism malfunctions, a change in the colour of the skin results, either as hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation.

There are different types of hyperpigmentation, such as post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and melasma. 

According to Dr. Fatema Abbas: “Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs after any damage to the skin, such as acne, burns, eczema, etc. This affects women and men alike.” 

People with darker skin are more likely to develop hyperpigmentation. As for melasma, it is “common where melasma affects 30% of middle-aged Asian women. It also affects men as well, where males constitute 10% of cases of melasma.” 

Fortunately, there are multiple treatment methods for hyperpigmentation that achieve good results. 

“As for the treatment, its method and duration varies according to the type and depth of hyperpigmentation (dermal or epidermal),” Dr Fatema said.

The treatment varies between drugs, laser, injection, or chemical peeling, and experienced dermatologists often resort to sharing more than one method to obtain satisfactory results or a complete cure. 

The doctor also said it is important to take note that the treatment period is not less than three months as a minimum, and that some types of treatment may be regressive. As for the most vital advice – it is protection from the sun, as it greatly contributes to the occurrence of both previous types. 

“I recommend visiting a doctor as soon as you notice any change in skin colour, to start treatment as soon as possible and to have a good outcome with your results,” the doctor added. 

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