Melasma, Ochronosis causes

Melasma or (Chloasma) is patterned pigmentation on the face particularly over cheeks, and forehead especially in women. Melasma can be idiopathic (no cause) or it can be a result of taking birth control pills or during pregnancy. In the latter case, the pigmentation will fade gradually once you stop taking the pill or after pregnancy, but it could take many years. An idiopathic cause is more common. Chloasma looks light to dark brown and ends abruptly forming a line along the forehead or cheek. It is more often seen in darker races. Sometimes the upper lip and chin can be affected. Melasma is aggravated by sun exposure and perfume, therefore it is a good idea to wear sunscreen.

Phyto-photo dermatitis occurs after coming in contact with a plant or plant derivative (phyto) to which you are allergic, followed by exposure to the sun (photo). Dermatitis refers to the redness or swelling of the skin which occurs almost immediately after sun exposure. After inflammation settles the skin is left dark brown.

Perfume dermatitis or Berloque dermatitis are other names for phyto-photo dermatitis. In perfume dermatitis the effects of using perfumes, colognes and aftershave containing oil of bergamot, or furocoumarin related substances can be mild and pigmentation is the only sign which occurs.  No inflammation of the skin occurs. 

Many plants like limes and lime oil from the rind can cause the same symptoms if you are allergic to them. Common sites are the wrists, behind the ears, and the sides of the neck. In men, the beard area is a common site because of aftershave. Phyto-photo dermatitis usually subsides after a year, but in darker skinned people it could take longer.

Ochronosis is severe hyperpigmentation caused by hydroquinone. It is an ingredient found in many skin-lightening creams. Hydroquinone does not allow (blocks) the production of melanin in melanocytes of the epidermis. Because less melanin is produced, there is less protection from UV light and deeper penetration into the skin structures. This form of hyperpigmentation is permanent and irreversible. Some of the symptoms are coarse black skin and large black papules. The chin, forehead, cheeks and upper lip are the most common sites. Ochronosis is often seen in black populations in countries that use a lot of skin-lightening creams.

Malignant melanoma is skin cancer. Three percent of all Malignant skin tumors are Malignant melanoma. Most often the lesions appear flat and pigmented or can be raised. These nodules are grey-brown or blue-black and ulcerate or extend into an irregular outline. They grow downward into the dermis and become attached to the underlying tissue.

People with many naevi are more at risk of developing Malignant melanoma. Fair complexion and light hair and eyes are more common as well. People who were severely sunburned in their past, or have it run in their families are more likely to experience the illness. It is most common between the ages of 40 and 50 or any time after puberty.

Malignant melanoma can occur anywhere on the body where there are melanocytes. The eyes and mucous membranes are possible sites. It is common on the backs of men and on the legs of women.  Other common places are lower limb, nail bed, sole of foot, neck, and head (especially for people who have no hair or are balding).

It is fair to say that age spots, sun spots and melanin abnormalities are not always permanent. At Nell Laser Clinic there are solutions for age spots, sun spots and brown spots. We access your problem and make educated and helpful suggestions to solve your problems. Make an appointment today.

Fortunately, these days there are many solutions for all hyperpigmentation disorders such as age spots, sun spots, melasma.  These include: Laser; micro-needling; microdermabrasion; chemical peel; and cosmetic acupuncture.  These treatments, with the aid of proper skin care products, will resolve hyperpigmentation.  Patience and persistency, however, are key.

For a complementary consultation call us at 416-228-0011

Sun Spots Removal Toronto

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