what is pigmentation

Want To Know All About Pigmentation? Here, We Get A Dermat To Answer All Your Questions

All the inputs in this story are by Dr Chytra V Anand, Celebrity Cosmetic Dermatologist & Founder of Kosmoderma Clinics and SkinQ.
Q: What is pigmentation? 

Dr Chytra V Anand: Skin pigmentation refers to the colouration of the skin due to melanin production by melanocytes. While a certain degree of pigmentation is normal and provides photoprotection, abnormalities can manifest as hyperpigmentation—resulting in excessive darkening.

Q. What causes pigmentation? 

CA: The etiology of pigmentation disorders includes genetic factors, sun exposure, hormonal influences (like melasma during pregnancy), inflammatory processes, and reactions to drugs or chemicals. Each cause influences melanin production differently, affecting the skin’s colouration. 

Q. What are some symptoms of pigmentation? 

CA: Symptoms of pigmentation disorders include localised or widespread discolouration. Hyperpigmentation is marked by dark spots or patches, which can vary in size and intensity and are more prominent in sun-exposed areas. 

Q. How is pigmentation diagnosed? 

CA: Diagnosis of pigmentation disorders involves a clinical examination and detailed patient history—tools like dermoscopy and Wood’s lamp examination aid in assessing melanin depth and distribution. Biopsies may be conducted for atypical cases or to rule out malignancy. 

Q. How can lifestyle choices affect pigmentation? 

CA: Lifestyle modifications for managing pigmentation include comprehensive sun protection, avoiding known trigger factors like hormonal medications, and maintaining a healthy skin barrier through adequate hydration and avoiding harsh skincare products. 

Q. When should one start caring for their skin to prevent pigmentation?

CA: Preventative care for pigmentation should ideally start in early childhood with rigorous sun protection measures. These protective measures should continue into adulthood, along with the inclusion of antioxidants in skincare. 

Q. When should one see a dermatologist for pigmentation issues?

CA: Consultation with a dermatologist is advisable when pigmentation changes rapidly, does not improve with over-the-counter treatments, or when the pigmentation is extensive and affects psychosocial well-being.

Q. What daily skincare routine can one follow to prevent pigmentation? 

CA: An effective daily skincare regimen to prevent pigmentation should include the use of broad-spectrum sunscreens, SPF 40 with PA +++ at least, topical antioxidants like vitamins C and Ferulic acid, and agents that regulate pigment production such as licorice, kojic acid, azelaic acid or retinoids. 

Q. What professional treatments are available for pigmentation? 

CA: Dermatological interventions for pigmentation include chemical peels, laser therapy like Q-switched lasers, and microneedling, often combined with topical agents for enhanced effect. These treatments should be tailored based on individual skin type and pigmentation severity. Dermatologists also add oral antioxidants at times. 

Q. When buying over-the-counter products, what ingredients are effective for pigmentation?

CA: Effective over-the-counter options include topical agents with depigmenting properties like kojic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, and topical retinoids. These agents help in skin turnover and help reduce surface melanin accumulation. 

Dr. Chytra has just opened her new Kosmoderma Clinic in Mumbai, and now you can easily access their expert skincare treatments in the city!

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  • Dr. Chytra V Anand

    Dr. Chytra V Anand is a globally recognized celebrity cosmetic dermatologist, TEDx speaker and award-winning author known for her expertise in diverse skin types. Founder of Kosmoderma Clinics and Skin Q, she's lauded for her innovative skincare approach and cosmetic dermatology. Dr. Anand's impact extends beyond clinics and she also founded the International Academy of Aesthetic Medicine, with a vision to shape the global cosmetic dermatology training. Passionate about social causes and women's entrepreneurship, she's garnered accolades, including the "Rising Star in Dermal Fillers" award and represents India at global forums and also mentors dermatologists.

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