Our skin is made up of three layers – the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. Cells called melanocytes which are present in the epidermis, are responsible for the production of melanin. Melanin is what gives our skin its colour or pigmentation. Lighter skin tones translate to less melanin, while darker skin tones translate to more melanin.
Pigmentation changes when the amount of melanin produced is altered by genetics, certain diseases or conditions, and the sun. There are two types of melanin:
Pigmentation and melanin production is affected by a variety of factors such as genetics, skin damage or injury, the sun, and some medication conditions. These can cause either increase or decrease melanin production, resulting in darker or lighter pigmentation.
There are 2 types of skin pigmentation conditions, these are:
After a physical examination, the following tests may be conduct for a more accurate diagnosis:
The treatment of pigmentation depends on its location (e.g., dermal vs epidermal) and type (e.g., age spots, melasma, etc). The basic rule where prevention is better than cure applies, this means that sun block is a must.
For pigmentation treatment options in Singapore, there are a variety of topical treatments available. Lasers and other energy based procedures can also help improve pigmentation but typically require a few sessions. Often topical AND energy-based treatments are commenced at the same time.