Why Does Discoloration occur?
Discoloration, localized change in skin colour, occurs in pregnancy as mask of pregnancy which we call chloasma; as age spots on hands, back, chest, neck and face due to natural aging; as sun spots on face and décolletage after excessive tanning or burn; in underarms and around neck after applying deodorants and perfumes; due to uncontrolled exposure to the sun and chemicals; after laser hair removal or waxing; following incorrect tattoo removal procedures and during some systematic diseases (kidney diseases and diabetes etc.)
What can be done to prevent discoloration?
The priority in discoloration treatment shall always be intended to to prevent discoloration formation. Due to the fact that discoloration is caused especially by the sun and use of chemicals, the precautions for discoloration can be specified as follows: at every age starting from childhood, sunscreens with appropriate sun protection factors should be used. Sunscreens are not to be used only on holidays at beaches; they should be applied on skin even during snowy weather if necessary.
Skin burns should be prevented by avoiding extreme suntan under the sun or in tanning centres.
Incorrect use of some cosmetic products such as alcohol inclusive wet wipes, deodorants, body hair bleaching products, tanning products especially on the skin parts exposed to the sun can cause discoloration. Such products should be used with extra care.
Especially after waxing, laser hair removal, skin care, peeling and laser skin rejuvenation procedures on areas with sensitive skin such as face, armpits, groin area, the skin should be carefully protected from sun exposure, chemical and mechanical traumas (use of cosmetic products or peeling, massage etc.).
Acne scars and haphazard treatments done by unauthorized people or in person cause discoloration over time. Skin discoloration on face during pregnancy is caused by the interaction between hormonal changes and the sun; therefore sun protection should be used more frequently during pregnancy. Skin should be moisturized at every age and in every season and skin care applied regularly on sensitive skin such as face, décolletage and hands will prevent discoloration and rapid aging of these areas.
What are the steps of discoloration treatment?
Treatment plans should be made based on the reasons of discoloration and patients should be advised that discoloration treatment might take long.
Each discoloration case should be examined individually to decide whether it is benign or malign by an experienced physician. In case of a suspicious situation, biopsy should be conducted on the tissues. For malign discoloration I usually attempt to surgically remove it as early as possible and send the removed tissue for pathological examination. The method to be used to treat benign pigment discoloration is as following: First the cause of the discoloration should be investigated and the cause should be eliminated.
Then if there are any signs of disease which we call acute on the skin (burn, redness, itchiness, flaky skin etc), those signs are to be treated and then discoloration treatment can be induced.
And finally as the third stage necessary care and protection after the treatment should be provided.
What are included in discoloration treatment?
New advancements are introduced every day in pigment discoloration treatment. Instead of using chemical peeling and mechanical peeling processes such as micro-dermabrasions during skin care, I intend to treat discoloration using suitable laser treatments to achieve a successful result avoiding traumatization as much as possible.
Can we say that the ultimate solution for discoloration is laser treatment?
Absolutely YES. The correct laser type in the hands of an experienced surgeon can produce amazing results in suitable patients.
Can laser treat discoloration in one session?
This depends on how deep the pigment discoloration is. If discoloration is superficial one session of laser treatment can be sufficient whereas for deeper discoloration cases the number of sessions and the interval between sessions are determined after the treatment has started.
Which is the best season for discoloration treatment?
Since pigment discoloration is mainly caused by the sun, the ideal time for discoloration treatment is autumn and winter. Discoloration treatment induced in winter should be completed in spring and sun protection measures must be followed meticulously in summer.