Skin pigmentation pictures: Pictures of Skin Pigment Problems
Pictures, causes, and when to see a doctor
Patches of discolored skin are common and have many different causes, including birthmarks, pigmentation disorders, rashes, and infections. Some causes are harmless, but others will require medical attention.
Skin contains melanin, which is the pigment that gives the skin its color. Having more melanin makes the skin darker, while less of it results in lighter skin. Melanin is also responsible for hair and eye color.
Patches of discolored skin are noticeable because they differ from a person’s normal skin tone. They may be lighter, darker, or a different color, such as red, gray, or blue.
It is important that people with this symptom understand the cause of their discolored skin patches in case treatment is necessary.
This article explores the various causes of discolored skin patches and explains which of them require treatment.
Share on PinterestVitiligo is a skin pigmentation disorder that causes patches of lighter skin.
Discolored skin patches have many different causes, including:
- skin pigmentation disorders
- skin rashes
- skin infections
- skin cancers
- medical conditions
We look at each one of these in more detail below.
Birthmarks are patches of discoloration that people have when they are born. Some types of birthmark fade over time, while others may be permanent.
Birthmarks are either vascular or pigmented. Vascular birthmarks are red, and they occur due to abnormal blood vessels in the skin.
Types of vascular birthmark include:
- Strawberry nevus. Also called a hemangioma, this is a common type of vascular birthmark. It appears as a red patch and is most common on the face, scalp, chest, and back. A strawberry nevus does not usually require treatment.
- Salmon patch. Also called a nevus simplex, this flat red or pink patch of skin typically occurs on the neck or forehead. Up to 40 percent of all babies are born with this type of birthmark.
- Port wine stain. This is a noticeable flat red or purple birthmark. Some port wine stains may require treatment, which might include laser treatment or cosmetic camouflage.
Pigmented birthmarks are generally white, brown, blue, or gray. They result from a problem with the melanin in the skin.
Types of pigmented birthmark include:
- Mongolian blue spots. These are blue or gray patches that may be present on the back and buttocks at birth. Babies with darker skin are more likely to have these birthmarks. Mongolian blue spots often fade as the child grows.
- Moles. These are black or brown spots that are usually harmless. However, it is best to see a doctor if a mole changes shape, size, or texture.
- Café-au-lait spot. These appear as light brown skin patches on light skin or black coffee-colored patches on dark skin. Café-au-lait spots are often oval-shaped and may fade as the child grows.
Skin pigmentation disorders
If a person has lighter or darker skin patches, this may signify a skin pigmentation disorder. Type of skin pigmentation disorder include:
Melasma. This is a common skin condition that usually affects facial skin and causes brown patches. It affects women more often than men. Triggers of melasma can include sun exposure and hormonal changes.
Vitiligo. This disease can affect any part of the body. It causes the cells that produce melanin, known as melanocytes, to stop working correctly, which results in patches of lighter skin. Sometimes, it will also change a person’s hair color. The exact cause of vitiligo is unknown, but a problem with the immune system may be responsible.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation. This is a temporary increase or decrease in skin pigment following skin trauma, such as a blister or burn.
Albinism. People with albinism do not produce enough melanin. This leads to little or no pigment in the skin, hair, or eyes. Albinism is a genetic disorder, meaning that a person inherits a faulty gene from one or both of their parents.
Some types of skin rash can also cause patches of discolored skin. These include:
- Rosacea. This is a chronic skin condition that can cause raised patches of red skin and pus-filled lesions. It typically affects the forehead, cheeks, and nose.
- Psoriasis. This is a skin condition that causes silvery-red, crusty, flaky patches of skin, which can appear anywhere on the body. Doctors believe that psoriasis may result from a problem with the immune system.
- Contact dermatitis. This rash happens when the skin reacts to an irritant or allergen.
- Eczema. Also known as atopic dermatitis, this condition can cause patches of red skin that is also itchy, dry, and cracked. These patches may sometimes ooze and then form a crust. The cause of eczema is unclear, but it can run in families and is more common in people who have asthma, hay fever, and other allergies.
Share on PinterestRingworm causes ring-shaped marks on the skin that are scaly, dry, or itchy.
Certain skin infections may also cause discoloration, such as:
- Tinea versicolor. This is a fungal skin infection that can cause patches of skin to become lighter or darker. These patches usually develop slowly and can sometimes merge to form larger patches. Tinea versicolor tends to affect the trunk, neck, and upper arms.
- Ringworm. Also known as tinea, this is a fungal skin infection that causes red or silver ring-shaped patches of skin. These patches may be scaly, dry, or itchy. Ringworm can appear on most parts of the body, including the scalp, groin, feet, hands, and nails.
- Candidiasis of the skin. This is a fungal skin infection that causes red, itchy skin patches. It often occurs in areas where the skin folds, such as the armpits and groin.
In rare cases, skin cancer can cause patches of discoloration. Types of skin cancer include:
- Actinic keratosis. These are dry, scaly, pre-cancerous skin patches. Without treatment, they may progress to squamous cell carcinoma.
- Basal cell carcinoma. These are flesh-colored, pearl-like, pink skin patches or bumps. Basal cell carcinomas are the most common form of skin cancer.
- Squamous cell carcinoma. These are red bumps, sores, or scaly patches, which may heal and then re-open. Squamous cell carcinomas are the second most common type of skin cancer.
- Melanoma. This cancer may develop in existing moles or appear as new dark spots. Melanomas are the most severe form of skin cancer, and early diagnosis and prompt treatment are crucial.
Certain medical conditions, including the following, may cause discolored patches of skin:
- Cyanosis. Insufficient oxygen in the blood can cause the skin and lips to appear blue or purple. Cyanosis that occurs suddenly could be a sign of a problem with the heart, lungs, or airways. This is a medical emergency, and a person should seek immediate medical attention.
- Lupus. This is a complex autoimmune condition that may cause a butterfly-shaped rash on the cheeks.
Undiagnosed or untreated diabetes can also cause changes in the skin, such as:
- yellow, reddish, or brown patches of skin
- dark, velvety patches of skin
- thick, hard patches of skin
- shin spots
If discolored skin patches appear suddenly and then disappear, there may be a simple explanation.
Causes of temporary patches or blotches of red skin include:
Causes of temporary patches of pale skin include:
- low blood sugar
- cold weather conditions
If a new patch of discolored skin appears and does not go away, it is best to see a doctor. It is also important to seek medical attention if a mole changes size, shape, or texture.
To diagnose discolored patches of skin, a doctor may ask the individual about:
- pre-existing medical conditions
- when and how quickly the discolored patch of skin appeared
- whether the discolored patch of skin has changed since it first appeared
- any related symptoms
The doctor may examine the affected skin under a lamp. They may also need to carry out further tests, such as blood tests and a skin biopsy. The skin biopsy will involve the doctor taking a small sample of skin and examining it under a microscope.
Share on PinterestA person should see a doctor if the discolored area of skin does not go away.
The treatment for discolored skin depends on the cause.
If a person has an underlying health condition, the doctor will recommend the best course of treatment for that condition. Treating the underlying condition often resolves any associated skin problems.
If the underlying cause is skin cancer, it is vital that the person has treatment as soon as possible.
Birthmarks and skin pigmentation disorders do not usually require treatment. However, some people may wish to have treatment for cosmetic reasons. Treatment options include laser treatment, chemical peels, and topical creams.
Lemon juice or castor oil may also help to reduce the appearance of discolored skin patches. Alternatively, people can use makeup to camouflage the affected skin.
It is not possible to prevent all causes of discolored patches of skin.
However, sun protection may reduce the risk of melasma, sunburn, and skin cancer. People can protect themselves from the sun by:
- using sunscreen
- staying out of the midday sun
- covering up with loose clothing
There are many possible causes of discolored skin patches. Some causes, such as birthmarks, are not harmful and may not require treatment. Others, such as skin cancer and cyanosis, are likely to require immediate treatment.
It is essential to see a doctor if any new discolored patches of skin appear or if existing moles change in any way. This helps to make early diagnosis and treatment possible, which often leads to a better outlook.
Melasma: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Real Life Pictures
Melasma most commonly occurs on the face, although it can also appear on the arms and back. Melasma on the face typically appears on the forehead, the upper lip, the chin, or cheeks. Melasma may appear as ‘macules’, which resemble freckles, as well as larger dark patches that feature irregular borders.
Melasma symptoms include:
- Symmetrical patches of dark, brown or greyish skin
- Enlarged melanin cells called melanocytes
- An increase in the number of melanin cells
- Abnormal accumulation of elastic tissue
- An increase in blood vessels in the face
Melasma unfortunately cannot be cured, but it can be effectively managed with sun protective measures and professional dermatologic care.
Who Gets Melasma?
Melasma occurs in about 1% of the general population (Ogbechie). However, this number can range between 9-50% in high-risk populations. The difference in prevalence may be attributed to an individual’s degree of sun exposure, geographic location, and genetics.
Women develop melasma at a rate disproportionately higher than men. Some studies have found a 9:1 ratio of female predominance (Hexsel) while others have found differences as high as 39:1 (Vazquez). This disparity is due to the naturally higher levels of estrogen in women’s bodies. Pregnancy and oral contraceptives – both of which increase the amount of estrogen in the body – can trigger melasma as well.
Genetics play a large role in the development of melasma. Women of Hispanic or Indian descent are especially prone. If you have family members who have melasma, you are more likely to develop the condition yourself. Studies have shown that more than half of people with melasma have a family history (Ogbechie).
Can men be diagnosed with melasma too?
Although rare, melasma can also affect men. The clinical presentation of melasma is very similar in men and women with dark brown patches and macules (freckle-like spots) that develop on the face, neck, shoulders, or upper arms. The major risk factors for developing melasma among men are sun exposure and performing work outdoors (Ogbechie).
Causes Of Melasma
As far as skin conditions go, melasma is not dangerous or painful, but it can be very troublesome all the same. So, what causes melasma? In truth, the exact cause is not known. However, there are several well-documented triggers.
- Internal factors include genetics (family history), having naturally darker skin, and hormone changes.
- External factors include UV light exposure, skin inflammation, irritation from certain toiletries or cosmetics, certain medications, and oral contraceptives.
- Pregnancy can also trigger this skin condition, earning melasma the nickname the ‘mask of pregnancy’.
What Are My Treatment Options?
Melasma is not a harmful condition, and some individuals choose not to seek treatment. However, scientific studies have consistently shown that melasma can negatively impact an individual’s quality of life both socially and professionally. But how can you treat this condition if it cannot be cured?
Melasma is very manageable, so seeking treatment can help reduce the appearance of dark patches as well as prevent these patches from coming back. There are many types of treatment, all of which can help fade and manage this skin condition.
- Topical creams: Combinations of medications that are applied to the skin which inhibit melanin production, encourage new skin growth, and reduce inflammation. These creams may include one or a combination of ingredients, such as kojic acid, azelaic acid, tranexamic acid, and hydroquinone.
- Chemical peels: A chemical solution that ‘peels’ off the topmost layer of skin, removing discolored patches and promoting new skin growth.
- Laser skin lightening: The use of precise lasers to remove discolored areas on the skin.
- Oral treatments: The use of oral medications to slow melanin production and improve the appearance of dark patches on the skin.
- Microneedling: The use of very small needles to help topical melasma creams penetrate more deeply into the skin to improve the appearance of dark patches.
- Microdermabrasion: The use of a specialized tool to exfoliate the skin, improve cell turnover, and promote new skin growth.
- Other treatments: Home remedies include apple cider vinegar, essential oils, turmeric, and others. These treatments are not well studied and should only be used following a consultation with your doctor.
No treatment plan is complete without sun protection because UV rays can make your melasma worse. All treatments should include at-home lifestyle modifications such as avoiding the sun during peak hours (10am – 2pm), wearing a broad-brimmed hat outdoors, and regularly applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Choose a sunscreen that contains either iron oxide or titanium dioxide (or even better, both). These ingredients are physical UV blockers that are particularly helpful in reducing the severity of the dark patches on your skin.
In addition, avoid using cosmetics or toiletries that irritate your skin since inflammation can cause your skin to become even darker.
Can Melasma Fade On its Own?
Although melasma can fade on its own without any treatment, these options may take time. At-home, prescription-free remedies include avoiding the sun and wearing UV-rated clothing. Where this condition is caused by hormonal birth control pills or IUDs, stopping the use of these contraceptives can help dark patches fade. When pregnant women develop melasma, the dark patches generally fade after giving birth.
How Might Melasma Be Prevented?
Unfortunately, melasma is often caused by uncontrollable factors such as skin type, genetics, and gender. However, prevention is still a critical component in dealing with existing melasma regardless of the type of treatment you use. While the condition is caused by a variety of factors, one which is both highly culpable and preventable is direct exposure to ultraviolet sunlight. It is responsible for aggravating existing hyperpigmentation and undoing the progress you have made towards achieving a clear complexion.
Any effective melasma treatment includes the daily use of a broad spectrum sunscreen. Sunscreen labeled as such has been required by the FDA since 2011 to protect against the two types of UV radiation (A and B) that are linked to the kind of skin damage linked to melasma.
Notably, UVA—the radiation most responsible for the kind of damage linked to melasma—is present during all daylight hours, and it is as present in direct sunlight as it is with overcast. This means that sunscreen is warranted at unintuitive moments, and it should likely be used more often than not.
Research suggests that physical UV blockers like iron oxide result in a lower melasma relapse rate over broad spectrum sunscreens that do not contain sunlight blockers.
Can you prevent melasma?
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Your personal clinician will assess your skin and prescribe a regimen that is tailored to your unique needs. This plan will include prescription-strength melasma creams delivered to you, online consultations with a licensed, board-certified dermatologist, and lifestyle recommendations to help you protect your skin from UV rays.
Learn more about our Melasma Treatment
Vitiligo – NHS
Vitiligo is a long-term condition where pale white patches develop on the skin. It’s caused by the lack of melanin, which is the pigment in skin.
Vitiligo can affect any area of skin, but it commonly happens on the face, neck and hands, and in skin creases.
The pale areas of skin are more vulnerable to sunburn, so it’s important to take extra care when in the sun and use a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF).
Symptoms of vitiligo
The areas of skin most commonly affected by vitiligo include:
- mouth and eyes
- fingers and wrists
- inside your mouth
It can also sometimes develop where there are hair roots, such as on your scalp. The lack of melanin in your skin can turn the hair in the affected area white or grey.
Vitiligo often starts as a pale patch of skin that gradually turns completely white. The centre of a patch may be white, with paler skin around it. If there are blood vessels under the skin, the patch may be slightly pink, rather than white.
The edges of the patch may be smooth or irregular. They’re sometimes red and inflamed, or there’s brownish discolouration (hyperpigmentation).
Vitiligo does not cause discomfort to your skin, such as dryness, but the patches may occasionally be itchy.
The condition varies from person to person. Some people only get a few small, white patches, but others get bigger white patches that join up across large areas of their skin.
There’s no way of predicting how much skin will be affected. The white patches are usually permanent.
Types of vitiligo
There are 2 main types of vitiligo:
- non-segmental vitiligo
- segmental vitiligo
In rare cases, it’s possible for vitiligo to affect your whole body. This is known as universal or complete vitiligo.
In non-segmental vitiligo (also called bilateral or generalised vitiligo), the symptoms often appear on both sides of your body as symmetrical white patches.
Symmetrical patches can appear on the:
- backs of your hands
- skin around body openings, such as the eyes
Non-segmental vitiligo is the most common type of vitiligo, affecting around 9 in 10 people with the condition.
In segmental vitiligo (also known as unilateral or localised vitiligo), the white patches only affect one area of your body.
Segmental vitiligo is less common than non-segmental vitiligo, although it’s more common in children. It usually starts earlier and affects 3 in 10 children with vitiligo.
What causes vitiligo?
Vitiligo is caused by the lack of a pigment called melanin in the skin. Melanin is produced by skin cells called melanocytes, and it gives your skin its colour.
In vitiligo, there are not enough working melanocytes to produce enough melanin in your skin. This causes white patches to develop on your skin or hair. It’s not clear exactly why the melanocytes disappear from the affected areas of skin.
Non-segmental vitiligo (the most common type) is thought to be an autoimmune condition.
In autoimmune conditions, the immune system does not work properly. Instead of attacking foreign cells, such as viruses, your immune system attacks your body’s healthy cells and tissue.
If you have non-segmental vitiligo, your immune system destroys the melanocyte skin cells that make melanin.
Vitiligo is also associated with other autoimmune conditions, such as hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland), but not everyone with vitiligo will develop these conditions.
You may be at increased risk of developing non-segmental vitiligo if:
- other members of your family have it
- there’s a family history of other autoimmune conditions – for example, if one of your parents has pernicious anaemia (an autoimmune condition that affects the stomach)
- you have another autoimmune condition
- you have melanoma (a type of skin cancer) or non-Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system)
- you have particular changes in your genes that are known to be linked to non-segmental vitiligo
Segmental vitiligo (the less common type) is thought to be caused by chemicals released from the nerve endings in your skin. These chemicals are poisonous to the melanocyte skin cells.
It’s possible that vitiligo may be triggered by particular events, such as:
- stressful events, such as childbirth
- skin damage, such as severe sunburn or cuts (this is known as the Koebner response)
- exposure to certain chemicals – for example, at work
Vitiligo is not caused by an infection and you cannot catch it from someone else who has it.
A GP will be able to diagnose vitiligo after examining the affected areas of skin.
They may ask you if:
- there’s a history of vitiligo in your family
- there’s a history of other autoimmune conditions in your family
- you’ve injured the affected areas of skin – for example, whether you’ve had sunburn or a severe rash there
- you tan easily in the sun, or whether you burn
- any areas of skin have got better without treatment, or whether they’re getting worse
- you’ve tried any treatments already
A GP may also ask you about the impact vitiligo has on your life. For example, how much it affects your confidence and self-esteem, and whether it affects your job.
If available, the GP may use an ultraviolet (UV) lamp called a Wood’s lamp to look at your skin in more detail. You’ll need to be in a dark room and the lamp will be held 10 to 13cm away from your skin.
The patches of vitiligo will be easier to see under UV light, which will help the GP distinguish vitiligo from other skin conditions, such as pityriasis versicolor (where there’s a loss of pigment due to a fungal infection).
Other autoimmune conditions
As non-segmental vitiligo is closely associated with other autoimmune conditions, you may be assessed to see whether you have any symptoms that could suggest an autoimmune condition, such as:
- being tired and lacking energy, which may be a sign of Addison’s disease
- being thirsty and needing to urinate often, which may be a sign of diabetes
A blood test may also be needed to check how well your thyroid gland is working.
If vitiligo is severe or making you unhappy, you may want to consider treatment.
The white patches caused by vitiligo are usually permanent, although treatment options are available to reduce their appearance.
If the patches are relatively small, skin camouflage cream can be used to cover them up.
Steroid creams can also be used on the skin to restore some pigment, however long-term use can cause stretch marks and thinning of the skin
If steroid creams do not work, phototherapy (treatment with light) may be used.
Although treatment may help restore colour to your skin, the effect does not usually last. Treatment cannot stop the condition spreading.
Find out more about treating vitiligo.
Complications of vitiligo
Vitiligo can sometimes cause other problems.
Because of a lack of melanin, your skin will be more vulnerable to the effects of the sun. Make sure you use a strong sunscreen to avoid sunburn.
Vitiligo may also be associated with eye problems, such as inflammation of the iris, inflammation of the middle layer of the eye (uveitis), and a partial loss of hearing (hypoacusis).
Problems with confidence and self-esteem are common in people with vitiligo, particularly if it affects areas of skin that are frequently exposed.
Help and support
Support groups can provide help and advice and may be able to put you in contact with other people with vitiligo. A GP may suggest a group in your local area.
The charity The Vitiligo Society is also offers advice and support.
Page last reviewed: 05 November 2019
Next review due: 05 November 2022
American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD)
Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in the skin. Hyperpigmentation can affect the skin color of people of any race.
Age or “liver” spots are a common form of hyperpigmentation. They occur due to sun damage, and are referred to by doctors as solar lentigines. These small, darkened patches are usually found on the hands and face or other areas frequently exposed to the sun.
Melasma or chloasma spots are similar in appearance to age spots but are larger areas of darkened skin that appear most often as a result of hormonal changes. Pregnancy, for example, can trigger overproduction of melanin that causes the “mask of pregnancy” on the face and darkened skin on the abdomen and other areas. Women who take birth control pills may also develop hyperpigmentation because their bodies undergo similar kind of hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. If one is really bothered by the pigment, the birth control pills should be stopped.
Changes in skin color can result from outside causes. For example, skin diseases such as acne may leave dark spots after the condition clears. Other causes of dark spots are injuries to the skin, including some surgeries. Freckles are small brown spots that can appear anywhere on the body, but are most common on the face and arms. Freckles are an inherited characteristic.
Freckles, age spots, and other darkened skin patches can become darker or more pronounced when skin is exposed to the sun. This happens because melanin absorbs the energy of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays in order to protect he skin from overexposure. The usual result of this process is skin tanning, which tends to darken areas that are already hyperpigmented. Wearing a sunscreen is a must. The sunscreen must be “broad spectrum” (i.e. it blocks both UVA and UVB). A single day of excess sun can undo months of treatment.
Most prescription creams used to lighten the skin contain hydroquinone. Bleaches lighten and fade darkened skin patches by slowing the production of melanin so those dark spots gradually fade to match normal skin coloration. Prescription bleaches contain twice the amount of hydroquinone, the active ingredient, as over-the-counter skin bleaches. In more severe cases prescription creams with tretinoin and a cortisone cream may be used. These may be somewhat irritating to sensitive skin and will take 3-6 months to produce improvement.
There are now several highly effective laser treatments. The q-switched ruby and other pigmented lesion lasers often remove pigment without scarring. A test spot in an inconspicuous place will need to be done as they sometimes make things worse instead of better.
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The medical information provided in this site is for educational purposes only and is the property of the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice and shall not create a physician – patient relationship. If you have a specific question or concern about a skin lesion or disease, please consult a dermatologist. Any use, re-creation, dissemination, forwarding or copying of this information is strictly prohibited unless expressed written permission is given by the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.
White spots on the skin
Take a look below at some of the most common skin disorders known for causing white spots on the skin and get acquainted with their symptoms.
It is important to note that you should never rely only on a self-diagnosis; actual diagnosis and advice for an appropriate treatment requires a visit to your doctor.
Tinea Versicolor is a condition that occurs when a natural yeast found on the skin called pityrosporum ovale grows uncontrollably and begins to change the skin pigmentation of the skin. When this happens, patches of skin may become lighter or darker.
Tinea versicolor can be caused by a variety of factors, including hot weather, oily skin, a weakened immune system, hormonal changes, and excessive sweating. This skin condition is commonly found among adolescents and young adults, while it frequently appears in adults when they visit warm and humid climates.
Tinea Versicolor white spots on the back
Tinea versicolor is often treated with over-the-counter anti-fungal medications, which efficiently remove the discolored patches or spots. If these medications don’t work, you are advised to contact your doctor for further tests to confirm you suffer from tinea versicolor.
A doctor may prescribe a topical cream or prescription pills to treat it. Many people can eliminate the infection entirely, but the skin may remain discolored for some time after the treatment, ranging from weeks to months. The disease can sometimes also flare back up, especially if the patient returns to a warm environment or takes hormonal medication.
Lichen sclerosus is a rare skin condition that creates thin patches of white skin. It is a long-term condition that usually affects the skin of the genitals. It is most common among women who have gone through menopause, although men and children can also be affected.
Typical symptoms include smooth white patches on the skin that join together and become cracked or sore, itchiness, fragile, wrinkly or thickened skin, blisters, and pain when having sex or going to the toilet.
While the cause of lichen sclerosus is unknown, hormonal imbalances or an overactive immune system are suspected factors. It is not contagious and cannot be spread to other people through intercourse.
Although there is currently no cure for the condition, symptoms can be managed with the use of steroid creams and ointments. When used correctly, the creams usually help ease or alleviate symptoms entirely.
Read more: What does a normal mole look like?
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that causes red, itchy, and dry skin as a result of inflammation. Sometimes white patches or spots can appear within a red rash.
This condition is typically found in children but can continue into adulthood. Eczema symptoms include dry, scaly, thickened skin that is almost always itchy. Especially among darker-skinned people, eczema can cause skin discoloration, making the affected area lighter or darker than the surrounding skin.
Eczema on the legs
The cause of eczema is unknown, but it is thought to be linked to allergies and asthma and is suspected to be an overactive immune response to an irritant. While there is no cure for the condition, symptoms can be managed. For many people, eczema will even go away over time.
Doctors can prescribe topical corticosteroid creams and ointments, oral medications, and light therapy to help ease symptoms.
Pityriasis alba is a skin disorder commonly found in children and young adults that causes pale pink or red, scaly patches to form on the skin. When these patches clear up, the skin is left discolored, with smooth, light patches taking their place.
Lesions can be round, oval or irregular in shape, and many patches can occur at once, especially on the face and arms. Pityriasis alba is believed to be associated with eczema and, as such, an overactive immune response is a suspected cause.
Patches may clear up within a few months or, in some cases, can last for several years. No treatment is required for pityriasis alba as the spots usually go away over time, with most cases disappearing by adulthood.
However, a doctor will often prescribe a steroid or non-steroid cream to ease the dryness or itching. In some cases, the patches can flare-up in the future and require further treatment.
Read More: Early melanoma symptoms and how to spot them
Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis
Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis is a disorder that causes 1 to 10 mm flat white spots to occur, typically on the shins, arms, upper back, and face. It is usually found in fair-skinned individuals but can also appear in dark-skin. While the exact cause is unknown, these white spots often begin to form as a person ages, usually after the age of 40.
The spots are benign and are thought to be brought on by sun exposure, which kills melanocyte cells in the skin. No treatment is usually needed, but preventative measures to block against sun damage should be taken. Topical steroids, creams, and dermabrasion can be used to minimize the appearance of the spots.
Image of Idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis
Vitiligo is a disease in which the skin forms white patches. It occurs when melanocyte cells stop producing melanin, either because they die or because they stop functioning. Causes of vitiligo are unclear, but this skin condition is thought to be an autoimmune disease. It can appear at any age and on any part of the body.
Sometimes, the white patches will spread throughout the body, while other times, they will remain the same size. Vitiligo often appears initially as a small, pale spot on the skin that, over time, will develop into a larger patch.
Developed vitiligo spot on the feed
Vitiligo is generally harmless and not contagious, but its aesthetic appearance can cause emotional and psychological distress in people who suffer from it.
Several treatments can help reduce the appearance of vitiligo, including corticosteroid creams, depigmentation treatments, and UVA and UVB phototherapy. Some of these treatments come with side effects, so it is recommended to discuss options with a doctor.
Read more: Skin Pigmentation: What it is and common disorders
White spots from sun damage
While the above skin conditions are mostly through no fault of the sufferer, white spots on the skin caused by sun damage are definitely preventable. In this case, the skin has been so affected by the UV rays that it stops producing melanin – the skin chemical that gives it color.
While these spots are caused by too much sun, they are not skin cancer. However, they can be a good indication that you are spending too much time in the sun and are likely to be a sign that you might have other moles on your skin that you should keep an eye on.
While white spots on the skin may in most causes be nothing to worry about, they may indicate that you need to take a little more care of your skin. Using sunscreen, avoiding trigger foods and generally caring for your skin can help to avoid these white spots and will keep your skin looking healthy.
Maybe it’s NOT vitiligo!
Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease of the skin that causes white spots. It’s pretty distinctive and is frequently diagnosed by a dermatologist simply by looking at it, often with the aid of a special light called a Wood’s lamp. But I’ve seen patients in my Vitiligo Clinic, some who’ve traveled a very long distance (even other countries), who didn’t actually have vitiligo, but had diseases that looked like vitiligo. Sometimes I’ve had vitiligo patients who notice new spots on their bodies that they think are vitiligo, but they’re something else, often things that are even easier to treat. So, if you’re wondering if you have vitiligo but aren’t sure, maybe this blog will help you figure that out, and clarify what’s distinct to vitiligo versus its lookalikes!
There are different patterns of vitiligo
Vitiligo can sometimes have different appearances, so being familiar with the different patterns that can exist is helpful to recognize it and tell it apart from other conditions. For example, vitiligo can affect a small area (usually early on before it spreads), called focal vitiligo. It can become widespread, often called generalized vitiligo. It can affect just the lips and genitals, called mucosal vitiligo, or those areas plus the fingertips, called lip-tip vitiligo. It can affect the face and hands/feet, which is called acrofacial vitiligo. Universal vitiligo means that most of the skin has lost its pigment as vitiligo has spread all over, usually we reserve this term for when at least 80% is affected. Maybe most importantly, it can affect just one side of your body and stay in a small area, which is called segmental vitiligo. The details of these forms of vitiligo are for another blog post, but if you or your doctor knows these patterns it’s easier to determine if the spots are from vitiligo or a lookalike that causes the same pattern.
The physical exam and Wood’s lamp
The Wood’s lamp is a UVA light that looks dark purple, and it’s used by holding it close to the skin with all the lights in the room turned out. It’s the same light used for highlighting fluorescent colors in the dark, like “midnight bowling”, “fluorescent mini golf”, and clubs in the 70s. So be careful when going to one of these places that uses a “black light” if you have vitiligo, because your spots will glow! Maybe you’ll think this is cool, and want to find one. . .
When a patient has vitiligo, the Wood’s light makes all of the white spots fluoresce bright white, making them clearly visible in contrast to the normal skin color, even if the normal skin is very pale. It has something to do with proteins in the skin absorbing UVA light and then emitting (or shining back) a longer wavelength that’s in the visible spectrum, so your eyes can better see it. It’s an incredibly useful tool for a dermatologist and vitiligo specialist, because very few other diseases turn the skin white like this. So, when the spots glow under Wood’s lamp, it narrows down the possibilities by a lot. Combined with other pieces of information gathered by talking with the patient, we can usually diagnose vitiligo without a skin biopsy.
But what if it’s NOT vitiligo? What if the spots don’t fluoresce under Wood’s lamp illumination, or what if they do, but the other information doesn’t fit with what we know about vitiligo? Well, that’s when a dermatologist forms a “differential diagnosis”, or a list of diseases that might cause the skin changes. Next, we gather more information to narrow down this list to one or just a few possibilities, and maybe biopsy the skin to get a really close look under the microscope.
The first order of business is to determine, “Are these white spots actually depigmented, meaning they do not have ANY pigment in them?” So, to do this, I turn out all the lights in the room and turn on my Wood’s lamp. This is sometimes fun for my younger patients, because not just vitiligo glows under the light, but also certain colors of clothing, teeth, peanut butter left over from lunch, rubies (discovered they REALLY glow), and even lint. But I digress. I look for the white spots to enhance, or become more apparent, under the Wood’s lamp compared to room light, they kind of fluoresce. If this happens, the skin in the area is depigmented, meaning there is no pigment or melanin. This is always the case in vitiligo, and thus is an absolute requirement to diagnose it. If the spots do enhance, I know we’re on the right track.
Truly depigmented spots that are NOT vitiligo
If the spots enhance under Wood’s lamp, they could be from vitiligo or a small number of other conditions. One is idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis (IGH), or small spots that appear on skin that has had chronic sun exposure (usually the shins and forearms, but sometimes the chest and back as well).
idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis (IGH)
Often these are hypopigmented, not depigmented (hence the name), but sometimes they are depigmented and enhance on Wood’s lamp. If they are evenly distributed (not clustered), remain small (usually 1-2mm in diameter but almost always under 5mm), and are on the right areas of the body, then they’re probably IGH and not vitiligo.
Another condition that rarely causes a true white spot is nevus depigmentosus, which is a birthmark that usually appears within the first few months of life, has jagged edges, usually doesn’t turn the hair white, and doesn’t grow in size like vitiligo – it may get larger as the child grows and the skin stretches, but not quickly the way vitiligo does (often within just a few months).
If your dermatologist isn’t sure if the spot is nevus depigmentosus or segmental vitiligo, a biopsy can tell for sure, but it’s not always necessary. I guess that albinism should be mentioned here, although that is present at birth and results in no skin color at all (would look like universal vitiligo), so it’s pretty easy to distinguish.
Finally, piebaldism causes depigmentation localized to just the front of the body (not the back), includes a “white forelock” or white hair at the front of the scalp, is present from birth, and usually runs in families. That’s about it for true white spots!
Hypopigmented spots that are NOT vitiligo
If the spots are not truly white, but hypopigmented and not depigmented (they don’t enhance by Wood’s lamp), then they are NOT vitiligo and could be any number of different diseases and conditions. I’ll list a few of the most common ones here. Both IGH and nevus depigmentosus (described above) can also be hypopigmented instead of depigmented. They look similar and are located on the same areas of the body. Nevus anemicus is a common birthmark that looks lighter than surrounding skin, although it is actually not different in pigment at all. It is due to a lower blood supply to that area of skin, so it is less pink than surrounding skin and thus looks lighter. It actually disappears completely for a few seconds when you apply pressure to the area because the surrounding blood in the vessels is pressed out. It reappears once the blood rushes back into it. Individuals with tuberous sclerosis can have light areas of skin called ash leaf spots, but they usually have other more cleare signs of this condition as well. Occasionally, darker skin from melasma can make it look like the normal skin is lighter, and thus could look a little like vitiligo.
Tinea versicolor (also called pityriasis versicolor) causes lighter spots on the chest and back, get scaly if scratched with a fingernail, and are caused by a common fungus that isn’t dangerous. It’s easily treated with an antifungal therapy.
Progressive macular hypomelanosis looks a lot like tinea versicolor but without the scale, most commonly affecting the chest and back.
Progressive macular hypomelanosis
It is pretty easily treated with nbUVB therapy, similar to vitiligo. Inflammation or wounds can be lighter than the surrounding skin once they’re healed, this is called post-inflammatory hypopigmentation (PIH). Atopic dermatitis or eczema does this commonly on areas of the body where this disease occurs, such as the cheeks, front of the elbows, or back of the knees, and it’s sometimes called pityriasis alba when this is the case.
Discoid lupus (also called chronic cutaneous lupus) is usually located on the head and neck, causing lighter spots surrounded by dark areas, as well as permanent hair loss.
Lichen sclerosus et atrophicus (or just lichen sclerosus, LS) is usually located on the genitals and causes light spots (sometimes completely white). It usually also causes symptoms like itching or pain, with fissuring or open cracks in that area that can be sore. Intercourse can also be painful. This can cause long-term problems and should be treated aggressively.
Morphea causes hardening of the skin more than color change, although it can appear lighter than the surrounding skin. This should be treated to avoid permanent changes in the skin of that area, as well as prevent new spots from forming.
Sarcoidosis can occasionally cause light spots on the skin that look like vitiligo, although it usually looks quite different. Sarcoidosis can also affect the lungs and other organs and should also be treated aggressively.
Hypopigmented mycosis fungoides (MF) or cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a very, very rare skin lymphoma that causes light spots on the skin most commonly only in sun-protected areas, or “bathing suit distribution”. This is not usually dangerous but should also be treated to prevent it from becoming a more aggressive form of the disease.
Hypopigmented mycosis fungoides
There are some VERY RARE infections that can cause light spots on the skin, and these include a form of leprosy (tuberculoid leprosy), secondary syphilis (a rash that occurs after the genital sore or chancre clears up), and pinta. Leprosy occurs most commonly in South Asia and South America (although interestingly it can be spread by armadillos in the southern United States) and is usually numb to light touch within the spot.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease preceded by a genital sore (sometimes not noticed, though), and easily treated by penicillin once diagnosed.
Pinta is only found in small areas of northern South America and causes white areas on the hands, wrists, and feet. I’ve never met anyone who has ever seen Pinta, so it’s not around much anymore.
Your dermatologist can help!
Those aren’t ALL of the conditions that can cause white or light spots like vitiligo, but it’s most of them. Others are really rare and could require a lot of explanation better suited to residency training in dermatology, so I left them out! I don’t expect that this description will be sufficient to avoid a visit to a dermatologist because there’s a LOT more to diagnosing skin disease than knowing the names of diseases (however crazy they are) and a few lines of description, but it should help you wrap your mind around the possibilities and get some insight into how we’re thinking during a physical exam in our office. Remember, you could have BOTH vitiligo and another condition described here! It’s helpful to know which is which, so that your dermatologist can determine when and how to treat them. Now you can go to your dermatologist appointment armed with knowledge, which should help both of you figure out what your white or light spots are, and how best to treat them!
* Images courtesy of VisualDx.
Pediatric Benign Skin Growths and Pigmentation Disorders
Abnormal skin growths and abnormal pigmentation of the skin may be present at birth or develop later in life. Although harmless in most cases, skin growth and pigmentation disorders should be monitored closely for any changes that may indicate a development of cancerous skin cells.
There are many types of skin growths and pigmentation disorders that require clinical care by a physician or other healthcare professional. The most common are listed below.
For more information on skin growths, or to find information about conditions not listed, visit the Dermatology Resources for Families, Useful Web Sites section.
What are birthmarks?
Birthmarks are areas of discolored and/or raised skin that are apparent at birth or within a few weeks of birth. Birthmarks are made up of malformed pigment cells or blood vessels. About 10 in every 100 babies have vascular birthmarks (birthmarks made up of blood vessels).
Although the cause of birthmarks is not known, most of them are benign (non-cancerous) and do not require treatment. For safety, however, all babies with birthmarks should be examined and diagnosed by a physician.
What are the most common types of vascular birthmarks?
This list includes the most common types of vascular birthmarks:
- Flat stains (also known as “angel’s kisses or stork bites)
The most common type of vascular birthmark, characterized by pink to red marks that may appear anywhere on the body
- Angel’s kisses: marks located on the forehead and eyelids, which usually disappear after age 2
- Stork bites: marks on the back of the neck, which may last into adulthood
- Hemangioma. A common vascular birthmark. Hemangiomas become visible within the first few weeks of life and continue to grow rapidly for about six to nine months. Then they gradually lose their red color and shrink in size. They are called strawberry hemangiomas.
- Port-wine stains. A port-wine stain, also called a nevus flammeus, is a flat, pink, red, or purple mark that appears at birth, often on the face, arms, and legs, and continues to grow as the child grows. Port-wine stains do not go away and often require treatment if located on the eyelid or forehead. Port-wine stains on the face may cause eye problems.
Other Benign Skin Growths
What are other benign skin growths?
As a person grows older and is exposed to sunlight, the skin changes. Children may have freckles and moles, which may multiply or darken over time.
What are the different types of skin growths?
|Dermatofibromas||Small, firm, red or brown bumps caused by an accumulation of fibroblasts (soft tissue cells under the skin). They often occur on the legs and may itch.||Dermatofibromas can be surgically removed if they become painful or itchy.|
|Dermoid Cyst||A benign tumor which contains hair, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands. Some internal dermoid tumors may contain cartilage, bone fragments, and teeth.||Dermoid cysts may be removed surgically for cosmetic reasons.|
|Freckles||Darkened, flat spots that typically appear only on sun-exposed areas of the skin. Freckles are common in people with blond or red hair.||No treatment is necessary for freckles.|
|Keloids||Smooth, firm, raised, fibrous growths on the skin that form in wound sites. Keloids are more common in African-Americans.||Keloids respond poorly to most treatment approaches. Injections of corticosteroid drugs may help to flatten them. Other treatment options include surgery or silicone patches to further flatten the keloids.|
|Lipomas||Round or oval lumps under the skin caused by fatty deposits. Lipomas are more common in women and tend to appear on the forearms, torso, and the back of the neck.||Lipomas are generally harmless, but if the lump changes shape, the physician may perform a biopsy. Treatment may include removal by surgery.|
|Moles (nevi)||Small skin marks caused by pigment-producing cells in the skin. Moles can be flat or raised, smooth or rough, and some contain hair. Most moles are dark brown or black, but others are skin-colored or yellowish. Moles can change over time and often respond to hormonal changes.||Most moles are benign and no treatment is necessary. However, some benign moles can develop into skin cancer (melanoma).|
|Atypical Moles (dysplastic nevi)||Larger than normal moles (more than one half inch across), atypical moles can be round or irregular in shape. Colors range from tan to dark brown, on a pink background. Atypical moles can occur anywhere on the body.||Treatment may include removal of any atypical mole that changes in color, shape, and/or diameter. People with atypical moles should avoid sun exposure, since sunlight can accelerate changes in those moles. Anyone with atypical moles should consult a physician with any changes that may indicate skin cancer.|
|Pyogenic Granulomas||Red, brown, or bluish-black raised marks caused by excessive growth of capillaries (small blood vessels) and swelling. Pyogenic granulomas usually form after an injury to the skin.||Some pyogenic granulomas disappear without treatment, while in other cases a biopsy is necessary to rule out cancer. Treatment may include surgical removal.|
Distinguishing benign moles from melanoma
According to recent research, certain moles are at higher risk for changing into cancerous growths, including malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer. Moles that are present at birth and atypical moles have a greater chance of becoming malignant. Recognizing changes in any moles, by following this ABCD Chart, is crucial in detecting malignant melanoma or other cancerous skin growths at their earliest stage of development. The warning signs are:
Asymmetry: When half of the mole does not match the other half.
Border: When the border (edges) of the mole are ragged or irregular.
Color: When the color of the mole varies throughout.
Diameter: If the mole’s diameter is larger than a pencil’s eraser.
Skin Pigment Disorders
What are skin pigment disorders?
Skin color is determined by pigment (melanin) made by specialized cells in the skin called melanocytes. The amount and type of melanin determines a person’s skin color.
What is the function of melanin?
Melanin gives color to the skin, hair, and the iris of the eyes. Levels of melanin depend on race and amount of sunlight exposure. Sun exposure increases melanin production in order to protect the skin against harmful ultraviolet rays. In addition, hormonal changes can affect melanin production.
What are the different types of skin pigment disorders?
|Albinism||This rare, inherited disorder is characterized by a total or partial lack of melanin in the skin, compared to the pigmentation of siblings and parents. Albinos (people with albinism) have white hair, pale skin, and pink eyes. Vision is often affected.||There is no cure for albinism. Albinos should avoid sunlight because they lack natural protection from sunlight (melanin).|
|Pigment loss after skin damage||Sometimes following an ulcer, blister, burn, or infection, the skin does not replace some of the pigment in that area.||No treatment is necessary. Cosmetics can usually cover the blemish.|
|Vitiligo||Smooth, white patches in the skin. Vitiligo is caused by the loss of pigment-producing cells in the skin (melanocytes). The white patches are very sensitive to the sun.||There is no cure for vitiligo. Treatment may include covering smaller patches with long-lasting dyes, light-sensitive drugs, ultraviolet A light therapy, corticosteroid creams, and depigmentation of the remaining skin.|
What is skin cancer?
Skin cancer is a malignant tumor that grows in the skin cells. Skin cancer accounts for 50 percent of all cancers. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, accounted for about 62,190 cases of skin cancer in 2006. Furthermore, melanoma accounted for most (nearly 8,000) of the 10,710 deaths due to skin cancer in 2006, according to the American Cancer Society.
Fortunately, skin cancers (basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma, as well as malignant melanoma) are rare in children. When melanomas occur, they usually arise from pigmented nevi (moles) with the following characteristics:
- Large (diameter greater than 6 mm)
- Irregular borders
- Irregular coloration
Bleeding, itching, and a mass under the skin are other signs of cancerous change. If a child has had radiation treatment for cancer, nevi in the radiated area are at increased risk of becoming cancerous.
What causes skin cancer?
Exposure to sunlight is the major contributing factor to developing skin cancer later in life. In particular, blistering sunburns in childhood and adolescence significantly increase the risk of developing malignant melanoma.
Most people receive more than 50 percent of their lifetime ultraviolet (UV) dose by the age 20. Limiting exposure to sunlight in children and teens may pay large dividends in preventing cancers later in life.
What are the different types of skin cancer?
There are three main types of skin cancer, including:
- Basal cell carcinoma accounts for approximately 75 percent of all skin cancers. This highly treatable cancer starts in the basal cell layer of the epidermis (the top layer of skin) and grows very slowly. Basal cell carcinoma usually appears as a small, shiny bump or nodule on the skin – mainly those areas exposed to the sun, such as the head, neck, arms, hands, and face. It commonly occurs among persons with light-colored eyes, hair, and complexion.
- Squamous cell carcinoma although more aggressive than basal cell carcinoma, is highly treatable. It accounts for about 20 percent of all skin cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma may appear as nodules or red, scaly patches of skin, and is usually found on the face, ears, lips, and mouth. Squamous cell carcinoma can spread to other parts of the body. This type of skin cancer is usually found in fair-skinned people.
- Malignant melanoma accounts for only 4 percent of all skin cancers, but 79 percent of deaths from skin cancer. Malignant melanoma starts in the melanocytes cells that produce pigment in the skin. Malignant melanoma usually begins as a mole that then turns cancerous. This cancer may spread quickly. Malignant melanoma most often appears on fair-skinned men and women, but persons with all skin types may be affected.
Distinguishing benign moles from melanoma
Melanomas vary greatly in appearance. Some melanomas may show all of the ABCD characteristics, while other may only show changes in one or two characteristics. Always consult a physician for a diagnosis.
What are the risk factors for melanoma?
Skin cancer is more common in fair-skinned people, especially those with blond or red hair and light-colored eyes. However, no one is safe from skin cancer. Almost half of all Americans who live to age 65 will be diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in their lives, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Other risk factors include:
- Family history of melanoma
- Sun exposure (the amount of time spent unprotected in the sun directly affects a child’s risk of skin cancer)
- Early childhood sunburns (research has shown that sunburns early in life increase a child’s risk for skin cancer later in life)
- A large number of freckles
- A large number of ordinary moles (more than 50)
- Atypical moles (dysplastic nevi)
What can be done to prevent skin cancer?
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has declared war on skin cancer by recommending these three preventive steps:
- Wear protective clothing, including a hat with a four-inch brim.
- Apply sunscreen all over the child’s body and avoid the midday sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Keep infants under 6 months of age out of direct sunlight at all times.)
- Regularly use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, even on cloudy days.
The following six steps have been recommended by the AAD and the Skin Cancer Foundation to help reduce the risk of sunburn and skin cancer:
- Minimize exposure to the sun at midday – between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Apply sunscreen, with at least a SPF-15 or higher that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, to all areas of a child’s (older than 6 months of age) body that are exposed to the sun.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours, even on cloudy days. Reapply after swimming or perspiring.
- Make sure the child wears clothing that covers the body and shades the face. Hats should provide shade for both the face and back of the neck. Wearing sunglasses will reduce the amount of rays reaching the eyes by filtering as much as 80 percent of the rays, and protecting the lids and the lens.
- Avoid exposure to UV radiation from sunlamps or tanning parlors.
- Protect children from excessive sun exposure when the sun is strongest (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.), and apply sunscreen liberally and frequently to children 6 months of age and older.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) approves of the use of sunscreen on infants younger than 6 months old if adequate clothing and shade are not available. Parents should still try to avoid sun exposure and dress the infant in lightweight clothing that covers the skin. However, parents also may apply a minimal amount of sunscreen to the infant’s face and back of the hands.
Remember, sand and pavement reflect UV rays even under the umbrella. Snow is a particularly good reflector of UV rays. Reflective surfaces can reflect up to 85 percent of the damaging sunrays.
How to perform a skin examination
Finding suspicious moles or skin cancer early is the key to treating skin cancer successfully. Examining children is usually the first step in detecting skin cancer. The following suggested method of examination comes from the American Cancer Society:
- Examine the child’s body front and back, then the right and left sides, with arms raised
- Look carefully at the child’s forearms, the back of the upper arms, and the palms of the hands
- Look at backs of the legs and feet, spaces between the toes, and the soles of the feet
- Examine the back of the neck and scalp
- Check the back and buttocks
- Become familiar with the child’s skin and the pattern of moles, freckles, and other marks
- Be alert to changes in the number, size, shape, and color of pigmented areas
- Follow the ABCD Chart when examining moles of other pigmented areas and consult the child’s physician promptly if any changes occur
Treatment for Skin Cancer
What are the treatments for skin cancer?
Specific treatment for skin cancer will be determined by the child’s physician based on the following:
- The child’s overall health and medical history
- Extent and type of the disease
- The tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the disease
- Child or parent’s opinion or preference
There are several kinds of treatments for skin cancer:
90,000 Skin pigmentation disorders – signs, symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment of the disease
Man has his own individual skin color. The main factor that determines skin color is melanin. Throughout a person’s life, for one reason or another, a pigmentation disorder may be observed. It can be reversible and irreversible.
Causes and symptoms
Changes in skin pigmentation can be associated with both excessive production of melanin and its lack.
The first violation includes the occurrence of:
- Pigmented spots (nevi). This type of disorder may indicate internal diseases. So, spots near the mouth indicate problems with
- Birthmarks and moles. They can be from birth and be hereditary. New ones appear due to hormonal changes in the body.
- Freckles (ephelids). The reason for their appearance is the uneven distribution of tyrosine (melanin is synthesized from it) under the influence of sunlight.
- Chloasma – symmetrical beige spots on the face and other parts of the body. They can appear during pregnancy, due to incorrect work
- liver and ovaries, when infected with helminths.
- Melanomas – tumors containing melanin.
Due to insufficient amount of melanin, the following can be diagnosed:
- Albinism (lack of pigment in the skin, hair, eyes).
- Vitiligo (white spots on the affected area).The reason is the malfunctioning of the immune system.
- Vitiligo and albinism are both hereditary.
- Skin color is affected by dermatitis, fungus, lichen. Also, the skin changes color at the site of the burn, bite, injection. Pigmentation is impaired when there are problems with the immune system, due to the effects of hormones and other drugs.
Diagnosis of the cause that caused this or that type of skin pigmentation disorder is based on examination and questioning of the patient, taking anamnesis.
Particular attention should be paid to melanomas with indistinct edges and larger than 5 mm. Such a formation may turn out to be a malignant tumor.
Often, changes in pigmentation can indicate serious internal diseases, therefore, additional tests and analyzes may be prescribed to establish an accurate diagnosis:
- general and biochemical blood tests;
- analyzes of urine and feces;
- ultrasound of internal organs;
- blood test for various infections;
- Study of a neoplasm for the presence of cancer cells.
If the cause of the change in skin pigmentation is associated with the identified disease, then first of all it is necessary to treat it. In some cases, skin changes are reversible. You can get rid of the consequences using cosmetic methods.
If the formation on the skin is safe, but causes inconvenience to a person, there are a number of ways to correct this cosmetic defect: whitening, peeling, removal. The appropriate method is selected by the doctor.
Specialists of the medical center “CM-Clinic” remind that a change in skin pigmentation may indicate a serious disease.If you notice an unusual growth in yourself, do not postpone your visit to the doctor. You can make an appointment in St. Petersburg by calling the phone number listed on the website.
Reception of a beautician in our clinics
90,000 Treatment of age spots on the face in Moscow at GMTClinic
Pigmentation (spots) on the face appear for various reasons, greatly spoil the appearance. The main provoking factors are age-related changes in the skin, UV exposure, hormonal surges, excessive love for tanning.Advanced hardware cosmetology technologies allow removing age spots on the face, and literally in 2-5 sessions.
INDICATIONS FOR PROCEDURE
- Age-related pigmentation on the lentigo face;
- “seasonal” freckles;
- Changes in skin tone resulting from intense tanning.
90,011 spots after pregnancy;
90,011 acquired spots of other origin.
Pigmentation on the face in women is much more common than we would like.Laser technologies are effective for all types of changes, regardless of the reason for their occurrence. The exception is spots associated with a problem in the work of internal organs (liver, gastrointestinal tract, etc.) – in this case, an integrated approach is needed.
Treatment of age spots on the face involves the destruction of excess melanin. Laser beams act only on problem areas and do not affect healthy tissues. First, the spots will darken, then they will begin to peel off, and a renewed pinkish skin will appear under them.It is possible to lighten pigmentation at any age, but the procedure is usually not carried out until the age of 18. The impact is accompanied by minimal pain, lasts up to 10 minutes for each zone. The number of procedures can be different – one is enough for someone, others will have to go through several.
Whitening of age spots on the face is most often carried out using laser or photo technologies. The procedure is painless, effective, cells containing pigment absorb rays, after which they begin to break down and exfoliate, being replaced by healthy skin.GMTCLINIC uses the powerful MultiPulse fractional laser and the Quanta System Duetto neodymium device to treat pigmentation. Elos selectively removes cells with increased melanin content. The penetration depth of the beam in this case will be higher than that of the laser. Both technologies provide a pleasant “side” effect in the form of lifting and accelerated skin regeneration.
Help to quickly remove pigmentation on the face:
- Candela alexandrite apparatus, Quanta System Duetto neodymium;
- devices with photo-technology Elos, M22 and Sciton;
- laser resurfacing for problem skin with MultiPulse CO2, Dermablate MCL-31, Fraxel and Sciton.
Laser resurfacing is a quick but traumatic option, more photo procedures will be needed, but complicated rehabilitation after them is not expected.
HOW THE PROCEDURE GOES IN
Consider how the procedures for pigmentation are performed:
- The skin of the face (completely or separate areas) is treated with an antiseptic.
- Anesthetic is applied, but pain relief can be dispensed with.
- Safety glasses are worn for the client and the doctor.
- The required skin areas are being processed.
- A soothing cream is applied.
If the sun is active, it is recommended to use a product with an SPF of at least 30 before going outside.
PREPARATION FOR THE PROCEDURE, REHABILITATION, CONTRAINDICATIONS
The laser removes age, hormonal age spots on the face well, 1-3 sessions are enough. To minimize the risks of side effects, prepare properly for the procedure.In no case do not sunbathe for two weeks before and after laser exposure, do not go to saunas, swimming pools for at least a week before the procedure and the same after. There are restrictions on the intake of ibuprofen, aspirin and derivatives – they are removed a month before laser treatment, retinoids for 3 months. Standard contraindications for all similar cosmetic interventions are oncology, severe pathologies of blood vessels, heart, blood, diabetes mellitus. With an exacerbation of diseases, the procedure is not carried out, during lactation, pregnancy, it is also not recommended to do it.You can not treat the skin with a laser for wounds, rashes in the treatment area. A month before the procedure for face pigmentation, you need to use a cream with SPF 30 (minimum), do not use self-tanning.
- acquired pigmentation is gone;
- age spots-lentigo are almost completely or completely smoothed;
- the skin that has darkened as a result of active exposure to sunlight brightens;
- freckles disappear;
- removes hormonal stains.
WHAT TO COMBINE A PROCEDURE WITH?
How to quickly remove age spots, restore skin, increase its elasticity and moisture? Due to the laser, Elos technology and mesotherapy, biorevitalization. Between the procedures, you will need to maintain an interval of 10-14 days. The injection of cocktails will improve the condition of the epidermis and accelerate recovery. Good results are obtained by peels, plasmolifting. Hardware, injection techniques, chemicals can be combined or used separately.
LASER TREATMENT FOR FACE PIGMENTATION: PRICE IN MOSCOW
The price of laser removal of pigmentation on the face depends on the volume of the treated area, depth, and intensity of the spot. The GMTClinic doctor will tell you this during the first consultation. Please note that reception is by appointment only.
RESULTS OF THE PROCEDURE: PHOTOS BEFORE AND AFTER
The price for removing age spots on the face is calculated taking into account the area of the treatment area.The procedure gives guaranteed results that are noticeable after the first session, perhaps an additional course will not be required. Rehabilitation is simple, quick, but you need to take precautions. Look at the results with the before and after photos to understand what results the procedure will help you to get.
Don’t peel off the crusts and use sunscreen. Redness, swelling are possible, but they usually go away quickly.
90,000 Skin hyperpigmentation: causes, treatment
Hyperpigmentation is a darkening of certain areas of the face and body as a result of the deposition of a large amount of pigment in the cells of the epidermis.This phenomenon can be both diffuse (occupying rather large areas of the skin) and focal.
Types of hyperpigmentation
In the everyday sense, hyperpigmentation is an accumulation of freckles. However, this is just one type of this skin defect. Depending on the reasons, severity and nature of pigmentation, several more varieties can be distinguished.
- Melasma – brown symmetrical spots localized on the neck, shoulders, sometimes face
- Chloasma – dark brown spots of irregular shape, occurring most often on the face
- Secondary hyperpigmentation – dark or light brown spots resulting from previous skin diseases: neurodermatitis, eczema, etc.
Causes of hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is caused by the deposition of melanin pigment under the skin.Depending on the amount, the skin can take on different shades – from flesh to dark brown. This process plays a protective role for the body: melanin is able to absorb ultraviolet rays, protecting the skin from excessive solar activity. This is why pigmentation increases during the warmer months. If the melanin synthesis process is normal, then, as a rule, there are no special problems with the appearance of the skin. In case of violation of some functions of the body, hyperpigmentation appears. It can increase during periods of hormonal imbalance (pregnancy, menopause), with metabolic disorders in the body, hormonal imbalance, as well as with some diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.Certain medications, such as antibiotics, can also provoke hyperpigmentation. An important role in this process is played by heredity and skin type: the lighter it is, the more it is prone to hyperpigmentation. Long-term sun exposure without the use of sunscreen can also cause excessive freckles.
Methods for combating hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation does not pose a danger to human health, however, it is a cosmetic defect that spoils the life of many women and causes serious psychological discomfort.Home remedies (peels, scrubs and other cosmetics) can not only fail to bring the desired result, but also aggravate the defect. There is no point in experimenting on your own – after all, today there are many effective professional remedies for combating skin hyperpigmentation. The following treatment methods are used at the Ego Estetic clinic.
- Phototherapy is one of the safest and most effective methods in the fight against hyperpigmentation. The skin is treated with special light waves with the exclusion of ultraviolet rays.Depending on the nature of pigmentation, the cosmetologist selects the optimal length and power of the light wave, which contributes to the destruction of melanin. As a result, the skin color is evened out. Skin whitening is possible immediately after the first procedure. With severe hyperpigmentation, several sessions may be required: on average, from 4 to 6. After a year, the course of procedures can be repeated to consolidate the result. It is not recommended to carry out procedures in the summer.
- Chemical peels. The effectiveness of chemical peels in the fight against hyperpigmentation is due to the body’s response to microdamage of the skin. Peeling activates regenerative processes in skin cells, as a result of which metabolic processes are accelerated. This allows you to eliminate shallow skin pigmentation, and at the same time renew the upper layer of the epidermis, restore a healthy complexion, and enhance the effect of nourishing and moisturizing cosmetics. In the clinic “Ego Aesthetic”, glycolic and yellow peels, as well as Kojicol Gel, are used to combat hyperpigmentation.This effective remedy for restoring the appearance of the skin has a beneficial effect not only on its color, but also on the overall tone.
- Mesotherapy with whitening cocktails. The method allows you to deliver active substances directly to the cells of the epidermis, acting on pigment spots from the inside. The injection procedure performed by experienced cosmetologists using the finest needles is effective, safe and painless.
- Cosmetic care. For the care of pigmented skin, the specialists of the Ego Esthetic clinic use special products of professional premium cosmetic brands Germaine De Capuccini (Spain) and Ericson Laboratoire (France).Comprehensive skin care includes cleansing, nutrition and hydration. All products contain whitening ingredients to reduce the appearance of pigmentation on the skin of the face and prevent its further spread.
- Microfraction therapy. The procedure consists in the treatment of pigmented areas of the skin with a special device equipped with microneedles. Penetrating into the skin to a depth of 0.25-2 mm, they cause microdamage to it. This process promotes the release of growth factors in skin cells, their regeneration.And this, in turn, leads to the disappearance of pigmentation, skin rejuvenation and an increase in its tone.
- Cosmetics for home skin care. For home care of pigmented skin, Ego Estetic cosmetologists individually select for patients cosmetic products containing whitening ingredients and blocking melanogenesis.
- Sunscreen. Hyperpigmentation is a recurring problem, therefore the use of sunscreens all year round is mandatory for such skin.In summer, when the sun is especially active, the protective factor should be at least 40-50 SPF for the face and 30 SPF for the body. Regular renewal of the product is also important, because its effect weakens over time and under the influence of water treatments.
In the fight against hyperpigmentation, a lasting effect can be achieved only with a comprehensive and professional approach to treatment. That is why you should not try to cope with this problem yourself, contact our specialists.
Quality and skin problems
Quality and skin problems
90,000 Treatment and care of venous trophic ulcers
Treatment of venous insufficiency and venous trophic ulcer is a team work in which the patient himself plays an important role.If the patient understands the essence of his illness and its causes, if the treatment is carried out continuously with the support of both the family doctor and the family nurse and a specialist doctor, then this helps to recover even in the most severe cases. Since, unfortunately, the cause of the ulcer cannot be completely eliminated, the treatment of venous insufficiency must be lifelong to avoid the recurrence of ulcers.
This patient guide provides simple guidance on how to prevent ulcers and how to treat existing ulcers.
Venous trophic ulcer is a chronic, often poorly healing leg ulcer caused by venous disease. The ulcer usually develops in the lower third of the lower leg, near the ankle, on the inner side of the lower leg.
The causes of venous trophic ulcers are:
Vein dilatation, which can be caused by hereditary weakness of the connective tissue and is often present in many members of the same family. In the dilated veins of the lower extremities, the venous valves do not close completely, and part of the blood moving towards the heart flows back through the unclosed venous valves, and thus the blood pressure in the veins of the lower extremities, and especially in the lower leg, rises.
Less commonly, varicose veins occur as a consequence of some other condition (pregnancy, tumors in the abdominal cavity), due to which the flow of blood towards the heart is difficult.
Inflammation of the walls of the veins, which directly damages the valves of the veins and is the cause of venous insufficiency.
The blood circulation consists of arterial, venous and capillary parts. The arteries carry oxygenated and nutrient-rich blood to all tissues of the body.Veins are also a collecting system that transports blood back towards the heart. In the veins, blood flows from the veins of the lower extremities towards the heart. This movement is provided by venous valves that direct blood in one direction and a muscle pump (calf muscles), which work during physical activity.
If the veins are dilated and the venous valves are damaged due to previous inflammation, there is a backflow of blood and stagnation of blood in the lower part of the venous system.The vein wall becomes thinner and its permeability increases. This leads to edema in the lower extremities, especially in the ankle area. The swelling increases in the evening and decreases in the morning, after a person has been in a horizontal position for a long time. If the edema does not go away for a long time, red blood cells begin to leave the bloodstream through the thin wall of the veins, which stain the skin in a brownish-purple hue. The metabolism of the skin is disturbed, the skin and subcutaneous tissues become thinner, it becomes dry and eczema develops.If the edema is left untreated, a poorly healing venous trophic ulcer may develop (usually after microtrauma).
Figure 1. Normal and dilated (varicose) veins
- Heredity: Heredity has been proven to play an important role in the development of varicose veins. Often, problems with varicose veins occur in several generations of the same family. The first varicose veins can occur at a young age.
- Excess weight: being overweight or obese places an increased strain on the lower limbs, and the fat in the abdominal cavity interferes with the return of venous blood towards the heart.
- Gender: Venous insufficiency is most common in women.
- Age: The incidence of venous trophic ulcers usually increases with age.
- Prolonged standing and sitting: the movement of the blood towards the heart provides, among other things, the muscles. Physical activity triggers the muscle pump, which improves the movement of blood through the veins towards the heart. Long-term standing and sitting in one place increases congestion in the veins and causes swelling in the legs and feet.Therefore, varicose veins most often appear in workers who spend their working day on their feet or sitting (for example, hairdressers, salespeople, chauffeurs, office workers).
- Smoking impairs blood circulation.
- Pregnancy (s): In case of pregnancy, the fetus presses on the veins in the abdominal region and causes increased pressure in the lower extremities. The reason for the appearance of varicose veins can also be hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy.Pregnancy itself is not a cause of venous disease, but it can accelerate the onset of venous insufficiency. Each subsequent pregnancy increases the risk of venous insufficiency.
- The dilated veins on the lower extremities become clearly visible: both the capillary network, which takes on a cyanotic hue, and veins, which can be expanded to the width of a finger, can be expanded.
- Pain and itching in the inner part of the lower leg, in the lower third of the lower leg.
- Towards evening, the feeling of heaviness and fatigue increases in the legs.
- Edema appears on the lower limb, especially on the ankle, which increases in the evening.
Photo 1. Dilated veins on the lower leg
The fact of edema can be established by pressing a finger on the front surface of the lower part of the lower leg. A dent will appear under the finger, which will disappear after a few minutes. The cause of edema is an increase in the permeability of the walls of venous vessels, due to the fact that the pressure in them increases.
Discoloration of the skin on the lower leg is a dangerous signal that chronic venous insufficiency has reached a phase during which there is an increased risk of ulceration.
Signs indicating the danger of ulcers:
- Redness in the ankle area.
- Skin pigmentation (skin turned brown): due to chronic venous insufficiency, in addition to plasma (the transition of which causes edema), red blood cells also begin to pass through the walls of the venous vessels into the tissues, which change the skin color to brownish-purple.
- Sclerosis or hardening of the skin and subcutaneous tissue: an increase in blood pressure develops a hardening of the skin and subcutaneous tissue in the ankle area, causing the subcutaneous tissue and skin to become thinner, the lower leg becomes thinner compared to the calf muscle and the leg resembles an inverted champagne bottle. Thinning skin becomes very easily traumatized.
- Whitish spots: Characterized by bright white spots that appear on the background of skin pigmentation.
- Skin inflammation (eczema): The lower leg may develop a purple, itchy and painful rash. The surface of the skin can be dry or, conversely, damp.
Photo 2. Edema and changes in the skin of the left leg. The shin resembles an inverted champagne bottle.
Photo 3. Varicose (dry) eczema
Photo 4. Skin hyperpigmentation, against which atrophic spots are visible
Photo 5. Typical skin changes accompanying chronic venous insufficiency; ulcers are visible on their background
A venous trophic ulcer usually develops as a result of the long-term presence of increased pressure in the venous system, and with the help of effective preventive measures, the occurrence of ulcers can be avoided.
- Avoid extremity edema: In the veins, blood flows from the extremities towards the heart, from bottom to top – i.e. in the direction opposite to gravity. This explains why edema occurs when a person with venous insufficiency sits or stands for a long time. By the morning, the swelling decreases, since the legs were in a horizontal position all night. A person can use the same principle to his advantage if during the day he finds time to lie down for a while with his legs raised.The congested veins are relieved by gravity. If the legs are raised above the level of the chest, then the swelling of the tissues in them will decrease.
- Move. The calves of the legs are said to contain the person’s “other heart”, which helps to pump blood towards the heart. The calf muscle helps blood circulation in the veins. Walking at a moderate pace or cycling helps the blood circulate better in the veins. If physical activity is not possible for any reason, the calf muscles can be made to work with the help of targeted flexion and extension of the toes.Long-term standing or sitting in one position is the most inappropriate for this disease, this position can lead to an increase in edema and aggravation of venous insufficiency.
- Avoid Excessive Heat: Veins are known to worsen, usually in the summer during warm weather. If possible, avoid hot steam rooms in a sauna, baths, washing in too warm water. It is recommended to shower with lukewarm water.
- Moisturize dry damaged skin with base creams.The odorless and dye-free creams sold in pharmacies help restore the required moisture and elasticity level in problem areas of the skin and do not cause allergies.
- Quit smoking and try to reduce your alcohol intake.
- Food must be healthy.
- Try to lose weight.
- Avoid injury. Use compression treatment (see details on page 15): chronic venous insufficiency requires compression treatment – daily and constant wearing of special compression stockings or bandages.Such medical medical stockings and elastic bandages change the blood exchange in the veins by means of external pressure and make it more efficient. Stockings should be worn on the legs (or bandages) in the morning to prevent swelling during the day. Healing stockings or bandages should be removed in the evening before going to bed. Compression treatment is not applicable to bedridden patients. Do not forget that compression treatment is effective in preventing ulcers only when done continuously!
- Other treatment options for varicose veins: Talk to your family doctor about surgical options, which today mean more than just surgery.If necessary, the family doctor will write out a referral sheet for an appointment with a specialist doctor.
B a venous trophic ulcer occurs against the background of a previous long-term skin change, usually after a microtrauma (eg, mosquito bite, scratch) in the lower leg region. Edema and metabolic disorders in the tissue lead to the fact that the ulcer begins to gradually increase, its surface may initially be covered with a brownish or blackish crust. This is a sign of dead tissue or necrosis.From the ulcer, edematous fluid collected in the tissue is released, which is a good breeding ground for microbes on healthy skin and in the environment. In the ulcer, chronic inflammation begins to develop, which in turn increases edema and creates metabolic disorders in the tissues. There is a so-called “vicious circle” in which the resulting ulcer worsens the condition of the veins and this, in turn, is the cause of metabolic disorders in the ulcer and the surrounding tissue.
Although chronic venous insufficiency is the most common cause of chronic leg ulcers, there is a group of other diseases that also lead to leg ulcers.
Often, patients with ulcers worry if the ulcer can cause gangrene, which can lead to limb amputation. In fact, a venous ulcer does not cause gangrene. Gangrene occurs due to disturbances in the arterial circulation, as a result of which the tissues do not receive enough oxygen and nutrients. This circulatory disorder occurs due to narrowing or blockage of the arteries (arterial or ischemic ulcer). In this case, painful ulcers may develop on the lower limbs and most often on the feet.Circulatory insufficiency is usually indicated by a feeling of coldness in the legs, difficulty walking (the so-called variable claudication), and pain in the lower leg and feet.
Leg ulcers can also be those in which both the venous and arterial circulatory systems can be damaged.
In addition, there are some other conditions of the body that cause ulcers. In such cases, a thorough examination by a family doctor or an angiosurgeon should be carried out before starting compression therapy.
Be sure to inform your family doctor if you have diabetes, hypertension, neurological diseases, diseases of the joints and gastrointestinal tract, or if you have a malignant tumor. Your family doctor can help you find out the true cause of ulcers.
Medical compression treatment is performed with an elastic bandage or medical stocking that applies pressure from the outside and thus helps the venous valves work and improves blood flow in the veins.Compression means do not need to be used at night. Compression
therapy is not applicable to bedridden patients.
Compression treatment is the main treatment for chronic venous insufficiency and venous trophic ulcers, eliminating the underlying cause of this disease. The most important thing in this treatment is its continuity.
Effect of compression treatment on the venous system:
- improves blood flow in veins, making venous valves more efficient
- reduces the volume of excess venous blood in the extremities
- reduces the return of blood (reflux) in superficial and / or deep veins
- reduces the increased blood pressure in the veins due to the disease.
Compression action on fabric:
- relieves tissue pressure
- reduces inflammation
- helps to improve tissue healing
Special compression stockings or elastic bandages can be used as compression treatment.
Compression stockings are divided into compression classes
Compression class I, II, III and IV stockings are very effective in the treatment of venous insufficiency.The decision about which class of stockings to choose is made by the doctor depending on the level of venous insufficiency and the condition of the arteries of the lower extremities. In the case of concomitant arterial insufficiency, too much compression can lead to impaired blood supply to the legs.
Compression stockings are available from shops selling medical aids . The medical stocking must be individually selected according to the patient’s size.Since putting on the medicated stocking for the first time can be very difficult, ask the salesperson for help. If necessary, ask for aids to tighten the stocking.
Be sure to ask for how long and under what conditions the warranty for purchased medical stockings is valid.
When choosing compression stockings, be sure to make sure that the packaging of the stockings bears the EU mark. In this case, you can be sure that the stocking will give the necessary compression.
Photo 6 and 7.Correct position of the medical stocking and golf course
The upper edge of the medical stocking should not reach the groin, but only the height of the fold of the buttocks. Knee-highs should not be higher than two centimeters from the knee joint. Healing stockings have a wide, soft, lockable top (piping) that prevents the stockings from sliding down.
In addition to medical golf and stockings, you can also use medical tights. Preference should be given to medicated stockings and tights, but the constant wearing of medicated golf will certainly be better than refusing compression treatment.
There are also prophylactic stockings for the prevention of thrombosis, which are worn during and after surgery (usually white stockings). They are not suitable for the treatment of venous insufficiency!
How to wear compression stockings?
One of the reasons that compression treatment does not work is that medicated stockings are very difficult to put on. Often, patients refuse compression stockings precisely because of the inconvenience of using them.
Indeed, in the beginning, the stockings are very tight. Since the leg is swollen, pulling on the stocking often fails. However, there are several medical aids that make it easier to put the medicated stocking on your leg. For example, there is a special frame on which a medical stocking is put on and then a leg is placed in it with a sliding motion.
In the case of a stocking without a sock, a pouch with a sliding surface or a silk handkerchief can be used as a medical aid, which is placed on the toe of the foot and the stocking is pulled in a sliding manner over the leg.Later, the auxiliary is removed through the open toe of the stocking.
In the case of a closed-toe stocking, you need to turn the medical stocking out, and, starting with the toes and feet, gradually pull the stocking up. You can use a special sliding film, which is fixed under the foot and on the lower leg, which will help when pulling on the medicated stocking.
Photos 8, 9, 10 and 11. Medical aids for pulling stockings
If putting on a medical stocking still fails, the reduction of edema should be started with the use of compression bandages.
Compression bandages are a good alternative to compression stockings in case a patient has problems putting on a compression stocking through an ulcer. Stretch elastic bandages with a width of more than 10 cm and a length of more than 7 meters should be preferred as they give the best result. If the bandage feels stiff and irritates the skin, a cotton tubular bandage, which is usually used under a cast, can be placed under the bandage. The bandage is placed on your leg in the morning right after you wake up, that is, at the moment when the swelling has not yet had time to form.Bandaging with strong pressure begins with the foot and moves upward in bandaging circles so that the next circle covers 2/3 of the previous one. The last circle of dressing is fixed with a plaster. To fix the bandage, you cannot use the pins in the bandage package – they are intended only to secure the bandage roll itself.
Compression medical devices must provide the required pressure: the greatest pressure should be in the lower third of the lower leg and it should decrease towards the heart.
Photo 12. A cotton tubular stocking and softening cotton are placed under the compression bandage
Photo 13. The bandage is started from the foot, immediately at the toes, slightly pulling the bandage. The strongest pressure should be in the ankle area
Photo 14. An elastic bandage is fixed on the lower leg with a plaster. To fix the bandage, you cannot use the pins supplied with the bandage package
Photo 15. Bandaging of the thigh area begins while standing from the upper part of the lower leg, upward pressure should decrease
Photo 16.Compression bandage
It is important to start treatment in the morning, when the limb is not yet swollen or the swelling is still small. The pressure can be increased gradually. The greatest pressure should be in the lower leg and decrease upward. In order to understand whether the amount of pressure acting in the ankle area is sufficient, it is necessary to place a cuff from a pressure measuring device on the lower part of the lower leg and pump it up to a pressure of 30 mm Hg. Art. – this will be for you a comparative indicator of the sensation of a sufficient level of pressure for a medical stocking.
From the point of view of achieving the ultimate goal of treatment, its constancy is very important. Medical stockings or compression dressings must be used every day and neither a visit to the doctor nor other events are exempt from these procedures. A single occurrence of edema is enough and the efforts aimed at the previously carried out long-term treatment will be wasted .
One of the reasons that compression treatment does not work is that medicated stockings are very difficult to put on.Often, patients refuse compression stockings precisely because of the inconvenience of using them. However, without constant treatment, improvement in the condition cannot be expected.
Physical activity plays a very important role in the treatment of venous insufficiency. Walking at a moderate pace helps pump blood upward better through the work of the calf muscles. Cycling trips are also valid. If physical activity is impossible for any reason, then flexion and extension exercises of the feet will help (see.Attachment 1). The most inappropriate for the patient is standing or sitting in one position for a long time. In such cases, the patient must find an opportunity to sometimes walk or lie down with raised legs – this is so that the veins, which are under great pressure, could be released from the excess blood volume. Place pillows under your knees, shins and feet so that the feet are 20-30 cm higher than the buttocks and so that you can lie comfortably. It is advisable to lie in this position for at least 20-30 minutes, repeating such sessions several times a day if necessary.You need to walk at least 30 minutes a day.
The effectiveness of the use of food additives in the treatment of venous trophic ulcers has not been proven. If the patient feels that they are receiving relief from the use of nutritional supplements, then the use of such supplements purchased at pharmacies is not contraindicated.
The intensity of pain in the case of an ulcer is very individual. In some cases, pain relievers are needed only before the dressing procedure, in other cases, the pain can be very severe and requires constant use of pain relievers.Discuss the use of pain relievers with your family doctor, as if the number of pain relievers to be taken is constantly increasing, it is better to use stronger pain relievers or combine them with other medications. If needed, help can be obtained from the pain counseling rooms available at major hospitals.
Dry and flaky skin on the lower legs is a common problem with vein diseases, which requires care. In such cases, help can be obtained by using over-the-counter base creams.Pharmacy creams are non-allergenic and restore natural moisture levels in dry skin areas. In case of moist eczema, the use of zinc paste is recommended. If your skin does not improve, you should seek the advice of your family doctor.
Depending on its nature and the means of treatment used, the ulcer needs constant dressing, which can last for months or even years. Often the dressing is performed by a trained FHN or FH.At the same time, both the patient himself and his relatives should have basic knowledge of the treatment of ulcers and be able to change the bandages on their own. Changing bandages on their own allows patients to be more flexible in their daily life plans, which is more convenient for them. For questions regarding ulcer treatment, you can contact your Family Nurse and Home Nurse.
Try to avoid choosing the wrong remedies for ulcer treatment, as treatment should depend on the condition of the ulcer and its phase of development.Do not use home remedies (plantain, cabbage leaves, baked onions, etc.) to treat ulcers.
- If necessary, take your prescribed pain relievers 15-20 minutes before changing the bandage.
- Wash your hands.
- First of all, carefully remove the bandage from the ulcer; if necessary, this can be done by soaking the bandage with water or saline. Because the dressing is soaked in ulcer secretions and bacteria, pack this dangerous infectious material in a plastic bag.Avoid reusing the dressing. Prefer sterile dressings when dressing.
- Rinse the ulcer with lukewarm water with light pressure under a shower, taking care to carefully remove the ulcer crust with a swab. If not in a shower, rinse the ulcer with lukewarm water, being careful to gently remove the crust of the ulcer with a clean swab. To date, there is no evidence that the use of antiseptics is better than the use of running warm water.Many antiseptics are really effective for ulcerative infections, but at the same time they inhibit the healing process. When cleaning ulcers, do not use hydrogen peroxide, since it has a scientifically proven toxic effect on tissue cells.
- Dry the surrounding tissue ulcers and the ulcer itself by lightly touching them with a swab (the ulcer cannot be rubbed hard).
- If necessary, apply cream to the surrounding dry skin.
- If the ulcer has a bad smell, redness or other signs of infection, the ulcer can be washed out with an alcohol-free antiseptic.
- In case of ulcer discharge, zinc-containing products or other protective creams (barrier creams) can be used to protect the surrounding skin.
- Place a suitable care product on the ulcer and secure with a bandage (the plaster may in turn damage the delicate skin surrounding the ulcer). Your family nurse, ulcer nurse or family nurse will advise you which remedy to use, and this will depend on the phase of ulcer development, discharge from it, signs of inflammation and whether the remedy is right for you.
- Continue compression treatment.
Photo 17. Cleansing the ulcer with a swab
Photo 18. To remove the purulent, foul-smelling cover layer of the ulcer, use antiseptics to wash the ulcers
Photo 19. Dry the skin surrounding the ulcer by lightly touching the swab
Photo 20. Apply a protective cream to the skin surrounding the ulcer
Photo 21. Apply ulcer to the ulcer
Photo 22.Fix the ulcer care product with elastic
bandage without strong pressure, but securely
An ulcer goes through several phases in its healing, which require different means of ulcer care. Modern ulcer care products are formed from substances that allow you to change the dressing less often and still provide a suitable environment for ulcer healing. Either the family nurse or the family nurse acts as a consultant on the choice of a particular remedy.
Most of the costs of ulcer care are compensated by the Health Insurance Fund on the basis of the digirecept prescribed by the family doctor or specialist doctor.
Do not keep the ulcer open! If the ulcer dries in the open air, the condition will worsen and the risk of infection increases.
Also, home remedies (like plantain, cabbage leaves, etc.) should not be applied to an open ulcer, since an open ulcer is the gateway to infection.
Since chronic venous trophic ulcer requires long-term treatment, there is always the possibility that ulcerative infection may occur during treatment. Signs of an exacerbation of a chronic infection are not necessarily redness, a purulent top layer, or a fever – the symptoms may be less noticeable.
See your doctor if:
- The ulcer became reddened, painful and its temperature increased
- Despite treatment, the ulcer began to enlarge.
- So-called “pockets” have developed at the edges of the ulcer.
- Purulent, profuse discharge with a bad odor follows from the ulcer.
- Feeling unwell and fever.
The family doctor may recommend the use of antibacterial remedies for ulcers or, if necessary, prescribe anti-inflammatory treatment.
Photo 23. Infected chronic ulcer
A chronic ulcer can take several months to heal despite effective treatment.Even though the ulcer will heal, the cause of the ulcer is still there. Often, after the ulcer has healed, patients no longer bother with compression treatment and refuse to use medical stockings and bandages. However, just one episode of edema is enough – and a new ulcer may develop. To avoid the emergence of a new ulcer, the key words are life-long and permanent compression treatment.
Photo 24. Healing ulcer
Skin plastics.For whom? Why? When?
If the treated ulcer does not heal within a period of four to six months, the specialist doctor decides whether a skin plastic surgery is necessary. Skin plasty is a fairly simple operation that helps the ulcer heal, but does not correct the cause of its occurrence. Therefore, the operation is performed only for those patients who continue the compression treatment procedures after the ulcer has healed. A new ulcer (relapse) occurs in about half of patients and is caused precisely by the interruption of compression treatment after the ulcer has healed.Just a short-term jump in pressure in the veins is enough – and the transplanted skin dies off and a new ulcer appears.
Photos 25 and 26. Ulcer before skin grafting and ulcer covered with skin grafting
Often venous trophic ulcer is not the only problem of the patient. The patient may also have developed heart failure, diabetes and other diseases that can interfere with the healing of the ulcer. Discuss your health problems with your family doctor, who can help you keep your comorbidities under control.
Venous trophic ulcer is a long-term problem that complicates the patient’s daily life. In order to cope with it, the help of various specialists is needed. The key to solving the problem of ulcer healing lies in the hands of the patient himself, and to achieve success requires constant work according to the treatment plan prescribed by the doctor.
- The level of compression of the medical stockings required for you is determined by the doctor depending on the severity of the venous insufficiency and the condition of the arteries.
- Healing stockings are available at health stores. The sellers of these stores will be able to measure your leg and help you choose the right stocking.
- When choosing compression stockings, knee-highs or tights, make sure that the packaging or the stockings themselves bear the RAL-GZ 387: 2000 mark and the compression class (CCL 1-CCL 4). So you can be sure that the stocking will give gradual.
RAL-GZ 387: 2000 mark
- Different countries have different standards.Make sure that the purchased stockings have exactly the pressure that the doctor prescribed for you.
- Since putting on the medicated stocking for the first time can be very difficult, ask your salesperson for help.
- Be sure to ask for how long and under what conditions the guarantee for medical stockings is valid.
- If you think that pulling on the stocking yourself may be too difficult for you, ask your dealer for aids.
Photo 1. Frame for pulling on the legs of the compression stocking
Photo 2. Foot pocket for pulling on a medical stocking with an open toe
Photo 3. Removable foot pocket for pulling on a medical stocking with open and closed toe
Photo 4. Gloves with a special coating for pulling medical stockings
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- Carmel, J. E. Venous Ulcers. Acute and chronic wounds 2012, chapter 12, 194-2013.
90,000 Treatment of hyperpigmentation – Cosmetology, beauty salon, laser hair removal. Metro Konkovo, metro Tyoply Stan, Profsoyuznaya, Belyaevo.
Pigmented spots on the face and hands are one of the most frequent problems of concern to patients, as these are noticeable and difficult to mask cosmetic skin defects. Skin with age spots adds age, gives the impression of an unkempt face. The cosmetologist most often has to deal with such problems as melasma (chloasma), freckles, lentigo, post-inflammatory and post-traumatic hyperpigmentation.
The reasons for the appearance of age spots can be hormonal changes in the body, for example, during pregnancy, the genetic characteristics of the individual, various injuries and damage to the skin, aging and other factors.It is also possible to combine and overlap various factors. Below we will consider in more detail the most common causes of the appearance of age spots.
Melasma (chloasma) – brown spots that most often appear on the face during pregnancy (the so-called “pregnancy mask”), as well as when taking hormonal contraceptives. The appearance of melasma is explained by the innate increased sensitivity of melanocytes to stimulating effects – UV radiation, estrogens and other photosensitizers.Melasma is a distinct aesthetic defect, but it often resolves without any treatment. So, pregnancy melasma usually goes away some time after childbirth, and for the treatment of hyperpigmentation while taking hormonal contraceptives, it is enough to cancel these drugs.
Freckles – small spots of various colors – light brown, red, yellow (gold), appearing on the skin in the spring and summer. Freckles cannot be removed once and for all, since their appearance is associated with the genetic characteristics of melanin synthesis.An important method for preventing freckles is to apply sunscreen early and reduce sun exposure.
Lentigo or age spots
Lentigo – brown or light brown spots, slightly raised above the surface of the skin. In the area of lentigo, there is a combination of hyperpigmentation and thickening of the stratum corneum. There are solar lentigo, which occurs when the skin is damaged by UV radiation, and senile lentigo (age spots), which usually appears in old age.Pigmented spots on the hands are the most common type of lentigo. In addition to melanin pigmentation, accumulations of lipofuscin pigment are found in skin cells (keratinocytes, fibroblasts). The deposition of lipofuscin in skin cells is facilitated by UV radiation, in this regard, age spots are formed on open skin areas. That is why it is so difficult to deal with these spots – the brightening drugs used in cosmetology to correct hyperpigmentation and acting on melanin are practically powerless in the fight against age spots.
Post-inflammatory and post-traumatic hyperpigmentation
Post-inflammatory and post-traumatic hyperpigmentation – residual hyperpigmentation that occurs at the site of an inflammatory process or skin damage. Such pigmentation is a frequent consequence of acne, as well as one of the possible complications after aggressive cosmetic procedures (laser skin resurfacing, dermabrasion, peelings, etc.) if the recommendations for skin care are not followed.
What hardware techniques will help get rid of age spots?
Elimination of pigmentation with intense pulsed light (IntensePulsedLight).The Ellipse IPL system, due to waves of different wavelengths, copes with any pigment forms: melasma, lentigo, post-acne, nevi, keratosis, hemosiderosis. Light flashes only affect areas of the skin with a high melanin content. First, the age spot darkens, and then within a week it exfoliates and evens out the skin color. IPL therapy is safe, comfortable and literally removes pigment in just a few sessions.
Fractional laser resurfacing
Fractional laser resurfacing is a procedure that allows you not only to get rid of age spots, but also to significantly reduce the depth and severity of wrinkles, increase the density and elasticity of the skin, and obtain a powerful lifting effect.We carry out this procedure in our Clinic on a certified carbon dioxide (CO2) laser Bison Scanning More-Xel.
This is the effect of a laser beam, divided into many fractions-microbeams, on the skin. During the procedure, the skin is damaged in a controlled manner, leaving many of the thinnest “holes” on it. This stimulates the body’s defenses – the recovery process begins. Cells are actively dividing, repairing damaged areas. Fractional laser rejuvenation starts anti-aging processes, stimulates the production of collagen and elastin.
The laser beam destroys old collagen fibers, evaporates unwanted pigment and scar tissue. The result of this effect is an even complexion, a tightened contour, dense, even skin.
If you are worried about pigmentation, the doctors of the Clinic of expert cosmetology Volna will select the safe way to solve this problem that suits you: The clinic is equipped with modern certified equipment from the world’s best manufacturers, and also has a wide range of proven officially registered injectables with a high safety profile.Come to us for a consultation!
Laser removal of age spots in Volgograd
“No” – pigmented spots, “yes” – beautiful skin!
“They meet by their clothes …” – says a Russian proverb. Beautiful healthy skin is our “clothing”, a visiting card of any person. It’s no secret that beautiful people inspire more confidence, they are confident and doomed to success.And skin problems can cause complexes. Pigmented spots on the face are one of such aesthetic defects, which for the most part does not pose any threat to human health. No one is immune from the appearance of age spots. They appear from prolonged exposure to the sun and are found on the skin of 90% of the inhabitants of the Earth. There are other reasons for the appearance of age spots:
- fluctuations in hormone levels, which are most often caused by pregnancy or taking hormonal contraceptives;
- the use of substandard or unsuitable cosmetics;
- taking certain medications.
A quick and safe method of getting rid of age spots on the skin using a copper vapor laser “Yakhroma-Med” is offered by the clinic GAUZ “Medical Center” “Cosmetology clinic”.
How does a laser work?
A pigmented spot is a large accumulation of melanin in a limited area of the skin. The Yakhroma-Med copper vapor laser emits two wavelengths. The green wave is used to remove benign pigmented lesions. A focused light spot is directed to the neoplasm.Under the influence of heat, melanin (pigment) and melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) are destroyed. If everything is done correctly, then the age spot changes color from dark to light gray or even flesh-colored. In rare cases, a second procedure is required if the spot is too pigmented or large in size.
Benefits of laser pigmentation removal:
- The intended result is achieved in 90% of applications.
- Complications are practically excluded.
- There is practically no rehabilitation period. Immediately after the procedure, you can start your daily activities.
- The procedure is painless and safe.
- After the procedure, it is necessary to refrain from exposure to direct sunlight and mechanical impact on the treated area.
You can also get rid of age spots at home. GAUZ “Medical Center” “Cosmetology Clinic” recommends complex care for age spots with professional cosmetics “Premium”.It includes: cream for the care of skin with freckles, stagnant and age spots. The cream has a brightening effect, activates regeneration and suppresses the production of melanin.
- Brightening Serum. It is used to achieve a pronounced whitening effect in various types of skin pigmentation disorders, including freckles.
- “Brightening” cream-mask is intended for intensive care of the skin requiring correction of hyperpigmentation – freckles, age spots and chloasma.Thanks to koic acid, glycolic acid, superoxide dismutase and shea and corn oils, it has a pronounced whitening effect.
- Serum with Korean sea grape extract Green Caviar to fight pigmentation – strengthens the result and has a general caring effect on the skin.
- Concentrate of bioactive substances with cryo-effect “Whitening” – biocomponents lighten age spots, refresh the complexion.
- Alginate bleaching mask for age spots – used to eliminate stagnant spots, chloasma, freckles.
A cosmetologist will help you choose a comprehensive care during a personal examination. You can buy a cream for age spots in the GAUZ “Medical Center” “Cosmetology clinic”.
Health to you and your loved ones!
Methods for correcting pigmentation | FACES
Each person’s skin is unique, because it has a special color, which is determined by the presence of a special pigment in the cells – melanin. Its role in the body is very important, because it protects the skin from solar insolation and participates in metabolic processes.But sometimes it causes a problem with pigmentation of the skin, as a result of which stains appear on it that are expressively different from the normal tone.
Can pigmentation change?
Pigmentation may change if melanin synthesis is impaired.
Very often skin pigmentation appears in people with endocrine problems and is associated with the person’s age. In the elderly, the skin loses its capacity for normal renewal, which is why melanin accumulates in excess.Also, pregnant women are susceptible to this process, which is a consequence of hormonal changes. Hyperpigmentation has internal causes and is a manifestation of internal diseases.
Based on this, we can conclude that cells have lost their normal protection, the body produces more melanin to restore balance, which is manifested by age spots. It is necessary to solve problems with the appearance of hyperpigmentation with a doctor in order to restore metabolic processes. And professional cosmetology will help to restore the skin to a healthy look and get rid of pigmentation.
Where pigmentation may appear
The manifestation of skin pigmentation is highly dependent on solar exposure. It is the rays that are the main trigger that triggers its formation. There are no areas of skin on the body that do not have melanin (with the exception of albinism), so hyperpigmentation can occur anywhere. Most of all, the skin of the face and neck is exposed to this, especially in the summer.
Where does the pigmentation appear?
Pigmentation can appear on any part of the body, on the face and even on the teeth.
Pigment spots on the body and limbs are less common. In this case, age spots often appear on the chest. At risk are people who sunbathe a lot or are keen on visiting tanning salons. Other manifestations of pigmentation can appear on the internal organs, and even on the teeth. But in this case, their etiology is slightly different.
How to remove pigmentation? Correction methods
It is necessary to take a comprehensive approach to combating pigmentation disorders, because the problem is a consequence of metabolic disorders.Sometimes after treatment, spots can go away on their own, but often they remain an unpleasant reminder. It is possible to remove pigmentation on the face and body skin with the help of cosmetic procedures that have long been proven effective.
The most popular are:
Therapy with broadband pulsed light acts on cells in which there is an increased content of melanin, without affecting healthy tissues. Its advantage is high selectivity, which makes it possible to solve the problem precisely.
Is it possible to completely remove age spots?
Yes, phototherapy, laser resurfacing and plasma therapy can completely remove age spots.
Plasma therapy works in a complex manner. This is an injection procedure that restores skin balance and initiates normal regeneration processes. With its help, you can completely get rid of pigmentation in the form of light and dark spots. It acts quickly enough and has a long-term therapeutic effect, and minimally traumatizes the skin (only during the introduction of an injection needle).
Large-scale manifestations of pigmentation can be removed using laser resurfacing. Its principle of action is to heat cells containing excess melanin.