Skin Discoloration – Causes, Prevention and Treatment

Regardless of your ethnic background and skin color, eventually most of us will struggle with some kind of dark spot, discoloration or pigmentation problem.

Why Do We Get Discolorations?

Skin will either appear lighter or darker than normal in concentrated areas, or you may notice blotchy, uneven patches of brown spots to gray discoloration or freckling. Skin pigmentation disorders occur because the body produces either too much or too little melanin. Melanin is the pigment produced by specific cells (melanocytes). It is triggered by an enzyme called tyrosinase, which creates the color of our skin, eyes, and hair. (Melanin actually has two major forms that combine to create varying skin tones. Eumelanin produces a range of brown skin and hair color, while pheomelanin imparts a yellow to reddish hue.)

Melanin And The Sun

As far as skin is concerned, depending on how much is present, melanin does provide some amount of sun protection by absorbing the sun’s ultraviolet light. This explains why darker skin colors are less susceptible to sunburn and the overall effects of sun damage. But less susceptible doesn’t mean immune from problems.

Increased melanin production —also known as hyperpigmentation —is often referred to as melasma, chloasma or solar lentigenes. Melasma is a general term describing darkening of the skin. Chloasma is generally used to describe skin discolorations caused by hormones. These hormonal changes are usually the result of pregnancy, birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy. Solar lentigenes is the technical term for darkened spots on the skin caused by the sun. Solar refers to sunlight and lentigene describes a darkened area of skin. These spots are quite common in adults with a long history of unprotected sun exposure.

Other Causes of Discoloration on the Skin

Aside from sun exposure and hormones, hyperpigmentation can be caused by skin damage, such as remnants of blemishes, wounds or rashes (Source: Cutis, August 2005, pages 19-23). This is especially true for those with darker skin tones.

By far, for all skin colors, the most typical cause of darkened areas of skin, brown spots or areas of discoloration is unprotected sun exposure. Once incorrectly referred to as liver spots, these pigment problems have nothing whatsoever to do with the liver. In fact, these discolorations wouldn’t have appeared in the first place if skin was diligently protected from the sun over the years.

On lighter to medium skin tones, solar lentigenes emerge as small- to medium-sized brown patches of freckling that can grow and accumulate over time on areas of the body that receive the most unprotected sun exposure, such as the back of the hands, forearms, chest, and face. For those with darker skin colors, these discolorations can appear as patches or areas of ashen-gray skin. Regardless of how or why these benign discolorations occur, the thought is the same worldwide: this is something women want to get rid of and prevent from recurring (or ever taking place).

Treatment: Dark Spot Correctors and Toning Products by Clear Essence

Formulated with a blend of ingredients – including hydroquinone, lactic acid, botanical extracts and sun protection – the Clear Essence Platinum skin care line is an effective remedy for hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and blemishes.

Designed specifically for people of color, the Platinum collection actively inhibits the enzyme that controls the rate of melanin production. It successfully fades post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation that occurs in medium to dark skin tones after exposure to irritants such as acne, injury or sun exposure. This will leave you with a radiant, even-toned and natural complexion.

The Platinum Collection of skin care from Clear Essence is designed for the treatment of: hyper pigmentation, uneven skin tone, dark spots, and environmental damage.

Prevention: SUNSCREEN

If you want to maintain your even skin tone and prevent future discolorations and sun damage to your skin, sunscreen is a very important step of your daily skin care routine. Clear Essence has created the My Natural Beauty Skin Tone Moisturizing Body Lotion with SPF 15 just for this very purpose. After achieving your natural skin tone, free of blemishes or discolorations, with Clear Essence treatment products such as Clear Essence Skin Beautifying Milk, use this all over body lotion to protect and maintain your skin tone. This specially formulated blend has added SPF 15 to prevent future discolorations and damage from harsh elements and the sun’s UV rays. This is the perfect daily moisturizer to keep your skin silky, smooth, and even-toned.


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