As we age, a once clear and youthful complexion becomes more prone to irregularities and discoloration. Developing skin discoloration over time is quite common and occurs when levels of melanin (a substance in the skin that produces pigment) in the skin increases. The amount of melanin in the skin will vary from person to person. Genetics, age, UV light exposure, inflammation and hormonal changes are all factors that will affect melanin levels. Fortunately, as you consider how to get rid of skin discoloration, when addressed with the right skincare regimen and medical-grade treatments you can effectively treat it.
What Causes Skin Discoloration
There are several causes of skin discoloration on the face and body ranging from lifestyle choices to genetic conditions. Some of the most common causes include:
- Hyperpigmentation is a condition that causes dark patches in your skin and is caused by an increase in melanin. This increase in melanin production is commonly the result of an injury, illness, or damage to the skin caused by sun exposure or acne.
- Hypopigmentation refers to the loss of skin color resulting from a decrease in melanin. While it can be caused by genetic factors or certain diseases, it’s often the result of damage to the skin.
- Sun damage from UVA and UVB rays is one of the most common causes of premature aging and can result in various types of skin discolorations including redness, brown spots, white spots, and more.
- Rosacea is a condition that causes redness and flushing to the skin, especially the nose, chin, and cheeks. These symptoms can worsen as a result of sun exposure, extreme temperatures (hot or cold), wind, stress, alcohol, or exercise.
- Aging results in broken blood vessels, age spots, dark circles, and uneven skin tone.
- Melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation that causes brown to gray-brown patches on the face. It’s typically associated with the hormonal changes of pregnancy, oral contraceptives, or hormone replacement therapy during menopause and worsens with sun exposure
Treatments for Skin Discoloration
When considering how to get rid of skin discoloration, there are several non-surgical treatment options available to treat it, depending on your skin type and the cause of the discoloration. When performed by an experienced medical provider, these non-invasive skin resurfacing treatments can create a renewed, revitalized and even-toned appearance.
Chemical peels for treating an uneven complexion, acne-prone skin and aging skin
Chemical peels use acid to increase cellular turnover by removing the dull, dead skin cells and revealing the fresh, even-toned skin underneath. Directly following the treatment, the skin may feel tight, red, and irritated with minimal flaking occurring over the next several days; however, this will quickly subside, and the skin will appear brighter and more even toned. Depending on the severity of the problem areas, several treatments may be recommended.
Fraxel for aging skin, fine lines and wrinkles
Fraxel laser treatments target damaged skin cells with microscopic laser columns that penetrate deep into the skin to stimulate the production of new, healthy skin cells and collagen. Following the treatment, your skin will appear smoother and more radiant.
The majority of improvement will be seen within two to three months following the procedure. The deeper layers of skin will continue to rebuild for three to six months. For optimal results, four treatments spaced four weeks apart are typically recommended.
IPL for treating damaged skin, signs of aging and rosacea
IPL Photo Facial is a laser light treatment that targets pigment-producing cells and disperses the uneven pigment while boosting collagen production. This results in the improvement of skin discoloration stemming from hyperpigmentation, sun damage, rosacea, and age spots.
Over the next one to three weeks, the darkened spots will begin to fade and flake off—revealing a more even skin tone. It may take several months to achieve the final result. Multiple treatments are usually recommended.
Dual Radiance for treating uneven skin tone or texture, sunspots, fine lines, acne scars and wrinkles
While effective options on their own, Dual Radiance refers to the combination of Microneedling and IPL treatments in a single visit. The IPL treatment addresses skin discoloration and the microneedling improves skin texture, scarring and fine lines. The IPL is completed first, followed by a microneedling treatment. This process works by stimulating cell renewal, promoting collagen and elastin production which are the building blocks of youthful skin, and reducing hyperpigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, and scarring.
Immediately following a Dual Radiance treatment, the skin may be slightly red and swollen. This typically subsides within a few hours. Over the next few days, you will notice a rough texture to your skin. Within a week, any brown spots that were darkened because of the IPL treatment will fade or flake off, the skin tone will be more even, and the texture will be smoother resulting in a brighter and more radiant complexion. For optimal results, three to four treatments spaced four to six weeks apart are recommended.
Laser genesis works by heating the dermis directly under the skin; this stimulates collagen production, which plumps the skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The heat from the laser can also constrict blood vessels, which helps fight redness and rosacea. It can also help treat acne and scarring.
Laser genesis is a very comfortable, even relaxing procedure that has no downtime. 4-6 sessions 2-4 weeks apart is recommended for optimal results.
How to prevent future skin discoloration
The best way to prevent skin damage and discoloration is to use medical-grade sunscreen daily. Medical grade sunscreens, as opposed to off the shelf varieties, can penetrate the skin better and deliver a higher concentration of active ingredients, leading to overall better skin protection. A quality sunscreen will provide the UVA and UVB protection needed to protect the skin from unwanted signs of aging such as discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles. Over time, maintaining an at-home skin care routine can make a huge difference in the appearance and health of your skin.
All For Skin Types: SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense followed by a medical grade sunscreen:
- Dry skin: Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50
- Oily/Acne-prone skin: Physical Matte UV Defense
- Anti-aging: Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50
- Pregnant/hormonal: Daily Brightening UV Defense
- Hyperpigmentation: Daily Brightening UV Defense
Ready to Brighten and Rejuvenate your Skin?
While some types of skin discoloration are relatively easy to treat, others may require more advanced procedures. If you’re experiencing a form of skin discoloration, let Tribeca MedSpa’s award-winning team help you achieve the natural, even-toned complexion you’ve always wanted.
We want you to get the natural, aesthetically-pleasing results you deserve, which is why we conduct a thorough, comprehensive consultation for each one of our procedures to ensure you’re receiving the best possible custom treatment plan suited to your goals.