Pigmentation & Blemishes

Do you suffer from uneven skin tone or discoloration? There are many conditions that can lead to discoloration. Discoloration can take many forms depending on your skin color or ethnic background. Some people suffer from hyperpigmentation which is a darkening or increase in brown discoloration of the skin. Other people can have hypopigmentation or lightening of the skin. Some discoloration can be redness that does not seem to go away. A common term that patients often use for discoloration is "blemishes." While this is not a medical term, it does encompass many different meanings depending on the patient and the cause of the discoloration. The good news is that the majority of causes of discoloration can be treated.

There are many causes of skin pigmentation and blemishes:

Hyperpigmented scarring: brown discoloration that can occur as a result of any trauma or inflammation or irritation to the skin. This condition is also called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Causes of hyperpigmentation include acne, rashes, dermatitis, eczema, chemicals applied to the skin, picking, scratching, and other injuries from outside sources like bug bites or burns. Often, the underlying cause of the discoloration must be addressed before the pigmentation can be addressed. There are ways to speed up the treatment of the discoloration with procedures like Diamond Glow and chemical peels.

Melasma: This is a brown discoloration, more common in females and worsened by sun exposure. It can occur in pregnancy or when a patient is on hormonal treatments like birth control. However, it can occur without any hormonal change and can occur in men as well. It will often appear as brown patches on the forehead, cheeks, and upper lip. Waxing and hair removal methods that rip out the hair seem to worsen this condition.

Post-folliculitis: Brown bumps can be seen in both males in females. Pseudofolliculitis barbae is a condition seen most commonly in African-American men which results in severe scarring and pigmentation in the beard area of the face. Women who pluck and tweeze hairs can suffer with brown pigmentation on the face as well. This condition is treatable but often requires a combination of topical skincare, changes in hair removal techniques, and often laser treatment to reduce the thickness and number of hairs causing the folliculitis.

Hypopigmentation: Just like hyperpigmented scarring, lightening of the skin can occur from acne, rashes, dermatitis, eczema, chemicals applied to the skin, picking, scratching, and other injuries from outside sources like bug bites or burns. It is called post-inflammatory hypopigmentation. Vitiligo is a complete loss of pigmentation of the skin but is much less common than scarring from inflammation or trauma. Vitiligo is often seen at sites of past skin injury.

Redness: There are many causes of red discoloration like sun (actinic) damage, rosacea, acne, seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff), and stretch marks. Many of these respond to topical treatment and skincare specific to the patient's condition. Others may require further treatment with a laser or light based therapy.

While pigmentation and blemishes can occur in all skin types, it is more prevalent in darker skin types, including African-Americans, Caribbean-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, people of Middle Eastern descent.

The most important first step in addressing pigmentation and blemishes is sun protection and skin care to address the specific condition causing the pigmentation. We at the Lupo Center have a special interest in treating skin discoloration and we have options for all skin types and ethnic backgrounds.

Related Videos

Understanding the different types of hyperpigmentation and an easy course of treatment

Understanding the different types of hyperpigmentation and an easy course of treatment
Is your skin looking blotchy and irregular? Hyperpigmentation is more common than you think. Dr. Lupo explains different types of hyperpigmentation and gives her top recommendation on how to overcome it.

So there are three reasons why people get hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation simply means a darkening of the skin. And unfortunately it is usually irregular and blotchy. So the most common cause of hyperpigmentation is sun damage. The sun, over time, not only increases your risk of skin cancers and wrinkles but also causes discoloration of the skin. And this discoloration occurs in all skin types and races. The second type is called post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is any pigmentation that is a result of injury to the skin. That injury can be a bug bite. It can be an acne mark. It can be from picking. There are many many reasons you can get post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is absolutely more common in darker skin types. The final example of hyper pigmentation is the one known as melasma. Melasma is a very chronic relapsing condition and although we have a lot of very good treatments for it, these treatments only control it for a period of time. Constant maintenance is required. For all of these conditions, the single most important thing to do is to use a sunscreen daily and to reapply.

Sunspots can appear even on a board-certified dermatologist who always wears sunscreen and hats - get your regular skin checks

Sunspots can appear even on a board-certified dermatologist who always wears sunscreen and hats - get your regular skin checks - Dr. Lupo

[ No Audio ]
Meet one of the countrys leading experts in the field of non-surgical skin rejuvenation.

Lupo Center for Aesthetic and General Dermatology
Mary P. Lupo, M.D. - Connect on Linkedin

Our mission at the Lupo Center is to provide patients with innovative, effective and ethical care to make each person look and feel their personal best. To fulfill our goal, we provide state-of-the-art medical, surgical and cosmetic treatments to all patients.

Board certified dermatologist and clinical professor of dermatology Mary P. Lupo, MD has been a leader in the field of non-surgical rejuvenation since 1983. She travels internationally to teach her innovative techniques, and her reputation brings in patients from around the country. She started the first formal residency training program for injectables and peels in 1983 at Tulane Medical School and served as past president of Women’s Dermatologic Society, adjunct professor of dermatology at Tulane and a founder of Cosmetic Boot Camp. Dr. Lupo holds membership in many prestigious dermatology associations, participates in clinical trials for approval of new drugs and devices and acts as an advisor for numerous aesthetic-minded companies.

Appointment Request:

If you submit an online appointment request, we will contact you to schedule the date and time. All new-patient appointments must be scheduled over the phone.

Success Stories

Lupo Center for Aesthetic and General Dermatology
Review From Vanessa V.
Dr. Lupo is truly amazing. This was my first time with filler and not only did she ease my fears but also gave me the most beautiful result. She used just enough to accentuate the contours of my lips and face. Also, she used a product on me called Aqua Gold which gave me wonderful results. The tone, texture, firmness, and overall appearance of my skin was greatly improved. When I left her i felt absolutely FLAWLESS! I highly highly recommend her and her team!
More Success Stories