Hypopigmentation is the loss of skin color due to a reduction in melanin production (the chemical process that gives skin its color). It can also be a result of burns, infections, or blisters that can affect the coloring of the skin. Hypopigmentation can occur in patches, or significant portions of the body in more serious cases. It can also be a side effect of specific skin disorders or diseases.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, some chronic skin disorders can cause hypopigmentation, such as:
Albinism – characterized by colorless skin, hair, and eyes that occur when skin cells produce little or no melanin
Vitiligo – characterized by patchy loss of skin color that occurs when skin cells that produce melanin either die, or stop production for no known reason
Seborrheic dermatitis – an inflammatory skin disease characterized by red, scaly, itchy patches of skin in areas prone to oiliness
Tinea versicolor – caused by a fungal (yeast) infection and characterized by scaly, itchy patches of lighter or pinkish skin
Pityriasis alba – characterized by colorless, scaly skin patches
Treatment for hypopigmentation can include topical corticosteroids or laser therapy. The Xtrac Laser is the first excimer light therapy system FDA approved to treat vitiligo. It utilizes a specific wavelength of light to stimulate the pigment in the skin for patients with vitiligo. The Xtrac Laser carefully delivers the light energy to the areas of skin that do not have pigment, while leaving the normal areas of skin intact. There is no premature aging or thinning of the skin. Treatments usually take 5-10 minutes.
There is also other treatment available depending on the root cause of the hypopigmentation. Our providers will analyze your specific case and develop a detailed treatment plan.
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