There are many types of birthmarks, which may be either vascular or pigmented. Common pigmented birthmarks include café au lait spots, which are tan in color, Mongolian spots, which are blue, or port-wine stains, which are pink to red. Birthmarks may appear anywhere on the body and can be either present at birth or develop shortly after birth. While harmless, certain birthmarks can be reduced through several dermatologic treatments if you choose.
Hyperpigmentation, or excess pigmentation causing an area of darker color than the surrounding skin, is extremely common and can be caused by a variety of factors. Some examples include sun exposure, side effects from medications, or hormonal changes. Freckles and sunspots or age spots are common types of hyperpigmentation, for example. In most cases, hyperpigmentation is not caused by a harmful disease, however, you can choose to treat these areas for cosmetic reasons. A dermatologist such as Dr. Damstetter can help you achieve a smoother, more even complexion with professional treatment options.
Melasma causes brown or blue-gray patches to appear on the face. This is often caused by hormonal changes, which is why the condition is sometimes referred to as the “mask of pregnancy,” as women are more likely to have melasma during pregnancy. Melasma most commonly affects the cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin. While not harmful, melasma can be treated using prescription topicals or other options to restore an even skin tone.
Moles are exceptionally common, but can become irritating due to frequently catching on clothing and jewelry or a source of self-consciousness. In either of these cases, a dermatologist can remove a mole safely and permanently. Often, it is also beneficial to have your dermatologist ensure that it is not a sign of skin cancer, regardless of whether you wish to have it removed.
Vitiligo causes the skin to lose pigmentation. This results in patches of lighter skin, hair, or eyes. The condition is more noticeable on those with darker skin tones, but can affect virtually any patient. Medical treatment options are available to slow pigmentation loss and help skin repigment.
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To learn more about treatment options for pigmentation disorders, schedule an appointment at Reserve Dermatology. Call our Glenview, IL office or contact us online to set up your first appointment with Dr. Liz Damstetter.