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Skin of Color

Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

Also called Dark Spots or Patches, Blemishes, Stains of Discoloration You may notice a spot of darker skin as your skin heals after a cut or scrape. Dark spots also can appear when acne, eczema or other rashes clear. In skin of color, this is a common reaction called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or PIH. PIH often fades, but the darker the PIH, the longer the fading can take. Here at Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle, we can help you restore your skins color more quickly. Prescription medicines containing bleaching cream, and procedures such as chemical peeling and microdermabrasion may help. Avoidance of the sun and daily use of SPF 30 broad spectrum sunscreens are also helpful.

Melasma

This common condition causes dark patches usually on the face, but sometimes on the forearms and neck. Although it is most prevalent in women who have Latina, African or Asian ancestry, men can get melasma too. Melasma may be associated with pregnancy, birth control pills, or estrogen replacement. It may also be hereditary. Melasma can fade on its own, but it often recurs. Protecting your skin from the sun with sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and clothing helps. Here at Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle, treatment options are available to treat this condition.

Vitiligo

This is a condition in which a person's body destroys the cells that give the skin its pigment, resulting in a loss of skin color. The amount of color lost varies as does the part of the body involved. Some people have small patches of lighter skin, while others have porcelain white spots. It is not possible to predict how much skin color a person will lose. Treatment can help prevent further color loss, and help people regain skin color. Dr. Greene and our expert clinical staff can help you choose the best treatment for you.

Pityriasis Alba

Children usually get this skin condition, which causes round, light patches of skin that are covered with fine white scale. The patches can occur on all or part of the body, but are most likely to develop on the face, neck, trunk, or arms. This condition is not vitiligo and it will never turn into vitiligo. The patches often go away without treatment. Most children no longer have patches by the time the become an adult. Applying a moisturizer and protecting the skin from the sun with a sunscreen or clothing can help clear the patches. Dr. Greene can diagnose and prescribe the appropriate medication to clear this skin condition.

Certain Medicines

Taking certain medicines can cause skin discoloration or dark patches, especially in people of African or Latino descent. Medicines that can cause discoloration include those taken for high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Do not stop taking a medicine without consulting with a licensed medical doctor. If you take medicine and notice discoloration, talk with your doctor who prescribed the medicine.