About Birthmarks and Hyperpigmentation
If you have a birthmark or hyperpigmentation, you may feel self-conscious because its coloring stands out from the rest of your body. A birthmark is a spot that is different in color or texture than the rest of your skin. It may appear anywhere on your body and is visible at or soon after birth. Even though birthmarks are harmless, they should be analyzed in infants once they're noticed. A birthmark could be an indication of an underlying condition. Birthmarks can appear black, brown, pink, red, purple, tan, or blue. Hyperpigmentation appears as dark spots anywhere on the body and is typically caused by acne scarring, sun spots, or other conditions, like melasma, eczema, or psoriasis. Dr. Adam Bodian can diagnose and treat pigmentation problems in patients of all ages. Schedule a consultation for an examination at Bodian Dermatology in Great Neck, NY.
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What causes Pigmentation Disorders?
Pigmentation disorders vary by type and can occur in children and adults alike.
- Birthmarks: These dark spots on the skin can appear in infants of all races. Several birthmarks (deep or strawberry hemangiomas, salmon patches, and port-wine stains) may be formed if a blood vessel doesn't develop properly. Other birthmarks (moles, Mongolian or café-au-lait spots, and also other hemangiomas) have no known cause. A hemangioma is far more likely to develop on a baby who is underweight, or part of a multiple birth (twin or triplet), as well as Caucasian females. Some birthmarks disappear as the child grows older while others remain.
- Hyperpigmentation: This skin condition is caused by excess melanin produced in the skin, which can be the result of sun damage, acne scars, injury, medication side effects, hormones, or a condition, like eczema or melasma. Most forms of hyperpigmentation can appear anywhere on the body, although melasma is typically seen on the face. A high dose of sunlight is perhaps the primary cause of hyperpigmentation.
How Are Pigmentation Disorders Treated?
You should have birthmarks or hyperpigmentation examined by Dr. Bodian before determining the course of treatment. We provide laser treatments in our office using Cutera® lasers (PICO Genesis™, Laser Genesis, or excel® V) and/or MaxG™ intense pulsed light (IPL) phototherapy. Most patients find that these treatments are highly effective in reducing the size and color of pigment imperfections. Using highly focused beams of light to penetrate deep into the skin, our lasers safely target and eliminate blood vessels while protecting the surrounding skin. Each treatment can be done separately or in combination. During your consultation, Dr. Bodian will determine the best treatment plan for your skin care needs and whether you will need to undergo multiple sessions.
Following your treatment, a healing ointment will be smoothed over the skin and you can go home to recover. The treated skin may appear pink, and there may be some irritation and swelling. These symptoms subside within a couple of days, and the peeling process will occur over a 3 – 5-day timeframe. If you are receiving a more intense laser treatment, your downtime will take longer. The treatment areas may be protected with dressings, and the swelling, irritation, and burning symptoms may be stronger. As your body continues to produce collagen over time, you should see a healthier layer of skin with a more even tone and fewer dark spots.
Get a Professional Diagnosis
If skin discoloration caused by birthmarks or hyperpigmentation is affecting your self-image, Bodian Dermatology can diagnose and treat your pigment irregularities. We encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bodian to learn more about your treatment choices. Contact our office in Great Neck, NY today.