Also known as Melasma, Chloasma, Post Traumatic Hyper-pigmentation, Freckles and Liver Spots (Lentigines) these types of dark pigmentation are all different. Some are easier to treat, control and live with than others. What they have in common: all are flat and cannot be felt to the touch. That's it. How they differ: this is why I LOVE the skin and its many conditions- you have to think like Sherlock Holmes. Also, the skin tells us things about what is going on inside our bodies and when you know the correlation, you can figure out how to either eliminate or control that condition. The skin is a SMART organ.
Melasma and Chloasma are both hormonally related conditions. Most often found on the face they are also nicknamed the "mask of pregnancy" because it shows up when many women are pregnant. It can also occur from birth control or other hormonal changes and therefore should be diagnosed and treated by a dermatologist or other like an endocrinologist who understands the root causes.
Very common is PTHP or POST Traumatic Hyper-pigmentation can occur anywhere on the body. Many people with acne confuse this type of MOST possibly temporary condition with scaring which is permanent.
It also occurs more commonly in people with darker skin types following anything from a bruise, a scrape to a cut or greater. It is part of the natural healing process for the skin to produce more color as the new replacement cells are developing. It can become permanent if you expose the healing area to sun or strong UV light but it can also be avoided if precautions to protect from sunlight/UV light are taken. Keeping your skin moist and hydrated also helps because maintaining a balance in the natural moistuizing barrier helps skin perfom its most important function- protecting us. Additionally, it can be avoided if a skin lightener along with an effective hydration barrier (Aquaphor Healing Ointment) is applied AFTER the wound has healed and in the first weeks of healing. At this time you have the chance of stopping the skins messaging of the number of melanocytes needed vs. what the skin believes it needs for future protection.
Freckles and Liver spots (a.k.a. Solar Lentigines or Lentigo (singular)) are other types of pigmentation. They run in caucasion families. Freckles appear in childhood. They are usually confined to the face, arms and upper trunk. Freckels increase in number and darken in color in response to sun exposure. They lighten in color without sun exposure. They often fade completely in the winter.
It is called a "lIver spot" becaue it is the color of liver. It has nothing to do with your liver but it does have everything to dowith sun exposure. They occur on the sun-exposed skin of Caucasion people. They increase in size and number with advancing age. Roughly 75% of white people over the age of 60 have one or more lesions.
Another argument for sun protection as all of these are enhanced by sun exposure.
I choose to follow these rules: Wear your sunscreen, wear protective clothing, wear a hat and sun glasses that not only shield your eyes but your face too. Just like when I work out, I prefer to look good when it matters most. Although today you can pretty much find attractive options for ANY where and any time you want to look good and PROTECT YOURSELF.