Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation

Hi, this is Dr. Charles Crutchfield clinical professor of dermatology and medical director at Crutchfield Dermatology.

One of the most challenging and common problems in skin of color are skin disorders that effect the intensity of skin color. Some diseases make skin lighter and other skin diseases make the skin darker.

For example babies when they have diaper rash this can cause the skin in the area to become a lot lighter. It’s very common for a child of color to have a very light area especially after a diaper rash. This is where the inflammation of the diaper irritation causes the melanocytes to stop producing color even light or white patches.

With the appropriate treatment the color will almost always return within a few weeks In older patients inflammation can cause darkening of the skin. This is known as post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

This is commonly seen in areas where acne blemishes have healed, leaving a dark spot in that area. These, too, will fade with time. However, it can be quite persistent and sometimes doctors must use
medicines to make the dark areas fade faster.

Darkness after skin irritation is notoriously difficult to treat and can take time.