Hypopigmentation is the loss of coloration in the skin, usually appearing as white spots, due to the loss of function in the skin cells that produce melanin, or skin pigment.
So, unlike with hyperpigmentation, when there’s an excess of pigment deposit in the skin, hypopigmentation means there’s a lack of melanin relative to surrounding areas.
Darker spots on the skin typically stem from inflammation, and so, too, do the causes of hypopigmentation (aside from skin conditions like vitiligo, for example).
But the causes for this inflammation are a bit different. Let’s see how.
What are the causes of hypopigmentation of the skin
It’s not all that rare that people who have gotten laser treatments or tattoos removed to develop hypopigmentation, as the particular chromophore target, or pigment, is destroyed.
Interestingly, however, lasers can also be used as a treatment to help restore pigment, when the right one is tapped. The treatment often can take time, however, if the melanin has been completely lost. Also, micro-needling or fractionated CO2 may assist in recovering lost pigment.
Scarring and trauma to the skin
Hypopigmentation is a disorder in which melanin, the natural pigmentation that occurs in skin, has been partially destroyed through trauma to the skin. Most of the times, this is related in some way to scarring, which can result in fewer melanocytes once a condition heals.
Some of the most common situations involve burns or blisters.
You can also get these lighter spots if you’re dealing with excessive dryness, cracks or desquamation.
Using some skincare ingredients
Melanin production can become depressed from slathering on skin-care ingredients such as hydroquinone and other brightening agents
Moreso, common ingredients such as alpha-hydroxy acids and prescription-strength retinoids when used in the wrong way could potentially result in this, so always make sure to check with your dermatologist before incorporating one into your routine.
The treatment for hypopigmentation is basically the same as with hyperpigmentation: protecting your skin from sun damage by using SPF formulas.