When you are born the colour of your skin is predetermined but however as you age certain factors can change the uniformity of your skin colour. In order to understand skin pigmentation changes you must first understand exactly what skin pigmentation is.
The colour of a person's skin can range in tone from very light (a pinkish tone that is considered white) to very dark (black). This colouring is determined by the amount of melanin that is found in the skin. The amount of pigmentation that you have is determined by your ancestors and your sex. Males have slightly more pigmentation than females no matter what their skin colour or heritage.
There are four main types of skin pigmentation conditions and three of these cause changes in skin tone and colour as a person ages. One condition is present at birth. The first three conditions- vitiligo, melasma, and solar lentigo- all share a common cause, sun exposure.
Vitiligo is a skin pigmentation disorder that is recognised by the lack of melanin in a certain area of the skin. In this disorder white (or lighter) spots appear on the skin. Vitiligo is not a commom skin pigmentation disorder and is only seen in about 2% of the population.
Melasma is a skin pigmentation disorder that results in hyper-pigmentation or dark spots on the skin of females. These spots usually appear on the face, neck, and arms and are most commonly brought on by excessive sun exposure. However, these spots can also be brought on by hormonal changes and affect over 50% of women during pregnancy.
Solar lentigo skin pigmentation disorder, commonly referred to as age spots or liver spots, is exclusively brought on by exposure to the sun. They appear on the hands, arms, neck, face, and forehead.
These conditions can be treated very successfully by Laser/IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) or tropical creams such as Obagi.
Treatment time can be between 30 minutes to an hour.