Is it Hyperpigmentation or Melanoma?

Is it Hyperpigmentation or Melanoma?

Noticing a brown or black spot on your skin that wasn’t there before can be scary. Sometimes, these spots are nothing more than hyperpigmentation, a common and harmless—but somewhat alarming—condition where small sections or patches of your skin take on a darker color than the rest of your skin. Hyperpigmentation is nothing more than concentrated deposits of melanin, which can collect randomly in one spot (or several spots) on your skin.

Unfortunately, the harmlessness of hyperpigmentation sometimes leads individuals who have the condition to ignore dark spots on their skin. If these spots are just concentrations of melanin, you really don’t have to pay much attention to them. However, one symptom of melanoma—the most severe and dangerous type of skin cancer—is brown or black spots or moles on the skin. Without careful attention to detail or medical consultation, it’s easy to mistake melanoma for simply hyperpigmentation (and vice versa).

The Differences Between Hyperpigmentation and Melanoma

Fortunately, there are subtle differences in moles or spots caused by hyperpigmentation and moles or spots. These differences fall into five different categories, which are easy to remember because they bear the initials of ABCDE. In assessing moles or dark spots, these initials refer to asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and elevation. Read on to discover more about the signs in each of these categories that can indicate melanoma rather than hyperpigmentation.

  • Asymmetry: Generally, hyperpigmentation patches (be they freckles, moles, or simple dark spots on your skin) are symmetrical in shape and size. A noticeably asymmetrical dark spot on your skin is worth consulting a doctor about, as it may be a sign of cancer.
  • Border: In addition to symmetry, dark spots caused by hyperpigmentation will have smooth edges that are easy to distinguish. Spots or moles with more jagged or irregular borders are more likely to be cancerous.
  • Color: In hyperpigmentation, melanin deposits can range from light to dark brown. Spots or moles that are black or rusty red in color appear more commonly in melanoma patients. With that said, melanoma spots can also be a more regular brown hue, so use color as a supplement to other identifying factors, instead of using it as your sole decider.
  • Diameter: Moles or dark spots with large diameters—or with diameters that seem to be expanding—are cause for alarm. Most dermatologists say that any skin spots bigger in diameter than a pencil eraser are worth having checked out by a medical professional.
  • Elevation: When it comes to assessing whether moles or spots are hyperpigmentation or melanoma, flatter is better. While some harmless moles are slightly raised, extremely elevated moles are often a sign of a more dangerous skin condition.

All of these factors can help you to determine, on your own, whether the dark spots on your skin are more likely to be the result of hyperpigmentation or melanoma. If you have a mole that is small, with a smooth border, symmetrical, flat, and light brown, chances are pretty good that you don’t have any reason for concern. When in doubt, though, consult your physician. It is invariably better to be safe than sorry when it comes to possible signs of skin cancer.

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Do Essential Fatty Acids Fade Scars?

Do Essential Fatty Acids Fade Scars?

Scars are almost always permanent, but with patience, time, and proper treatment, they can fade and become less noticeable. Choosing the right treatments, however, proves crucial to the healing process. Essential fatty acids are one of the treatments often recommended to individuals seeking to minimize the appearance of their scars.

Read More: Fade Scars

What are Essential Fatty Acids?

Essential fatty acids (also known as EFAs) are carboxylic compounds. Though they serve key functions – stimulating the metabolic process and aiding in tissue regrowth – they’re not created naturally within the body. Instead, they’re synthesized through foods, ointments, or other secondary methods. This ensures a steady introduction of linoleic and oleic properties into the bloodstream.

Linoleic Acid

Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated EFA chain. Due to its double-bonded shape, it does not appear naturally within the body. Its role as an inflammation regulator and a producer of cell membranes, however, proves critical to human development.

Oleic Acid

Oleic acid (also known as Omega 9) is a monounsaturated EFA chain. It’s not manufactured within the body but is instead commonly ingested through nuts, seeds, avocados, and other oil-based foods. It directly affects plasma production, circulation, and insulin production.

These two EFAs impact the texture and appearance of scar tissue. How? Let’s examine their effects.

How Do Essential Fatty Acids Affect Scars?

Essential fatty acids – specifically linoleic acid and oleic acid – trigger a variety of functions within the body:

Regeneration of Lipid Bio-Layers

Lipid bio-layers affect the skin’s overall hydration. They’re needed to soften each scar’s texture and promote elasticity. EFAs stimulate the lipid production process and maintain moisture levels.

Prostaglandin Production

Prostaglandins are fatty enzymes. Through their secondary compounds, known as prostacyclins, they stimulate skin growth, as well as attack sources of inflammation. This reduces redness, irritation, and swelling. EFAs contribute to prostaglandin production, which delivers concentrated compounds to the scar site.

Melanin Regulation

Melanin is an oxidized compound that determines an individual’s pigmentation. It affects skin color, eye color, hair color, and more. The arrival of scars tend to create an overproduction of melanin, which darkens the affected area considerably. EFAs regulate melanin and fade hyperpigmentation.

Through essential fatty acids, individuals achieve supple, hydrated skin, reduced irritation, reduced inflammation, reduced hyperpigmentation, and enhanced elasticity. These elements combine to fade scars. InviCible Scars contains essential fatty acids in combination with a stable form of Vitamin C to fade scars.

Read More: Get Rid of Scars

Essential fatty acids are pivotal in the healing process. They deliver vital lipids and promote hydration, decreasing tissue rigidity and size. This makes them ideal for the treatment of hypertrophic, keloid, and even surgical scars.

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How to Avoid Scars from Pimples

How to Avoid Scars from Pimples

Excess oil beneath the skin signals a variety of problems, with the most frustrating of these being pimples. These tiny pustules appear on the face and body, housing bacteria, dead cells, and sebum secretions. They cause surface inflammation, irritation, and even scars.

According to the Acne Resource Center Online, 25% of individuals suffering from pimples will have some form of scarring – whether atrophic, hypertrophic, or hyper-pigmented. To combat this statistic we suggest examining both the causes of scars and the available treatments.

The Causes of Pimple Scarring

Acne is far more than a series of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. It’s also a medical disorder, triggering several effects beneath the skin. These effects – which include cyst production, nodular inflammation, and blood vessel penetration – directly impact surface and interior tissue, damaging them both.

With this damage comes a sudden production of collagen, with the body trying to repair itself. These repairs, however, often fail:

Too Much Collagen: the body produces an excess amount of collagen and causes tissue build-up. Scars then form, with raised appearances and reddened edges.

Too Little Collagen: the body produces too little collagen and the skin begins to sink, pitting the tissue and causing scars.

Read More: Acne Scars

How to Avoid Pimple Scarring

Pimple scarring is unfortunate. It’s also often avoidable. Those wishing to reduce their chances of atrophic or hypertrophic effects should:

Treat Acne Immediately

Utilize OTC or prescription treatments as soon as acne appears. This will interrupt the damage cycle and maintain tissue health.

Avoid Picking at the Skin

Popping a pimple may seem wise. Too often, however, does this cause further complications, releasing bacteria back into the skin (which often creates more acne) and triggering collagen production. Don’t do it.

Follow Hygiene Regimens

Daily, gentle scrubbing of the skin often proves essential in avoiding scars. Remove excess oil, dead cells, bacterial pus, and other free radicals to maintain appropriate moisture and elasticity levels. Tissue remains balanced and less likely to require collagen.

Study Genetics

Multiple factors shape the body’s healing process. None are more important, however, than genetics. Pimples are prevalent in some families, with members prone to breakouts and scarring alike. See how often these issues have occurred in the past to better prepare for their developments in the future.

Utilize these suggestions to reduce acne and avoid scarring.

Read More: Get Rid of Acne Scars

Consult With a Dermatologist

Acne is a disease. Seeking help from a dermatologist, therefore, is highly recommended for those who suffer from frequent breakouts. These specialists deliver key information about prescription options and OTC cleansers. They also prove helpful for patients wishing to improve the appearance of existing pimple scars, offering access to dermabrasions, tissue injections, and more.

Read More: Dermatologists

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5 Surprising Causes of Adult Acne

5 Surprising Causes of Adult Acne

It’s an unfortunate fact for many that blemishes don’t magically disappear at the age of 18, with high school’s end signaling the arrival of a flawless complexion and vanishing pores. Acne follows men and women throughout their adulthood, affecting approximately one-third of the total population. It ranks among the most common – and most frustrating – conditions in the world.

What is Acne?

Acne is a long-term skin infection. It occurs when the glands are clogged by oil, dead cells, or ingrown follicles. This interferes with the body’s sebum production and causes a series of bumps and blemishes to appear.

Read More: Acne

What are Five Unexpected Causes of Adult Acne?

Most adults are familiar with the common causes of acne – stress, hormones, or a diet high in dairy, to name just a few. There are other ways to experience breakouts, however, and these can be easily overlooked.

Salt

Salt contains iodines. These properties are sometimes difficult to sweat out, leading to them being embedded inside the pores. This causes inflammation and, subsequently, the development of pimples.

Styling Products

Sprays and gels, conditioners and lifters – there are endless styling options. When these options are applied to skin instead of hair, however, acne tends to occur. This is because heavy formulas cause a sudden imbalance of oil, clogging the pores with serums, creams, and pomades due to the alcohol content and the build-up of chemicals over time. Breakouts happen.

Liver Toxins

The liver is natural “detoxifier”. It processes harsh toxins and converts them into less harmful substances that the body can then get rid of safely. When this organ cannot perform at optimum levels, acne can occur. This is because toxins remain in the bloodstream, eventually circulating to the pores and causing inflammation.

Sweat

Sweating is a necessary process. It purifies the body, flushing away contaminants, bacteria, and other toxins. These toxins can sometimes cause irritation within the glands and form pimples. This typically occurs when sweat isn’t properly washed away, but is instead allowed to stay on the skin. Always shower and/or wash your face after a good work out.

Tight Clothing

Acne is often associated with the face. However, adults can experience full-body blemishes due to tight clothing. Fabric that constantly touches the skin (such as undergarments, athletic wear, or slender-cut jeans) can aggravate the pores. This – when combined with harsh dyes or detergents – can cause breakouts.

Solutions

These causes are frustrating. Their solutions, however, aren’t. Treat these acne-issues through:

Salt – Eliminate table-salt whenever possible. Rely on sea salt or other flavor alternatives.

Styling Products – Try not to use them daily and when possible, look for styling aids with a low alcohol content, are oil-free and contain more natural ingredients.

Liver Toxins – Consult with a doctor to test the liver’s performance. A change in diet – such as reducing alcohol or eliminating fatty acids – may be needed.

Sweat – Wash skin thoroughly after any excessive sweating. Use cold water to improve pore appearance and maintain moisture balance.

Tight Clothing – Eliminate tight fabrics. Be sure to launder necessary clothing items such as undergarments regularly, and use all-natural detergents.

Read More: Acne Tips

Try InviCible Scars to fade acne scars.

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Why is my Scar Darker Than my Normal Skin?

Why is my Scar Darker Than my Normal Skin?

Scarring can lead to rough texture in the skin, an increase of collagen bundles, and a lack of hair follicles or sweat glands. However, it may also create discoloration within the skin, with damaged tissue taking on a darker shade. This is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and it ranks among the most common effects of hypertrophic, keloid, and atrophic scarring.

What is Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs when a body’s cellular process is changed. Damaged tissue is detected and several chemical responses occur, with a sudden increase of collagen, protein, and melanin (the property that determines the color of a person’s skin, eyes, and hair). These elements are meant to heal the scar. However, they often trigger a sudden darkening of the skin.

Read More: Hyperpigmentation

How Does Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation Affect Scars?

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation directly targets scars, sending an excess of melanin to the damaged tissue. This causes instant discoloration, especially around the edges, and can create a variety of shades: brown, black, gray, or even red. Spotting, freckling, or patching can also occur.

It should be noted that no pain is associated with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Its effect on scars is purely cosmetic. However, those suffering from the condition may still wish to treat it.

What Solutions are Available for Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation has no cure, but it does have several treatments – all of which can lessen its severity and restore most of the skin’s original texture. These include:

Topical Scar Creams

Topical scar creams prove ideal for treating most post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation cases. They offer much-needed nutrients (such as Vitamin C) that penetrate the skin and restore balance to the melanin production cycle.

Chemical Peels

Those experiencing extreme post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation may find topical creams lacking. Chemical peels may instead be needed to address the issue. These options remove layers of damaged skin, softening both the appearance of scars and the starkness of discoloration.

Sunscreen

Ultra-violet rays can exacerbate the effects of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Those wishing to correct the issue must therefore protect their skin. Use lotions with high SPF counts and avoid extended exposure to the sun.

These methods have been proven as successful in the treatment post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. However, it is important to note that the healing process can never be guaranteed. Results will vary.

Hydroquinone: A Warning

A common treatment for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is Hydroquinone. This skin-bleaching agent is meant to counter discoloration and lighten skin’s overall appearance, but these results come with a cost.

Hydroquinone has a high toxicity level. This means it can cause severe damage to the skin, including blistering, burn marks, new discoloration, and extreme tightness. While the product is legal and available without a prescription, it should be avoided. There are better, safer alternatives.

Read More: The Dangers of Using Hydroquinone to Fade Scars and Hyperpigmentation

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