7 Causes of Diffuse Pigmentation & How to Treat It
Diffuse pigmentation refers to the span of the pigmentation. Areas of darker skin cause by excess melanin can appear just about anywhere on the body. It covers a specify area and mostly seen in dark-skin people, although anyone can have it, regardless of the skin tone color. It causes uneven skin tone on the gum and teeth area and known as smoker’s melanosis, however, one should not confuse smoker’s melanosis with diffuse pigmentation.
Pigment changes in the skin can be cause by a number of things. Factors such as genetics, diet, heredity, and sun exposure can affect how your skin’s pigment develops. For some people, these changes can become so noticeable that it alters their appearance or even cause physical discomfort. While these events are rare and typically have benign outcomes, there are times when hyperthyroidism or hemochromatosis causes increase pigmentation. Sometimes, the condition is attribute to an allergic reaction to medications or reactions from certain substances. There’s also the possibility that your skin may be darkening due to Addison’s disease- a condition character by low levels of cortisol hormone production and high levels of salt in the blood stream.
2) Aging Skin
As we age, our skin gradually loses its elasticity and becomes more fragile. Lines and wrinkles begin to appear, dark spots become noticeable, and skin tone starts to deteriorate. The rate of aging is different for each person but it is universally agreed that one’s chronological age dictates how quickly this process happens. Our hormones also play a large role in how well our body responds to aging as well as how fast we see symptoms start to show. As previously mention, Addison’s disease is also a common cause in diffuse pigmentation. Hyperthyroidism or hemochromatosis can both cause the condition by promoting excess melanin production in areas all over the body.
3) Oral Health
The diffuse pigmentation often appears in the gum area as a result of hyperthyroidism, or hemochromatosis. Hyperthyroidism is an excessive production of thyroid hormones while hemochromatosis refers to the absorption of iron in the liver and then overloading in the body. The condition may also occur because of a medication side effect or because it is inherite. Another possible cause is Addison’s disease, which is when your body can’t produce enough cortisol and other hormones that help regulate blood pressure and other vital processes. Aside from skin pigmentation, diffuse pigmentation can also be a sign that someone has underlying health problems such as arthritis, inflammation, or poor oral hygiene.
4) Hormonal Changes
An unhealthy diet can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease, both causes of diffuse pigmentation. In the case of the former, it’s easy enough for your dentist or hygienist to treat with a topical or in-office treatment; in the latter, it might be a lifelong problem requiring extractions. Obesity also increases your risk for many oral health problems and diffuse pigmentation, as do behaviors like smoking.
Hemochromatosis is also known as iron overload. Iron overload happens when there is an excessive amount of iron store in the body.
5) Poor Diet
Poor diet may also be the culprit. People who suffer from hemochromatosis, a condition that causes iron overload, can experience or contribute to diffuse pigmentation. The condition is typically worsen by taking certain medications, including diuretics and those use for gout. Talk with your doctor about reducing iron intake or adjusting your medication regimen.
6) Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are major causes of diffused pigmentation. For example, an excessive need for perfection in your career can cause a lot of stress. This type of stress can trigger the release of adrenalin and cortisol, which in turn reduce blood supply to the skin cells on your gums. This will cause you to develop white patches on them. Hormonal imbalances like hypothyroidism or hemochromatosis are other causes for this condition.
7) Sun Damage
The sun is a risk factor for diffuse pigmentation. Even if you haven’t gotten a terrible sunburn, you may have endure enough sun exposure and are likely at risk for diffuse pigmentation. A condition call hemochromatosis can also cause intense skin coloration, especially in the mouth area. This condition is genetic, so if you have a family history of this issue it’s best to be cautious and take precautions against excessive sun exposure. Another potential cause for the chronic skin discoloration is side effects from certain medications, such as tetracycline or bismuth compounds.
Can pigmentation be cured permanently?
A cure for diffuse pigmentation is not permanent and the condition may recur. Sometimes, it cannot be treat. But there are treatments that may lessen its appearance or reduce future occurrences. The treatments vary depending on the cause, but you can learn more about them by reading this post: 7 Causes of Diffuse Pigmentation & How to Treat It
How do you know if hyperpigmentation is permanent?
An easy way to know if hyperpigmentation is permanent is by measuring the depth of the discoloration. If it has gone more than two skin layers, then chances are it’s irreversible. But don’t let this discourage you from seeking treatment. Visiting a dermatologist can help determine what type of hyperpigmentation you have and what the next steps in your treatment plan should be. There are other options like lightening treatments and laser removal which may be worth exploring with your doctor. You deserve clear skin again!
What food is good for pigmentation?
- Add lots of orange foods like oranges, papaya, mangoes, carrots and yams. These food provide the antioxidant vitamin C which can naturally brighten up skin.
- Consume more greens or dark leafy vegetables that are high in folate, like kale and spinach as well as liver (healthy levels of iron intake helps reduce pigmentation)
- Make your own red lentil pasta with fresh garlic cloves, olive oil and organic tomatoes for a deliciously easy dinner! Red lentils also have loads of protein for healthy muscle growth
- Add more Omega-3s to your diet through nuts or fish oils if you don’t already take them regularly