Skin discoloration may be due to factors such as sun, hormones, medications, allergies, autoimmune diseases, and more. At Tareen Dermatology, we will work with you to find the cause of the discoloration and an effective treatment plan.
Melasma is a common type of discoloration that typically occurs on women’s upper lip, cheeks, and forehead. A combination of sun exposure and hormones brings it about. Sunscreen (particularly broad-spectrum sunscreen) is critical for prevention. Various other therapies may be used, alone or in combination, including lightening creams, chemical peels, and laser treatments.
Brown Spots and Discoloration
Brown spots can be treated with various lasers at our office that can be effective treatment options, including the PicoGenesis, Alexandrite, and CO2 treatments. Although you see improvement with each treatment, the number of treatments needed can vary by the individual and their desired results. We can best recommend which laser and the number of treatments we anticipate you needing upon seeing you in person. As with all procedures for brown pigment, it is imperative that you avoid sun exposure and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Treatments start at $250.
Tareen Dermatology is proud to diagnose and treat all patients suffering from Vitiligo. We know that this condition can affect patients’ self-esteem. Vitiligo can be an incredibly distressing and stigmatizing condition in individuals of South Asian, Asian, Latino, and African descent and in other individuals with pigmented skin. It can affect all skin types, including fair-skinned individuals, but the discrepancy between normal skin and de-pigmented skin can be quite marked in darker skin. If you think you may have vitiligo, see a dermatologist who has expertise in this area, as they will be sensitive to the overall impact that vitiligo can have on one’s social and professional life.
At Tareen Dermatology, we are honored to care for and offer state-of-the-art treatment options for our patients that are safe and effective.
Vitiligo occurs in almost 1% of the population. It is characterized by ivory-white patches of skin. Vitiligo may begin in childhood or adulthood and occur on any skin surface (including the lips, eyelid, and genitalia). About 30% of vitiligo patients have a relative with this condition. Vitiligo is thought to be an autoimmune condition. It may be associated with autoimmune thyroid disease, diabetes, and alopecia areata.
Topical creams (topical steroids, vitamin D, or calcineurin inhibitors) are effective for localized cases. Light therapy (narrowband UVB) may effectively lead to re-pigmentation in more widespread cases. For resistant localized cases, excellent results are seen with the excimer laser. There is also a new FDA-approved topical medication called Opzelura available.
Opzelura for Treatment of Vitiligo
Opzelura is a new topical medication that was FDA-approved for vitiligo in 2022. It specifically targets the JAK pathway that leads to melanocyte destruction. Opzelura is a prescription cream approved for non-segmental vitiligo and can be safely used on the skin twice daily for up to 12 weeks with minimal side effects. Opzelura is NOT a steroid cream and thus does not cause skin thinning. Studies have shown that when Opzelura is combined with phototherapy or excimer laser, the results are excellent!
Dr. Tareen’s interview on Fox News discussing FDA-Approved Opzelura Treatment for Vitiligo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_JbY4JHA0c
“When I started treatments, about a quarter of my face was affected. Now, after 32 treatments, the treated areas are more than 85% re-pigmented. People who did not see me before cannot detect I ever had vitiligo. If I had vitiligo any other place, I would definitely get excimer laser treatments. It definitely works. There is no point trying anything else.”
There are many causes of hypopigmentation and depigmentation of the skin that produce light or white spots. These conditions range from the innocuous to the more severe and include:
- variants of dry skin and eczema (pityriasis alba)
- post-inflammatory pigment changes that occur after rashes
- reactions to harsh chemicals (chemical leukoderma)
- overgrowth of yeast which is very common and benign (tinea versicolor)
- certain immune and inflammatory condition of the skin (such as sarcoidosis, lichen sclerosus, or morphea)
- some infectious diseases such as leprosy
- certain types of skin lymphomas and cancers
- changes resulting from unknown causes possibly from chronic sun exposure (idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis)
Your doctor often can make the diagnosis of vitiligo and rule out other causes by a simple physical exam utilizing a special light called a Wood’s light but in some cases a simple skin biopsy may need to be performed.