Getting Even With Your Skin

August 8th, 2017 by Dr. Michael Glass

A Guide to Skin Discoloration and How to Treat It


Skin discoloration is a problem that affects millions of Americans. It’s also one of the primary reasons that people seek out skincare treatments. There are various sorts of skin discoloration that people encounter, and today we’re looking at how and why it happens, and the steps you can take to solve your skincare woes.

Where Does Skin Discoloration Come From?

The underlying cause of most skin discoloration, and in fact any sort of coloration we have, has to do with melanin. Melanin is a type of pigment found in the skin, as well as in our eyes, and even in the scales and feathers of other animals. Melanin gives color to all these things, and the color itself depends on the concentration of melanin within a given area. Melanin also protects us from harmful radiation from the sun, including ultraviolet rays and excessive heat.

When you tan, that’s melanin increasing as a result of all that light your body is getting.

summer relax in a poolMelanin is produced in specialized cells within our body called melanocytes. These cells produce melanin as a result of metabolizing an amino acid called tyrosine. Of course, you don’t have to know all that. What’s important to know is the amount of melanin correlates to skin color.

For a couple different reasons, melanin can cause various forms of discoloration, known as hyperpigmentation, from freckles and moles to blotchiness and liver spots (which have nothing to do with your liver!) Hormones in your body can cause excessive melanin production. So can exposure to the sun.

Hyperpigmentation can also be the result of damage to the skin, from scars, blemishes, rashes, etc.


Rosacea is a skin disorder characterized by excessive redness, blotchiness, or irritation on the skin. Rosacea is a bit different from skin discoloration, since it isn’t caused by melanin. The exact causes of rosacea aren’t known yet, although it may have to do with disorders in the blood vessels, or the skin’s connective tissue, or even because of tiny skin mites (let’s not think about that one too much).

Still, rosacea causes skin discoloration like redness and blotchiness, which can lead to irritation and itching.

The Solution

The best way to treat discoloration is to tackle the problem at the source. This means treating the uppermost layer of the skin known as the epidermis. That’s where the IPL Photofacial comes in. ipl

A photofacial is a treatment that uses advanced technology to send high-energy light into the skin. The type of light being used is referred to as Intense-Pulsed Light (IPL). By sending high-energy light waves in short, targeted bursts, photofacials can deal with skin impurities like discoloration, “browns and reds”, without damaging the skin surface.

These light pulses work to eliminate pigmented spots, superficial blood vessels and damaged capillaries in, or near, the epidermis that cause redness or blotchiness. IPL photofacials also reduce the appearance of excess pigmentation like sun and liver spots, evening overall skin tone. Photofacials can also improve the skin’s texture by encouraging collagen production.

The result is a more even toned skin that looks years younger.

If you’ve ever been interested in treating your skin discoloration or rosacea, there’s never been a better time to stop in or call for a free consultation. Whatever type of skin discoloration you’re suffering from, we have a treatment for you. 775.204.3508