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Cosmetic Dermatology

Skin Tone Texture

The symbols of youth are firm, soft, plump and wrinkle-free skin that bounces back when touched, with smooth even tone and texture, and no blemishes or discolorations. The signs of aging skin are thin, rough, irregularly pigmented, sun damaged, wrinkled and sagging skin.

About skin tone

Your skin tone is determined by the amount of pigment (melanin) in your skin. Skin tone is affected by the sun, smoking, environmental elements, medications, hormones and aging. Hyperpigmentation is due to overproduction of melanin which results in dark patches and spots from repeated sun exposure, pollution, and hormones. However, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) can also appear as red marks after a bug bite, pimples, acne and mechanical injury.

Which skin conditions affect skin tone?

Rosacea is a chronic skin disease that produces small, red bumps, spider veins and broken blood vessels on the nose, cheeks and forehead. Rosacea causes flushing and redness, stinging and burning skin and rough, dry scaly skin. Rosacea can also thicken the skin and enlarge the pores. The cause is not known and there is no cure, however the symptoms can be minimized and managed. Intense Pulsed Laser treatments help control redness, and broken blood vessels.

Melasma is brown patches on the cheeks, forehead, chin and above the lip in women. Melasma is often due to hormone fluctuations of pregnancy and menopause, and birth control pills; and it is triggered by the sun.

What treatments are available for hyperpigmentation?

  • Clinical strength chemical peels
  • Hydroquinone creams
  • Nonablative fractional laser treatments to lighten scars, age and sunspots (Clear + Brilliant, Q-switched lasers)
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Retinoids

About skin texture

Skin texture is the condition of the surface of the skin. Healthy skin is soft, smooth, and well-hydrated, with firm collagen and elastin for support, and smooth resilient skin.

Uneven skin texture and dull skin are caused by the buildup of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface.  Chronic sun exposure causes enlarged pores, rough skin and degeneration of collagen and elastin.  Aging slows skin cell turnover which results in irregular texture, dry, coarse, rough, and dull skin, and as we age the collagen and elastin deteriorate. The loss of collagen and elastin causes wrinkling and laxity and can reveal indentations and old scars that mar skin texture.

Enlarged pores are the bane of many and are a common cosmetic concern. Factors that affect pore size include genetics and oily skin, age and gender, hormones and sun exposure. When pores are clogged with dead skin cells, dirt and oil they stretch. Blocked pores cause acne.

What area the treatments that can improve skin texture?

  • Exfoliation is the remedy for a buildup of dead skin cells. Care must be taken with exfoliating facial scrubs as they can strip the natural oils in your skin, stimulate the overproduction of facial oils; and damage the skin’s lipid layer causing dry, itchy skin. The skin’s lipid layer functions to lock in skin moisture and keep environmental compounds from permeating the skin. When damaged, skin can become red, inflamed and sensitive. Thus, the best approach to improving skin texture is a gentle skin care and professional chemical peels, microdermabrasion and laser skin resurfacing.
  • Microneedling is a favorite for smoothing and evening out skin texture.
  • Dermaplaning is a professional treatment to smooth rough skin, and remove peach fuzz
  • Non-ablative laser skin resurfacing
  • Chemical peels
  • Non-invasive skin tightening procedures using ultrasound, radiofrequency energy will tighten the skin and improve skin texture

What is the effect of hormones on skin tone and texture?

Hormone imbalances, especially fluctuating estrogen levels can trigger acne, or cause dry skin, fine lines and wrinkles. In women it can happen before during and after your period, during pregnancy and menopause. Certain conditions like PCOS cause hormone imbalances and affect not only texture but skin tone, resulting in hyperpigmentation. In men, hormone surges during adolescence cause acne. Hormones also impact skin tone. Estrogen and progesterone play key roles in the regulation of the synthesis of melanin.

Uneven skin tone and texture are troublesome and can exact a toll on your appearance.  Drs. Wm Camp and Alexandra Zhang at Lucent Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center in Beachwood, Ohio has a toolbox filled with treatments to address your concerns. Contact Lucent Dermatology to schedule a consultation. There is no reason to suffer when you can recover youthful skin.

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