Did you know that 31.6 million people (10.1%) in the U.S. suffer from some form of eczema? Eczema is a prevailing skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is also known as atopic dermatitis.
Eczema has common symptoms like itchy rashes, blisters, and dry, cracked skin. However, many may not be aware of this common skin condition. But it can also lead to the formation of lighter or darker patches on the skin, referred to as eczema pigmentation. These pigment changes typically occur during active eczema episodes, often triggered by scratching the affected areas.
If you want to learn more about eczema skin pigmentation, you must read this blog. We have covered its type, prevention, and treatment. Also, don’t worry about medicinal purchases related to eczema; save up with a Free Rx Discount Card.
Types of Eczema Pigmentation
There are two types of eczema pigmentation. Here they are:
Hyperpigmentation is a type of pigmentation that leads to darker patches on the skin. This occurs when the skin overproduces melanin. The pigment is responsible for our skin, hair, and eye color.
In the case of eczema, it happens due to inflammation and irritation during flare-ups. If you’ve lighter skin, darker patches can be more noticeable. Eczema affects all skin types. Dark patches may persist even after the eczema flare has reduced.
Hypopigmentation leads to lighter patches on the skin, resulting from decreased melanin production in certain areas. These patches may look paler than the surrounding skin. Hypopigmentation is more common in people with darker skin tones.
Hypopigmentation can be especially noticeable on dark skin. Like, it often persists even after the eczema flare has resolved. It’s essential to remember that both hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation can affect people of all backgrounds and skin types.
Different Kinds of Eczema Pigmentation
Here are the various kinds of eczema pigmentation:
Post-inflammatory pigmentation is a common occurrence in people dealing with eczema. It arises due to the skin’s inflammatory response during an eczema flare-up.
In this type of pigmentation, the skin often reacts to the inflammation by producing more melanin, leading to darker patches. These patches can range in color from red to brown and may remain even after the eczema symptoms have lessened.
Lichenification is a unique form of eczema pigmentation that causes thickened, leathery skin. It is often darker than the surrounding healthy skin. This distinctive pigmentation issue results from chronic scratching and rubbing.
People with eczema often resort to it in response to the relentless itching—the repeated friction and irritation cause the skin to become notably denser and darker.
Pityriasis alba is another type of eczema pigmentation mainly affecting children. It typically appears as round or oval, hypopigmented (lighter) scaly patches on the skin.
These patches are frequently seen on the face, which may lead to misdiagnosis as a fungal infection. However, these patches are due to eczema and are especially common in kids with skin condition.
We usually mix eczema pigmentation with scars, but they are different. If eczema patches get infected, they can leave scars. However, hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation, which are changes in skin color, are not caused by scarring. These changes affect only the top layer of your skin and don’t lead to permanent scars. Unlike scars that stick around, these pigment changes are temporary and usually go away on their own.
How Different Skin Types Are Affected?
Individuals with fair skin are no strangers to the visible effects of eczema. When eczema strikes, it often leaves behind red or brownish patches. You can easily notice these pigmentation changes on lighter skin tones. The difference between the affected and unaffected areas can be troublesome for those with fair skin.
On the other hand, darker skin types are more prone to hypopigmentation, which results in light patches. These changes may be harder to detect than hyperpigmentation but are equally distressing for those who experience them. The light patches on dark skin are noticeable and affect the person’s self-esteem.
Preventing Eczema Pigmentation
Preventing eczema pigmentation is an essential aspect of managing the condition. Here are some proactive measures you can take:
Keeping your skin well-hydrated is crucial. Apply a high-quality, fragrance-free moisturizer at least twice a day, especially after bathing.
Identify and avoid stimuli that worsen your eczema, such as certain fabrics, skincare products, or allergens.
Use a mild, non-soap cleanser when washing your skin. Don’t use hot water; it can strip your skin of natural oils.
If your eczema is severe, consult a dermatologist for prescription treatments, such as topical steroids or calcineurin inhibitors.
Other Skin Conditions That Cause Pigmentary Changes
Eczema is not the only skin condition associated with pigmentary changes. There are other conditions, too.
This autoimmune disorder results in the loss of pigmentation, leaving behind white patches on the skin.
Melasma is a disorder characterized by brown or gray-brown patches, often occurring on the face due to hormonal changes and sun exposure.
Aside from eczema, other skin conditions and injuries can also lead to hypopigmentation.
Treating Eczema Pigmentation
Dealing with eczema pigmentation can be challenging, but there are treatment options available:
Topical treatments such as hydroquinone, retinoids, or corticosteroids can help lighten hyperpigmented areas and skin tone.
Light therapy, under the guidance of a dermatologist, can be effective for managing both hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation.
Makeup and camouflage creams can help conceal pigmentation changes, providing temporary relief.
This minimally invasive procedure stimulates collagen production and can benefit specific pigmentation issues.
Patience and Sun Protection:
It’s crucial to have patience and maintain diligent sun protection practices, as sun exposure can exacerbate pigmentation problems.
Eczema pigmentation can be a challenging aspect of dealing with this skin condition. However, you can effectively manage and minimize these pigmentary changes with the right approach. Understanding the different types of pigmentation, taking preventative measures, and exploring treatment options can help you regain healthy and radiant skin.
Remember that consulting a dermatologist is essential to creating a personalized plan for your needs. Achieving healthy, pigmentation-balanced skin is ultimately possible with the right knowledge and care. Always prioritize your well-being with the Free Rx Discount Card. Download your pharmacy discount card, or submit your needed address details on our website and get it posted for free.
Q.1 How does eczema affect skin pigmentation?
Answer: Eczema can affect skin pigmentation through inflammation and skin damage. During active eczema flare-ups, the skin may become red, swollen, and itchy. As the inflammation subsides, it can leave the skin either lighter or darker due to changes in the melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color.
Q.2 Can eczema-related skin pigmentation changes be permanent?
Answer: Depending on various factors, eczema-related skin pigmentation changes can be temporary or permanent. In many cases, the pigmentation alterations improve as the eczema is managed and treated. However, in some instances, especially if the eczema is severe and long-lasting, pigmentation changes may become permanent.
Q.3 Can over-the-counter (OTC) creams help with eczema-related skin pigmentation?
Answer: OTC creams may provide some relief, but it’s advisable to consult a dermatologist for significant pigmentation changes. They can recommend specific prescription medications and treatments tailored to your unique situation.