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Video

Dr Pixie:

We’ve had many comments and queries and concerns with regard to skin pigmentation. Women are often affected by pigments problems during pregnancy and we’ve had some questions come in with regard to that and what should you do. So, the pigment problem that occurs in pregnancy, it looks a bit like you’ve smudged your make up. You can get pigmented patches on the chin, on the cheeks and on the forehead. The good news is the generally tend to resolve once your pregnancy has been completed and interestingly this is also a common problem with people who take the contraceptive pill. Again, it tends to disappear if you come off the contraceptive pill or you change the pill.

Many of you have posed questions about white patches on your skin where it looks like the brown pigment has simply disappeared and we sometimes see this in a condition called vitiligo where your body actually rejects the melanin, the dark pigment in your skin. It can be associated with other conditions like thyroid problems or pernicious anaemia. So it’s what we think is an auto-immune condition where you’re literally rejecting your dark skin cells.

We’ve had lots of questions from people with darker skin who are worried about pigment patches and this is a particularly problematic area for ladies. One thing I would say to you is, just because your skin is darker, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t wear sun block. Sun block is very, very good in preventing the sun rays aggravating pigmented patches. It’s also very important to keep your skin well moisturised. In addition to that, if you have to apply any creams and things to your skin, make sure if your are applying something say like a steroid cream or a scented body cream that you minimise the use, because very often these again will encourage pigmentation.

Sometimes pigmented patches crop up all over the body and they can even look like patches of dirt and these very often occur in areas where you have had previous inflammation. We call this, very fancy word, post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation. Basically means that the skin that has emerged after you’ve had the inflammation or the infection has come back a little bit darker. So be really, really careful not to pick or scratch particularly in the face area if you are vulnerable to excess pigment.

So, what are your options if you’ve got hyper-pigmentation? Well, the first thing I would say is go and see your GP. Bypass the internet, go and see your doctor. There are things available on prescription that may help to lighten your skin pigment. In addition to this you GP may be able to refer you for camouflage make-up which works really, really well and gives you an excellent cosmetic result in terms of hiding the pigment. And finally, there’s laser treatment which, although it’s not widely available on the NHS, you may be able to self fund and it has very favourable results when it comes to reducing pigment.

And if you’re worried about rashes or skin problems why not check out the Embarrassing Bodies rashes and skin problems My VideoDoctor.

Read the video transcript

Doctor Responses: Skin Pigmentation

Dr Pixie has scoured the Embarrassing Bodies website to find the most commonly asked questions around skin pigmentation issues. In this short, snappy video she answers your FAQs on the subject.

Most of the questions Dr Pixie answers where posted on our skin pigmentation problems and vitiligo condition guides.

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Comments and Questions

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

Hi I am 49 years old and for the past 4 years have had pigmentation develop on my face. I have freckles and they now look like brown splotches on my face. It looks like, I think they call it butterfly. It's making me more self concious, and don't like to wear a lot of make up.I am also mixed race, and know you need to be careful with dark skin. I would just like a proper diagnosis to try and get correct treatment. Look forward to your response. Thank you Billie.





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Please please help me doctor..for the past 4yrs I have this problem on my face both on my cheeks it's a very bad sunspot that if Im not gonna cover it with foundation it looks like a bruise on my face..I went back home 4yrs ago when my father died & I must have burnt my skin there. Pls I'm very embarrassed to go out without makeup & been doing this eversion centre.sometimes I get a bit frustrated & depressed. Pls doctor is there any treatment you can recommend. I heard about a clinic in london that do Picosure treatment. Is this good? I just want to know before going to ahead & spend money..I'm so looking forward for your response. Many thanks& regards!





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Please, please help. How can I get hold of the microkin spray that was shown on the show? My 16 year old son has vitiligo round his eyes and he would really benefit from this product. Dr. Pixie introduced the skin camouflage specialist Julia Buckley but I can't seem to find her on Google. Please help. Thank you





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I am 19 years old and have suffered with vitiligo since I was 14, I first got this when I was on a family holiday in Portugal! I have never been abroad since. and I go away in 3weeks time to spain... Putting factor 50 on will this still make my vitiligo worse, or will it just go whiter as I will be going browner?





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What was the name of the spray used to camouflage scaring which was shown on tv last night july 3rd. How can iget it please?





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Hi I have have develop very dark pigmentation Around my cheeksvand eyes area. This can sometimes go away but will return. What is happening to my body to cause this. I have no pitching soreness. I feel very ugly and depress. Are there any reason for this symptoms. Please help.





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Hi I have the same problem pigmentation on my cheeks and knocking my confidence any solutions

I am 45 and have had dark marks on my face due to acne. Does anyone know if there is a cream that can fade out or gets rid of dark marks on the face? due to this problem i cannot and i have not left my house without full makeup and its makes really depressed especially in the summer where my skin starts to melt under the heat. I am of ehnic origin with fair skin. I've already tried all traditional and tropical treatments. Please help.





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I am asian and i have dark underarms.couple years back i use to use immac, and its left my underarms very dark like black. I did try waxing but did not help i tried deodorant with glutathion but did not work. Please help.





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Hi I have a really bad dark patches on my back and upper arms and now I am started getting them on my lower arm as well. On arms they are big long patches and inner side of the arms still fair skin. I am an Asian and really fade up with this as I can't wear anything lower back or sleeveless or short sleeve





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I have got brown or black pigmentation on my nose pls help me and reply.





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