Pigmentation Disorders

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Pigmentation Disorders services offered in Healdsburg and Santa Rosa, CA

Pigmentation disorders affect your skin color, darkening or lightening certain areas. At Redwood Empire Dermatology in Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, and Oakmont, California, the board-certified dermatologists treat melasma, vitiligo, hyperpigmentation, and many other pigmentation disorders. Treatment for pigmentation disorders can promote an even complexion and enhance your self-esteem. Call Redwood Empire Dermatology today or schedule an appointment online to learn more.

Pigmentation Disorders Q&A

What are pigmentation disorders?

Pigmentation disorders affect the color of your skin. Melanocytes create melanin, which gives your skin its color. When these cells become damaged, they can lead to too much or too little pigment in any area of your skin. Hyperpigmentation includes a group of disorders that cause melanocytes to accumulate, while hypopigmentation depletes your skin of its natural pigment.

Are there different types of pigmentation disorders?

Some of the most common pigmentation disorders that Redwood Empire Dermatology treats include:


Melasma causes brown or gray patches of skin in areas typically exposed to the sun. Often called the mask of pregnancy, melasma disproportionately affects women. Anybody can develop melasma, but it’s more common in individuals with dark skin tones.


Albinism is a genetic disorder present at birth. It occurs when genes responsible for melanin production don’t function properly. Albinism affects pigment throughout your body, including your skin, hair, and eyes.

Solar lentigines 

Solar lentigines, or liver spots, appear as brown, tan, or yellow patches of skin. These small spots typically develop on the arms, legs, chest, back, or hands. Anybody can develop solar lentigines, but they’re most common in white or Asian older adults.


Hyperpigmentation causes dark patches of skin. Melasma, brown spots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from an injury are common types of this cosmetic skin condition. 


Vitiligo is a form of hypopigmentation that causes the skin to lose pigment in patches. While some types of vitiligo develop in small patches, the condition can also be widespread. Diagnosing your exact type of vitiligo gives your dermatologist the information they need to develop a targeted treatment plan.

What are the treatments for pigmentation disorders?

The type of treatment your dermatologist recommends at Redwood Empire Dermatology depends on the pigmentation disorder you have. Some pigmentation disorders respond well to a combination approach. With a variety of laser and light devices onsite, your dermatologist may recommend the following to treat your pigmentation disorder:

  • Intense-pulsed light (IPL) photofacial
  • Fractional non-ablative laser
  • Dermal optical thermolysis (DOT) laser therapy
  • Prescription topicals

You can also prevent uneven skin tone and texture with proper skin care, such as sunscreen, moisturizer, and vitamin C serums.

To learn more about pigmentation disorders, call Redwood Empire Dermatology or schedule an appointment online today.

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