Dermatology/Dry Dark Spot

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Question
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Over the past couple of months I have seen an increase in dry, dark spots on my shoulder and upper right arm. This area does not itch usually. Lately I am noticing the spots on developing on my left arm as we. I am a healthy 27 year old female. What could it be?

Answer
Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is a frequently encountered problem and represents the sequelae of various cutaneous disorders as well as therapeutic interventions. This acquired excess of pigment can be attributed to various preceding disease processes that affect the skin such as infections, allergic reactions, mechanical injuries, reactions to medications, phototoxic eruptions, trauma (eg, burns), eczema and inflammatory diseases (eg, lichen planus, lupus erythematosus, atopic dermatitis).

PIH can also be seen following treatment with a number of electromagnetic devices such as ultrasound, radiofrequency, lasers, light-emitting diodes, and visible light, as well as secondary to microdermabrasion. Typically, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation is most severe in patients whose basal cell layer of the epidermis is disrupted such as lichenoid dermatoses or lupus erythematosus.

Dermatology

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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>

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