Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does facial skin abrasion result in skin discoloration?"
Does a serious facial skin abrasion usually result in discoloration? I was in a pretty rough bike accident a week ago and now a part of my cheek and temple that I scraped on the road is scabbed over. Obviously, I don't want a lasting scar. Is there anything I can do now to reduce scarring and discoloration later?
There are several different causes for hypopigmentation, or loss of color, in the skin. Fortunately, most of them are not serious. The doctors who will be best qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. The most common cause of loss of skin color after an injury such as an abrasion is a condition called postinflammatory hypopigmentation. This is a result of the normal healing process in the skin which unfortunately at times results in loss of pigment cells in the damaged area. Almost always, this condition improves slowly over weeks to months after the injury. Important treatment measures include limiting further damage to the skin, by wearing a sun screen lotion and by avoiding using harsh skin chemicals on the area. At times, your doctor may decide to prescribe a steroid-containing cream, which can also hasten the process of returning the skin to a normal color. Occasionally, a fungal infection of the skin can look just like postinflammatory hypopigmentation, but this is less likely given the strong story of the association with the injury. As always the diagnosis and the management of your specific skin condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist is recommended.
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