Tired of Discolored Skin? Know The Causes — And Solutions

Discolored SkinDiscolored skin can be more than just a cosmetic concern: It often impacts our self-esteem and confidence in daily life. 

From dark spots to light patches, various factors can lead to skin discoloration. But what causes these issues? And equally important: How can they be addressed through cosmetic procedures? 

It’s important to understand the common causes of skin discoloration (also called hyperpigmentation). Once you know the specific cause of your issue, you can start exploring solutions from Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute for restoring your skin’s natural pigment.

Causes of Discolored Skin

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

After healing from an injury, acne, or skin conditions like eczema, you might notice a darker spot on your skin. Known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), these dark spots can take time to fade. Using broad-spectrum sunscreens with SPF 30 and avoiding sun exposure can help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation.


Commonly found on the face but also on the forearms and neck, Melasma causes dark patches of pigment. It’s prevalent in Latinas as well as women of African or Asian descent and involves factors like genetics, pregnancy, and some medications. Once again, sun protection measures like hats and sunglasses can help to reduce the appearance of Melasma. 

Medication-Induced Discoloration

Certain medications for conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease can cause skin discoloration, especially in people of African or Latino descent. If you notice such symptoms, consult the doctor who first prescribed the medication.

Solutions to Discolored Skin

Treatments for discolored skin range from prescription medicines and chemical peels to laser therapy and medical-grade facials. 

At Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle, the practice’s specialists offer a variety of treatments designed to restore your natural skin color. In addition, the daily application of moisturizer and sunscreen can help in alleviating Pityriasis Alba, a condition common in children that causes round, light patches covered with white scales.

Schedule a Consultation Today 

If you’re concerned about discolored skin or dark spots, it’s time to consult the experts. Led by Dr. Steven Greene, the Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute has over 25 years of experience in treating skin conditions. 

Contact Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute at (206) 402-4797 to schedule your consultation today in Seattle, WA.

Got Keloids? Cryoshape Can Help

CryoshapeAt Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle, advances in dermatological science offer a safe, effective solution for removing keloids and helping you achieve the appearance you want. 

But what exactly are keloids? When trauma occurs to the skin, the body’s natural supply of collagen is stimulated, resulting in the formation of firm, rubbery nodules known as keloids. 

With innovative Cryoshape treatments, it’s safe and easy to remove these formations from the body. 

What Are Keloids?

Keloids predominantly occur in patients with skin of color. They tend to form at the site of a piercing, burn, acne, surgical scars, or even from a particularly unpleasant insect bite. 

Common areas for keloid growth include the earlobes, chest, back, and shoulders. Although keloids are benign (non-cancerous) and not contagious, they can be very painful and aesthetically displeasing. In severe cases, untreated keloids can hinder the body’s ability to move, impacting quality of life.

Treatment Options

Despite various treatments like pressure therapy, steroid injections, lasers, and surgical excision, minimal outcomes have been achieved in keloid removal. With the Cryoshape device, however, patients are finding much better results for getting rid of this unpleasant skin condition. 

Using a hand-held probe, Cryotherapy introduces liquid nitrogen into the keloid, freezing and eliminating unwanted scar tissue from the inside out. Unlike other methods mentioned above, Cryoshape deeply penetrates the scar tissue, removing the keloid while reducing the chance of it growing back. 

This treatment empowers patients to break free from this frustrating skin condition and reclaim their self-confidence. 

Advantages of Cryoshape Treatment

  • Customized Treatment: Each patient’s Cryotherapy session is tailored to meet their needs, including the size, location, and number of keloids being treated.
  • Minimal Discomfort: The procedure is virtually painless thanks to the application of local anesthesia to the treated area. 
  • Quick Recovery: After the procedure, patients experience rapid alleviation of pain and itching, allowing them to resume their daily activities in no time. 
  • Effective Keloid Removal: Cryoshape reaches deep tissue levels, freezing and destroying the keloid to prevent re-growth and provide long-lasting results.

Schedule a Consultation Today 

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Greene at Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from keloids with the Cryoshape device. 

If you’re seeking a breakthrough in keloid removal, schedule an appointment with Dr. Greene for Cryotherapy treatment. Contact their clinic at 206-402-4797.

Sun Damage: Prevention and Treatment

Smiling summer woman with hat and sunglassesUV rays have a powerful impact on the health and appearance of the skin. Whether from the sun or artificial sources, UV rays penetrate deeply into the dermis, damaging collagen fibers and accelerating age-related skin concerns, including lines and wrinkles, dry and leathery skin, solar elastosis, actinic keratosis, and solar lentigo (sun spots).

Damage from UV rays is cumulative, often beginning when we are young and less diligent about sun protection. However, as we age, protecting our skin from further damage becomes increasingly essential, even in cloudier places like Seattle, even when inside.

Because UV rays can penetrate cloud coverage and windows, it is vital to wear sunscreen daily, though not all sunscreens are equally safe or effective. We have carefully selected the most efficacious formulas for sale at our office. We will happily help you choose the best fit during your next visit.

Although windows cannot prevent UV exposure, staying indoors from 10 am to 2 pm on sunny days is best. This is when the sun is at its most potent. When you go outside, wear protective clothing, including a hat and sunglasses, and remain in the shade as much as possible. All of these things can help to prevent further sun damage from occurring.

Correcting Sun Damaged Skin

Nearly everyone will experience sun damaged skin at some point. Fortunately, several options can help to improve the appearance and comfort of skin that UV rays have damaged. Some of the most popular options include:

These treatments work in different ways and to varying degrees to address issues as diverse as textural irregularities, hyperpigmentation, rough and dry skin, and sun spots. Depending on the treatment, some can also soften fine lines and deep wrinkles, tighten the skin, remove acne scars, and eliminate stretch marks.

Many treatments available for sun damaged skin are safe for all skin types and tones. However, each is designed to address different concerns. A one-on-one consultation with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Steven Greene is the best way to learn which treatment will produce the best results.

Are you ready to learn more? Call Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle at 206-402-4797 to schedule your consultation today.

November is National Healthy Skin Month

November is National Healthy Skin Month, providing the ideal time to consider the health of your skin and your goals going forward. Even if your skin care routine is thorough and consistent, National Healthy Skin Month is a great time to call our office and schedule a consultation with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Scott Greene. This one-on-one consultation will allow Dr. Greene to assess your skin, provide information about different treatments and solutions, and start you on your way to the healthiest and most beautiful skin of your life.

National Healthy Skin Month is also an excellent time to remember that skin health is part of your overall physical health. Visiting our office yearly for a thorough examination is an essential part of a comprehensive preventative healthcare plan. If it has been over a year since your last dermatological evaluation, get in touch today to schedule your next visit.

Cosmetic Treatments

We offer a wide range of cosmetic treatments to help your skin look and feel amazing. Conditions we can assist with include:

  • Aging Skin. Fine lines, deep wrinkles, skin laxity, volume loss, and more can be addressed through treatments including microneedling, dermal fillers, wrinkle relaxers, and laser skin resurfacing
  • Sun and Age Spots. Treatments for pigmentation irregularities, dark spots, and similar issues include IPL Photofacial, laser skin resurfacing, chemical peels, and HydraFacial®
  • Acne and Surgical Scars. Scarring can be reduced or eliminated with cryotherapy, laser skin resurfacing, chemical peel, and more

Dr. Greene also offers solutions for active acne, permanent hair removal, spider veins, and skin concerns like rosacea to help produce the clearest, healthiest-looking skin possible.

Medical Services

As a board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Greene can diagnose and treat skin disorders and diseases in addition to aesthetic concerns. Services offered at our comfortable and welcoming Seattle office include:

Solutions for often painful or irritating conditions including rashes, eczema, and psoriasis are also available at our office.

We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal comfort through the targeted treatment of specific and complex skin conditions. We are pleased to offer a selection of services that allow us to meet this goal.

We are Here for You

If you have skin concerns you would like to discuss, November is a wonderful time to contact Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle for a treatment evaluation. Please call 206-402-4797 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Greene, and let us help you attain and keep the healthy and gorgeous skin you deserve.

Does Sunscreen Actually Prevent Sun Damage?

There are two types of sunscreen: mineral and chemical. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays and convert them into heat before releasing them from the skin. These sunscreens penetrate the skin deeply to dissipate UV rays. Mineral sunscreens do not penetrate the skin but rather sit on top where they work to reflect UV rays away from the body. Both can be effective against sun damage.

Daily use of a chemical or mineral sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher has been shown to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. Daily use of sunscreen can also help to reduce the risks of sun damage such as lines and wrinkles, dark spots, textural irregularities, and more.

Damage done to the skin by UV rays is cumulative. The more frequently you are exposed to direct UV rays, the higher your chances of developing a sun-related skin imperfection. But not all sunscreens are equally safe and effective. Selecting a high-quality, full-spectrum option is essential for optimal results.

We can help you choose the best sunscreen for your skin during your next visit.

Treating Sun Damaged Skin

Cosmetic imperfections brought about by UV exposure can be treated with a variety of non-surgical options. At our office, we can treat non-cancerous sun damage with:

  • Chemical Peel. Applied directly to the skin, peels work to deeply exfoliate, encouraging smoother, blemish-free skin
  • IPL Photofacial. IPL penetrates deep into the dermis to eliminate damaged and discolored skin cells
  • Laser Skin Resurfacing. Laser skin resurfacing removes the top layer of skin to expose healthier layers underneath. This service also stimulates collagen production, helping to address a range of age-related skin concerns

Age, environmental factors, lifestyle choices, and more can combine to impact the appearance of the skin. The treatments we offer for sun damage help to produce a smoother, more youthful, and more attractive appearance – often after just one treatment.

If you are struggling with sun-damaged skin and would like to learn more about your treatment options, please call The Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle at 206-402-4797 to schedule a consultation today.

2021 Summer Skin Care Tips

Family with two small children on cycling trip, sitting on grass and resting.
Summer is here, and while many are eager to get outside and enjoy the warm weather, it also means that your skin is also at more risk. Whether you have allergies or spend most of your time out in the sun, there are several ways your skin can become damaged if precautions aren’t taken. Thankfully, there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that your skin stays smooth and healthy all summer long. Here are some skin care tips to keep in mind to prevent sun damage.

Use Sunscreen and Wear a Hat

This is by far the most important tip on our list. If you are going out in the sun for more than 30 minutes, you need to wear sunscreen. This is even more important if you are going outside between 10am and 4pm, which is when the sun’s UVA and UVB rays are the strongest. Clouds don’t block much sunlight either, so it’s critical that you wear both a sunscreen and a hat during the summer. Make sure to apply SPF 30 or higher for long-lasting protection.

Drink Plenty of Water

If you get a sunburn or are exposed to sunlight for more than 30 minutes, make sure you drink a lot of water. Sunburns can cause what is known as vasodilation, which dilates your skin’s blood vessels and make the skin lose water. This can lead to dehydration, so be sure to drink water frequently when exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time.

Be Careful With Exfoliants

While it is important to exfoliate your skin year-round, try not to overdo it during the summer months. Too much exfoliation will leave your skin much more sensitive to sunlight, so try to use gentler scrubs on sunnier days.

Want to Reduce the Appearance of Sun Damage?

If you have any sunspots or other forms of hyperpigmentation due to sun damage, call Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle today at 206-402-4797 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Steven Greene. He can identify the best treatment for your condition, ranging from IPL to laser skin resurfacing. We are happy to serve patients living in Bellevue, Kirkland, Mercer Island, and other neighboring Washington communities.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Acne?

Woman in a bath robe checking her skin in the mirror.
When it comes to
acne, there are several factors that can cause a flare-up. Generally, there are four things that can cause someone to develop acne: excess oil, clogged hair follicles, bacteria, and inflammation. This can happen on any part of the body, but is most common on areas that have a lot of sebaceous glands, including the face, chest, back, and shoulders. Here are some of the conditions that can trigger the development of acne.

Hormonal Changes

During puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, the production of androgens increases dramatically, causing the sebaceous glands to enlarge. As they expand, the sebaceous glands make more sebum, the natural oil of your skin. This excess oil can create blockages in your hair follicles, leading to the formation of acne. 


Some studies have shown that eating foods high in refined sugars or carbohydrates—such as candy, soda, or white breads—can worsen acne. Since these foods have a high glycemic index, they can increase your blood sugar, causing an increase in hormones. While the correlation between diet and acne needs more research, many people find that their skin health improves when eating foods with a low glycemic index. 


This is a possible culprit for the development of acne in patients with skin of color. Since the oil in pomade blocks pores on the forehead and scalp, it often leads to blackheads or whiteheads. In rare cases, it may lead to a bacterial infection in the scalp called folliculitis. If using pomade, only apply it one inch behind your hairline.

Certain Medications

Any drug that affects the production of hormones can cause you to develop acne. This includes corticosteroids, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, B vitamins, and testosterone.

Need Help Controlling Your Acne? Dr. Steven Greene Can Help

Acne can be difficult to treat on your own, especially if there is an underlying cause. If you want to achieve clearer skin and explore the different treatment options available, call Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle at 206-402-4797 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Steven Greene. With over 40 years of experience, Dr. Greene can create a personalized treatment plan that meets your goals. We welcome patients living in Bellevue, Seattle, Kirkland, Mercer Island, and the surrounding areas of Washington.

What Causes Hyperpigmentation?

A woman smiling in a field of yellow flowers.
Hyperpigmentation is caused by the excess production of melanin in your skin. While sun damage is one of the most common reasons for hyperpigmentation, there are other factors that can cause increases in melanin production. At Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle, Dr. Steven Greene can evaluate your skin and determine the ideal treatment for your poikiloderma, melasma, or other pigment changes.

Hyperpigmentation usually occurs as spots on the skin that are darker than the surrounding tissue. The extra melanin in these spots can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Sun Exposure: Over time, excessive exposure to UV rays can create sunspots or darken freckles. Around 80% of all skin aging and hyperpigmentation is caused by too much sunlight. To help prevent photoaging, make sure to wear sunscreen if you are outside for prolonged periods of time.
  • Inflammation: Any inflammation in the skin can cause hyperpigmentation. The most common culprits for post-inflammatory pigmentation changes are acne, scars, and stretch marks.
  • Hormonal Changes: Major hormonal changes can cause hyperpigmentation such as melasma to appear on multiple areas of the body. This condition mostly affects women who are pregnant or starting/stopping birth control. It also affects those undergoing hormone replacement therapy.
  • Medications: Some medications may lead to hyperpigmentation like patches or dark spots. This includes drugs for malaria, antibiotics, and antiarrhythmics.

At Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle, we have several treatments available for patients looking to correct their skin pigmentation. Some lesions may be successfully treated with laser therapy, chemical peels, or HydraFacial. While not all types of hyperpigmentation respond to treatment, Dr. Greene can help determine if there is a safe, effective solution for you.

Learn More About Our Hyperpigmentation Treatment Options Today

If you want to know what treatment options are available for hyperpigmentation, call Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle today at 206-402-4797 to set up an appointment. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Steven Greene and his team can carefully evaluate your condition and create a custom treatment plan that addresses your concerns. We are proud to serve patients living in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Mercer Island, and other nearby Washington communities.

Restore Your Skin’s Former Glory with Laser Skin Resurfacing


Your skin can really take a beating. Over the course of your lifetime, your skin has to deal with several issues, leaving it worse for wear. But fractional laser skin resurfacing with the Cynosure Icon 1540® can give your skin its former glow in as little as one treatment. This fractional, non-ablative laser covers a wide range of skin problems, including sun damage, scarring, and the signs of aging.

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How Are Different Skins of Color Treated for Acne?

Close-up self portrait of smiling young multiethnic female friends taking selfie in the park - women taking a selfie in the park on a bright day
Acne is a common condition that typically affects areas of the face, back, neck, and shoulders. Despite being commonly associated with adolescence, acne outbreaks can happen to women and men of any age. Due to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, while starting birth control pills, or just before a menstrual cycle, women are particularly prone to acne.
Continue reading “How Are Different Skins of Color Treated for Acne?”