We all want a skin that is clean and clear and having one is great. However, sometimes clear skin can also become a problem which is known as the translucent skin condition where your skin becomes so pale that you can even see your veins through them.
Sounds dreadful, right? Well then, let us get into more details about it.
What is translucent skin?
Translucent skin is a condition in which an increased ability of the skin is observed where light can pass through the skin and otherwise typically hidden features such as veins and tendons get more visible.
Some people are naturally born with translucent or porcelain skin. However, for the majority of people, it can develop over time due to a variety of reasons. Translucent skin can appear all over the body but it is more noticeable in areas where the veins are closer to the skin like in the areas of hands, wrists, top of feet, breasts, ribs, shins and face.
Some translucent skin causes
Translucent skin is caused when there is a lack of melanin in the skin. Melanin is the pigment that gives colour to human skin, hair and eyes.
Some of the most common causes for a hypopigmented or depigmented skin are as follows:
- Tinea versicolor
- Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
- Skin inflammation
- Reaction to certain medications
1. Albinism- A rare group of genetic disorders that causes the skin, hair or eyes to have little or no colour is known as Albinism.
A defect in one of the genes that produce melanin causes this disorder.
The absence of melanin production or a very reduced amount of it causes the formation of translucent skin.
A person suffering from Albinism may have the following symptoms-
- Absence of colour from hair, skin and eyes
- A lighter shade of colour than the normal for the skin, hair and eyes
- Sudden patches of skin that have no colour
2. Tinea versicolor- Our body hosts a type of yeast known as fungus Malassezia which is found on the surface of the skin. It protects our body from infection and other pathogens.
Although harmless in most of the times, sometimes it can grow out of control and influence the natural colour or pigmentation of our skin. This condition arises when the fungus causes an infection or suppresses our immune system.
Tinea versicolor can lighten a dark skin causing a condition known as hypopigmentation or as observed in some cases can also darken a light skin causing hyperpigmentation.
A person suffering from Tinea versicolor can have discoloured patches on arms, chest, neck and back which are generally dry and itchy and gradually develop and become more prominent with tanning.
3. Vitiligo- Around 1% population in the world suffer from Vitiligo condition. In this condition, the melanocytes cells which are responsible for skin colour are destroyed which leads to those areas of the skin to lose colour or turn white. The affected area gradually increases in size with time and also this condition can take place anywhere in the body even affecting hair or the insides of the mouth.
Vitiligo generally affects people before the age of 30 and can lead to premature whitening or greying of hair on your scalp, eyebrows, beard and even eyelashes.
4. Ehlers- Danlos Syndrome- A condition in which the connective tissues in our body such as skin, joints and blood vessel walls are affected by a group of inherited disorders.
People suffering from this syndrome experience overly flexible joints and stretched and fragile skin leading to translucent skin condition. It often gives the sensation of exceptionally soft and velvety skin but not in a good way.
5. Melanoma- The most dangerous form of skin cancer where the skin cells that are the melanocytes which produce pigment for our skin gets affected.
As it affects the melanocytes of the body, it causes translucent skin by reducing the release the pigments for our skin forming discoloured or uneven patches on our body which grows with time.
Melanoma can grow anywhere in your body but generally grows in the body which is in the exposure to the sun like back, legs, arms and face but also it has been detected that areas which do not receive rays of the sun like the sole of feet, palms of hand or fingernail bed can also be equally affected.
It generally begins as a mole or as a development of an unusually pigmented outgrowth on the skin.
6. Skin Inflammation- Skin inflammation or popularly known as dermatitis is one of the leading causes of translucent skin. Often starting as red patches, blisters or abscess, it can also lead to thinning of the skin. The affected skin can also become rough and scaly with the passing of the time.
7. Reaction to certain medications- Topical steroids and interleucine based medications can cause side effects which lead to the formation of translucent skin.
8. Ageing– With an increase in age, the pigments in our body slowly loses its capacity to produce pigments which ultimately lead to translucency and thinning of the skin.
Translucent skin treatment: How to get rid of translucent skin?
- Most of the treatment that includes curing the translucency of the skin involves adding pigmentation back to your skin.
- Generally, no treatments are available for Albinism, however, some precautions should be kept in mind to avoid worsening of the situation. Stay away from harsh sun rays and always use a sunscreen while stepping out.
- To treat Tinea versicolor, antifungal creams and shampoos are prescribed. Topical creams and pills like Clotrimazole and Miconazole are specified to the patients. It is a long term treatment process and the person in concern is advised to stay away from excessive heat.
- To restore the colour balance of the skin, topical creams and oral medications are prescribed. A person suffering from Vitiligo is instructed to take psychological medications alongside the treatment as they can suffer from severe anxiety and depression.
- Melanoma generally does not have any cure if it is detected in very late stages. However, at the initial stages, if it is diagnosed and properly treated with chemotherapy, medicines and radiation, then the person may lead a healthy life afterwards.
- Surgery is not advised to the patients because:
- The skin becomes so translucent, thin and clear that it gets really difficult to perform any operation on the skin. The skin cannot withstand the pressure.
- Unwanted side effects are encountered and most of the times the surgery fails.
- Tanning is not advised as a treatment for translucent skin because it can further damage the skin without providing any benefit.
Most of the times it has been seen that the person affected of translucent skin suffers from severe depression and anxiety and have low self-esteem issues but one should always remember that they are always beautiful no matter what. After all, it is the beauty of the heart that matters the most.