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4 Ways to Fade Psoriasis Scars and Discoloration

By Claire Gillespie
Reviewed by Allison Truong, M.D.
April 28, 2022

After your psoriasis plaques have gone away, you might be left with discolored patches of skin, which some people with psoriasis refer to as scars. Technically, these skin discolorations aren’t scars; they’re changes in the top layer of skin called the epidermis and tend to improve with time. True scars are due to deeper damage in the lower layer of skin called the dermis and can be permanent.

Skin discoloration is one of the most common lasting effects of a psoriasis flare and is caused by skin cell inflammation, says Tanya Nino, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at St. Joseph Heritage Medical Group in Orange County, California. “Inflammation temporarily destroys pigment cells called melanocytes,” Nino explains.

Discoloration can occur as darkening (hyperpigmentation) or lightening (hypopigmentation), and can appear anywhere on the body where you’ve experienced psoriasis. People with darker skin can experience darkening or lightening after a psoriasis flare. People with lighter skin tend to get dark or red marks, says Susan Bard, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in private practice in Brooklyn, New York.

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