Ask an Expert: Are Pigmentation Changes Permanent With Skin Conditions Like Eczema?

This article is part of Health Divide: Skin Conditions and Darker Skin, a destination in our Health Divide series.

Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD

Design by Julie Bang / Verywell

Verywell Health: Are pigmentation changes permanent with skin conditions like eczema? What can I do to lessen these changes?

Dr. Woolery-Lloyd: No. The pigment changes are rarely permanent.

The most common pigment change is hyperpigmentation, which is darkening of the skin. Usually, once eczema resolves, the hyperpigmentation will fade over time. Occasionally we use some treatments to speed up that process, but we have to be careful in people with eczema-prone skin because some of them can be irritating.

The other possible pigment change with eczema is hypopigmentation. Again, for most people, hypopigmentation from eczema resolves after the eczema clears. In very rare cases, the hypopigmentation can be more permanent, but that is after years of chronic inflammation.

The most important thing you can do to reduce the risk of pigment changes is to treat eczema early.