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Pigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is caused by an increase in melanin. Melanin is the natural pigment that gives our skin, hair and eyes their colour. Several factors can trigger an increase in melanin production, but the main causes are sun exposure, hormonal influences, age and skin injuries and inflammation. 

 

WHAT IS PIGMENTATION?

Over time,  the natural ageing process and exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun causes the accumulation of pigments in the skin leading to age spots, hyperpigmentation or freckles (Including brown spots, liver spots, age spots, sun spots, sunburn freckles, lentigos, or senile/solar lentigines). Skin pigmentation can also occur during pregnancy due to hormonal changes in the body which can resolve naturally postnatal to worsen.

These marks are located in areas most often exposed to the sun, particularly the hands, face, shoulders, arms, decollate and forehead (and the head if bald) and range in colour from light brown to red or black. Most are harmless, but all are ageing and may be unattractive.

Café au lait and other pigmented birthmarks are localized areas of increased pigmentation in the skin and are present at birth.

 

WHAT CAUSES PIGMENTATION?

Pigmentation does not discriminate and may be caused by any or all of the following factors:

  • Sun damage caused by long-term overexposure to UVA and UVB rays
  • Hormones
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Medication that causes sensitivity to sunlight
  • Ageing

 

WHAT ARE THE COMMON TYPES OF PIGMENTATION?

Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is the result of excess melanin in the skin often caused by skin damage such as burns or scarring, or UV damage caused by overexposure to the sun. Hyperpigmentation can also be the result of trauma to the face caused by severe acne.

Melasma

Melasma often appears on the face and may be caused by hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, birth control, overexposure to the sun or ongoing stress.

 

Can pigmentation go straight away?

No- unfortunately not. It is a gradual process. Pigmentation can be superficial or it can be quite deep within the skin. This means we need to treat the areas sufficiently with a course of treatments and cosmeceutical products at home. 

 

CAN PIGMENTATION BE CURED?

Once pigmentation sets in, it can be hard to cure. It is a generally painless condition, so many people learn to live with pigmentation. Because the condition indicates unhealthy cells, however, putting up with pigmentation is a mistake as cellular irregularities may lead to permanent skin damage and even cancer.

There are many products on the market formulated to clear pigmentation and even out skin tone, but these must be used with caution.

Traditional pigmentation lotions may contain harsh acids, retinoids (vitamin A compounds) or ingredients that quite literally bleach the healthy skin cells to reduce the patchy appearance. With many of these solutions’ prescription-only, it is essential that these are used sparingly to protect the healthy skin cells.

As a further concern, the synthetic emulsifiers and activating agents required to make moisturisers work dilute any natural active ingredients meaning that results are often achieved from a concoction of chemicals rather than from natural healing.

 

What treatments are best for pigmentation 

We have many different treatments at beautology that are great for pigmentation. Until we assess the area we cannot say what is best for your specific concern. However, here are a few treatments that are great for pigmentation.

Enzyme peels, chemical peels, laser treatment, LED light therapy.