treatment for pigmentation

Understanding Skin Pigmentation: Types, Causes, and Advanced Treatments

Blog, Skin Treatments

Skin pigmentation is the colouration of our skin, determined by the amount and distribution of melanin. Melanin is a natural pigment produced by cells called melanocytes, responsible for giving our skin its colour. It protects our skin from UV radiation and determines how much sun exposure we can handle without getting burnt.

There are different types of skin pigmentation, including hyperpigmentation (dark spots or patches) and hypopigmentation (lighter areas). Hyperpigmentation occurs when there is an overproduction of melanin, leading to darker patches on the skin. Sun exposure, hormonal changes, and acne scars can cause this. On the other hand, hypopigmentation occurs when there is a decreased production of melanin, resulting in lighter spots on the skin. Genetic conditions or skin injuries can cause this.

Skin pigmentation can also change with age and can vary depending on ethnicity. People with fairer skin tend to have less melanin, making them more susceptible to sun damage and UV radiation. On the other hand, those with darker skin tones have more melanin, providing better protection against UV rays but also making it harder for their body to produce vitamin D from sun exposure.

If you are experiencing changes in your skin, you may be wondering how to remove pigmentation. This blog will provide some tips and information on different treatment options for hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation.

Types of Pigmentation and Their Causes

Freckles: Freckles are small, flat, brown spots that typically appear on the face, arms, and back. These are caused by an increase in melanin production due to sun exposure.

Age spots: Also known as liver spots, age spots are flat, darkened areas of the skin that typically appear on areas frequently exposed to the sun, such as the face, hands, and arms. They are caused by years of sun exposure and can be prevented using sunscreen regularly.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH): PIH occurs when the skin produces excess melanin in response to inflammation or injury, such as acne, burns, or cuts. It can appear as dark spots or patches on the skin and is more common in people with darker skin tones.

Melasma: Melasma presents as dark, irregular patches on the face, typically triggered by hormonal changes, pregnancy, birth control pills, or sun exposure. It is commonly found on the forehead, cheeks, and upper lip. It is often associated with hormonal changes such as pregnancy or birth control use. Sun exposure can also worsen melasma.

Acne Scarring: Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs after acne breakouts, leaving behind dark spots or scars due to inflammation and increased melanin production. These scars can be temporary or permanent, and their appearance can depend on the severity of the initial acne outbreak.

Sun Damage: Sun exposure significantly contributes to dark spots and hyperpigmentation. UV rays can stimulate melanin production, leading to uneven skin tone and sunspots. Protecting your skin from the sun with sunscreen and wearing protective clothing can help prevent further sun damage.

Medication-Induced Pigment Changes: Certain medications, such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and chemotherapy agents, may cause changes in pigmentation. This can present as dark patches on the skin or generalised darkening of the skin. If you experience any changes in skin colour while taking medication, consult your healthcare provider for possible alternatives.

Who is More Susceptible to Developing Pigmentation?

Pigmentation tends to occur more commonly in individuals with darker skin. This is due to the higher levels of melanin in their skin, which can react more strongly to sun exposure and other triggers. People with a family history of pigmentation issues are also at a higher risk.

Individuals with fair skin, a history of sun exposure, hormonal fluctuations (such as during pregnancy or menopause), and a family history of pigmentation issues are also more prone to developing pigmentation concerns. Additionally, those who spend prolonged time in the sun without proper sun protection are also at a higher risk.

Advanced Treatments for Skin Pigmentation

PicoSure Pro: PicoSure Pro uses advanced picosecond laser technology to target pigmentation at its source without harming surrounding skin tissue. It delivers ultra-short pulses of energy to break down pigmented cells, promoting natural healing and collagen production. This treatment is safe for all skin types and can be used on the face, neck, hands, and body.

PicoWay Resolve: PicoWay Resolve is another cutting-edge laser treatment for pigmentation, including stubborn melasma and acne scars. It operates on a picosecond and nanosecond dual pulse duration, providing versatile treatment options for various skin types and concerns. PicoWay Resolve also stimulates collagen production for smoother, healthier-looking skin.

LaseMD: Lase MD is a non-ablative pigment treatment laser that rejuvenates the skin and reduces pigmentation issues through gentle microdermabrasion and laser technology. It promotes cell turnover, resulting in smoother, more even-toned skin. Lase MD is suitable for all skin types and can be used on the face, neck, hands, and body.

Obagi Medical Treatments: Obagi offers a range of medical-grade skincare products formulated to address pigmentation concerns. Their customised pigmentation treatment plans may include prescription-strength hydroquinone, retinoids, vitamin C serums, and chemical peels to lighten and brighten the skin effectively.

Ideal Candidates for Pigmentation Treatment

PicoSure Pro is ideal for individuals with all skin types seeking fast and effective pigmentation removal with minimal downtime. This treatment uses advanced picosecond laser technology to target and break down pigmentation, leaving behind clear and radiant skin.

PicoWay Resolve is suitable for those with darker skin tones and stubborn pigmentation concerns. It offers rapid results with minimal risk of side effects. This treatment uses a dual-wavelength picosecond laser to target pigmentation at its source, resulting in a more even skin tone.

Lase MD is ideal for those looking for a gentler approach to pigment correction or those with more sensitive skin. It uses laser energy and microdermabrasion to gently exfoliate the skin and promote cell turnover, resulting in a brighter and more even complexion.

Obagi Medical Treatments are ideal for those with stubborn pigmentation issues who have not responded well to other methods. Obagi’s medical-grade products offer powerful ingredients that lighten dark spots and improve skin tone.

Whichever method you choose, remember that results may vary depending on the severity of your pigmentation concerns and your skin type. It is always best to consult with a skincare professional before undergoing any treatment to determine the best course of action for your specific needs.

Pre and Post-Treatment Care

Before undergoing any pigmentation treatment, it’s essential to consult with a qualified dermatologist or skincare specialist to determine the most suitable option for your skin type and concerns. Additionally, following these pre and post-treatment care tips can optimise results and minimise complications:

Pre-Treatment Care:

1. Avoid direct sunlight and tanning beds for at least two weeks before treatment to reduce the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
2. Discontinue topical retinoids or exfoliating products a week before your treatment, as they can increase skin sensitivity and interfere with the treatment’s effectiveness.
3. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before your appointment, which helps promote healthy skin healing.
4. If you have a history of cold sores around the treated area, consult your doctor about taking preventative medication to avoid an outbreak after the procedure.

Post-Treatment Care:

1. Keep the treated area clean and dry for at least 24 hours, avoiding harsh cleansers or exfoliants that may irritate the skin.
2. Apply a gentle moisturiser to the treated area to help soothe any redness or irritation.
3. Avoid direct sun exposure and tanning beds for at least 48 hours after treatment, as your skin will be more sensitive to UV rays.
4. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily to protect your skin from sun damage and maintain the results of your treatment.
5. Do not pick, scratch, or rub the treated area, as this can cause scarring and interfere with healing.
6. If you experience discomfort or swelling, apply a cold compress to the affected area for relief.
7. Some peeling and flaking will usually occur in the days following your treatment. Do not pick at any peeling skin, as this can lead to scarring and uneven skin tone.
8. Be patient with your results, as it may take several weeks to see the full effects of your treatment. Consistent treatments and proper aftercare will help achieve long-lasting results.

Attain Radiant Skin with Effective Pigmentation Treatments

Advanced pigmentation facial treatments such as PicoSure Pro, PicoWay Resolve, Lase MD, and Obagi Medical Treatments can achieve flawless, even-toned skin. Individuals can effectively alleviate pigmentation symptoms and reveal a luminous complexion by understanding the causes of pigmentation, identifying suitable treatment options, and following proper pre and post-care protocols. Book your free consultation today to embark on your journey towards radiant skin!