Pigmentation or hyper-pigmentation develops when excess melanin is produced on the skins surface from overexposure to the sun. Skin pigmentation can be identified as patches or spots that are darker than the surrounding skin. Some of us are more prone to pigmentation than others and the causes of this can be hereditary, hormonal, lifestyle or our everyday skin care routine. Trauma to the skin can also cause pockets of melanin to form on the skin as a protective mechanism and appear as unsightly pigment spots.
Melasma – Presents as brown patches across forehead, upper lip and sides of face and nose and usually effects women who are on the pill or have an IUD fitted, the condition usually worsens during the hotter summer months.
Chloasma – Otherwise known as the pregnancy mask pigment that can present itself across the upper cheeks, forhead and upper lip in the shape of a mask. This type of pigmentation usually subsides after pregnancy but can linger in some cases.
Freckles – Or Ephelides are usually hereditary but can also be caused by sun exposure. They can worsen or join to form larger spots with age.
Solar Lengtigines – Also known as liver spots or sun spots usually develop with age after prolonged years of sun exposure. They usually develop on the most commonly exposed areas such as face, chest and hands but can appear anywhere on the body.
Post Inflammatory Pigmentation – PIH is caused by a trauma to the skin such as squeezing pimples or picking at the skin. Inappropriate laser treatments can also cause post inflammatory hyper pigmentation.
Most Pigmentation can be successfully treat with laser or IPL however Melasma and certain skin types are best treated with a chemical peel such as the Cosmelan depigmentation peel which gently sloughs away pockets of melanin whilst inhibiting the production of new pigmentation. It is always a good idea to follow any of these treatments with a course of LED Light Therapy to promote healthy new skin cell production.
Hypo-Pigmentation – Or white sun spots are also a result of sun damage or trauma to the skin and can be very difficult to treat. These areas of skin that are lighter than the surrounding skin have little or no melanocytes. Collagen Induction Therapy is the only treatment so far shown to help bring new melanin to these pockets of skin lacking pigment.