Hyperpigmentation or a darkening of the skin is a common problem. But not all pigment is created equal, coming from many sources. The sun is a common factor, also exacerbating the effects. How we treat your pigment all depends on how it arrived in the first place.
You may be surprised to know that most of the sun damage is done in your younger years, like your early teens. It just takes time for it to show the level of damage in the skin.
A good example of sun damage is freckles – surface pigment that sit right on the epidermis. Age and liver spots (solar lentigines) start to appear in your late 30s and early 40s and are deeper within the skin. They are clustered spots of darkened pigmentation. Sometimes they are brown or if you’re a fair skin type they can appear with a red tinge.
This has a different look to sun damage. It is more “blocked” and “patterned”, generally showing up on the top lip, forehead and cheek bones. It can create what we call a butterfly effect across the face. This can be caused from an overactive hormone sending out unnecessary information to the melanocyte (responsible for making your skin turn brown), possibly caused by taking the pill and certain types of medication.
This is where the melanocyte has been traumatised and creates a darkened effect. This can be due to many reasons such as harsh exfoliation to the skin, a cut or scar. We mostly see this caused from laser treatment like hair removal and laser skin resurfacing.
It goes without saying that if you are want to improve your pigmentation, regardless of how it appeared, SPF is critical in ensuring you don’t create any more.
Then simply follow your ABCs:
Vitamin C during the day creates a strong defence and helps lighten the pigmentation, while Vitamin A at night will start to repair the damage and reduce the effect.
Vitamin B3 acts as a slippery slope so the pigment can go into the skin cell and make it darker; this can be used morning and night.
Treating pigmentation in a salon needs patience. Its takes time for your skin to create the level of pigment you can see, so it’s important to understand that it will take time to effectively reduce and fade.
The most effective skin-healthy treatment is skin needling. This creates tiny trauma wounds in the skin to kick start your skin’s natural regeneration, in turn pushing out the damaged pigment cells and creating brand new brighter skin cells.
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