Unwanted pigmentation problems, like brown spots, patchy skin or melasma, have many causes and can occur in all skin types. Pigmentation can occur anywhere from the face, body, décolletage and hands. It is a skin condition where ageing dark spots caused by sun exposure and UVA rays penetrate deep into your skin turning your skin into a darker shade of colour. Melanin is what gives our skin its colour. The amount of melanin in your skin determines if you have a light or dark complexion. Pigmented lesions are dark in colour because the melanin is concentrated in one area of the skin, usually as a result of overexposure to the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays.
Depending on how severe your pigmentation problem is, there are a variety of treatments that can help. To treat pigmentation problems due to sun-damage, some of the recommended ways are:
- Lasers such as Revlite and Discovery Pico, produce a special wavelength of light energy that is absorbed by pigmented lesions. The light vibrates and shatters the pigment, breaking the melanin into micro-particles and lightening the lesion. The tiny particles will then be easily eliminated by the body immune system. You’ll notice the spot turning grey or white for a few minutes, a natural response of the skin as it absorbs the energy. The spot will then turn darker and slough off completely within 1 or 2 weeks. The procedure usually takes from 3 to 6 treatments for the melanin pigment to fade in and lighten. Most pigmented lesions, if completed removed, will not return. However, when exposed to sun, brown spots may return and you will continue to develop more age spots. It’s important to consistently apply sunscreen on the treatment area for protection.In addition to treatment pigmentation, lasers can also be used for skin rejuvenation, skin toning and tattoo removal.
- Chemical peels containing salicylic acid and glycolic acid may be used to enhance results and improve the skin’s appearance. Chemical peels are designed to improve and smoothen the texture of your skin. Cosmelan Peel is usually recommended in the treatment of melasma. It works by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme in the melanin-forming process. It helps to significantly reduce blemishes caused by an increase in melanin by gently fading the pigment and suppressing further coloration from resurfacing. Chemical peels remove the top layer of dead cells, allowing the healthier skin cells to regenerate and surface. You may want to avoid the sun and apply sunscreen as you’re exposing your “raw” skin to the sun, so you must make sure they don’t get damaged from UV rays. You may even want to wear a hat when you go out.
Regardless of the procedures you would like to undergo, it should be performed in a medical aesthetic clinic. You should always seek a certified doctor for a proper consultation to discuss what you hope to achieve through your treatment of choice. The certified doctor will able to advise you on the best treatment options for your skin for the best outcome.