Nothing screams middle-aged and menopausal more than pigmentation where areas and patches of your skin change colour and turn darker. When there is too much pigment on the surface of the skin (or melanin) this is not pleasant and can be a dead giveaway to a person’s age; this condition is, however, quite harmless.
It is high time you indulged in yourself – there is no cream that will fix this condition but our specialist skin clinic in Sandton will be able to offer a couple of youth-fixing Pigmentation treatments that will assist.
We get different types of pigmentation on a daily basis at Dermology. Living in South Africa and having all different skin types, we have had lots of exposure to sunspots and sun damage, uneven skin tone and hyper-pigmentation.
Hyper Pigmentation shows up when our pigment cells (also called melanin) gets overproduced in certain spots on our skins. It can be different shapes, sizes and colours. The most common types of pigmentation:
- Hyperpigmentation: generally due to sun exposure and on areas such as face, hands and arms. They are generally small and darkened patches on the skin.
- Melasma/Chloasma: this is also known as “the mask of pregnancy”. It affects most pregnant women during or after childbirth. Due to hormonal influences such as pregnancy and contraceptive pills it can flare up. It shows up on the skin as dark and irregular shaped areas on the face.
- Freckles: Freckles are caused by sun exposure and mostly appears on the face.
- PIH (Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation): This occurs after injury to the skin. The pigmentation is usually flat and discoloured. We see it often after acne scarring.
Pigmentation or often referred to as Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition that causes darkening of the skin in some areas. The discolouration or unevenness is most commonly found on the face and abdomen, but could affect other parts of the body. Pigmentation is caused by an excess of melanin on the surface of the skin. Melanin is the brown pigment that produces skin colour. Although it is not usually harmful, your self-confidence might not take it that well.
There are many factors that contribute to the production of melanin, which may cause pigmentation. Being overexposed to the sun or sun damage plays a big role in the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Antibiotics or other medicine such as contraceptives or hormone treatments are also known to play a role. Acne, inflammation of the skin or picking at the skin may cause pigmentation, but pigmentation in the form of freckles may be genetic and hereditary.
There are a number of different types of pigmentation, but a few more common than others. Melasma – This type of pigmentation is believed to be caused by hormonal changes, commonly developed during pregnancy or even while on the pill. It may appear on the cheeks, forehead and upper lip. Sun spots – They are sometimes wrongly referred to as lover spots which might appear on the hands and face. This is caused by prolonged exposure to the sun or sun damage to the skin.
Even though it may not always be possible to prevent hyperpigmentation, there are a few suggestions on how you might minimize the risk of developing it later in life. Most importantly you should always protect your skin from the sun by using a UVA and B protection cream as well as a SPF moisturiser. Be wary of applying perfume to the neck where it might cause pigmentation, and try use a brightening cream in your daily beauty regime.
Once you have pigmentation, there are a number of ways to have pigmentation treatments:
- Prescription creams may help get rid of pigmentation, but may take a while to show results.
- Chemical peels involve applying chemicals to the skin to help get rid of the top layer and fades the appearance of mild discolouration.
- Intense pulsed light should not be mistaken for laser treatments, as it is not as accurate as a laser and uses multiple wavelengths whereas laser treatment only uses one.
- Laser Pigmentation Treatment is ideal if you want your skin to have a healthy glow. There are a variety of laser treatment option types, and the one best suited to you will depend on your skin and pigmentation type. Your skin might be red after a laser Pigmentation treatment, but will be bright and even in the long run.
Pigmentation on the skin can be visible from a very early age. Due to hormones and body function changes our skin can appear more blotchy in certain areas. A very common type of Hormonal pigmentation is called MELASMA (mask of pregnancy). Women tend to develop pigmentation patches on the face while pregnant or after pregnancy.
At Dermology we treat Hormonal Pigmentation with:
Pigmentation on the skin can be visible from a very early age. Excessive sun or environmental exposure is the main reasons for this discolouration. If you do not apply a proper SPF every single day, you stand a good chance to develop this type of damage on your skin. However it is treatable.
At Dermology we treat Sundamage with:
Some skin types are more prone to freckles than other. Sun exposure will increase the amount of freckles on the exposed area.
At Dermology we treat freckles with:
Sun Spots often evolve into Solar Keratoses. It’s rough, scaly patches on sun exposed areas e.g. the head, face, arms or hands.
At Dermology we treat Solar Keratoses with:
Post Inflammatory Pigmentation
Often patients do not take proper care of their bruises/breakouts. The scabbing phase is extremely important. This is the time not to pick your scab and you must keep it out of the sun. If this does not get done, you will develop post inflammatory pigmentation.
We treat this condition with: