Where patience and perseverance will give perfecting results
Pigmentation is one of the most common reasons people seek out treatments. From freckles that have lost their youthful appeal to dark Melasma patches that seem to darken overnight, many people seek help for their pigmentation to return their skin to an even tone. With so many different choices in treatments, Lasers and IPL, Skin Peels and use-at-home Cosmeceuticals, the search for an effective treatment can be daunting. So, let’s break this down to understand what pigmentation is, the different types of pigmentation and the best solution for each type.
When we refer to pigmentation, what most people refer to is hyperpigmentation.
Some of the most common types of hyperpigmentation are;
- sun spots or age spots
- Melasma, also known as Mask of Pregnancy.
- post inflammatory pigmentation or PIP
Causes Of Pigmentation
There are many causes of pigmentation, the most common being sun exposure. The sun is responsible for freckles and the spots that appear on our faces, décolletage and hands. Most of the pigmentation we see now is the result of the sun exposure we received years ago. As a rule, depending on the severity of the discolouration and your skin type, this pigmentation responds well to IPL treatments such as Cutera’s Limelight and lasers such as Clear+Brilliant Permea and Fraxel. Generally, a course of treatments results in a gradual safe reduction of the pigmentation. Often patients are started on a use at home product such as Medik8’s White Balance Click Oxy-R, to reduce pigment and prepare the skin. After treatment, home care is very important. We recommend a gentle chemical exfoliant and well formulated retinol such as Rationale’s DNA Night Cream or Medik8 r-Retinoate. And of course sunscreen is an absolute must each and every day! We recommend Rationale’s B3-T.
For low grade or minimal pigmentation issues, particularly with younger skins, we offer a range of Peels that give a pleasing result with the lighter pigmentation softening. Combined with a home care regime of exfoliants such as Rationale’s Catalyst, a gentle AHA and BHA exfoliant or Mesoestetic Brightening Peel Booster, containing glycolic and salicylic, pesky early pigmentation is reduced and skin tone becomes clearer.
Hormonal & Environmental
Other causes of hyperpigmentation are hormonal and environmental. This type of hyperpigmentation is known as Melasma or Mask of Pregnancy and is more likely to affect darker skin tones. Changes in hormones during pregnancy or with the taking of Oral Contraceptives can cause dark patches to appear on the face. These then often darken further or spread when exposed to thermal heat, for example hot wax or the sun. Melasma is best treated with non-heat inducing lasers or Mesoestetic’s Cosmelan.
Post Inflammatory Pigmentation
Post Inflammatory Pigmentation, or PIP, is hyperpigmentation resulting from an injury or trauma to the skin. The most common form many see is the reddish brown “scar” that appears after a pimple. This is not a scar but PIP. Post Inflammatory Pigmentation generally resolves itself, but you can help it along by using a chemical exfoliant, such as Rationale’s Catalyst nightly and a good sunscreen to protect the skin while healing. A good non-oily broad-spectrum sunscreen is Rationale’s B3-T, fortified with B3 (Niacinamide). The vitamin inhibits the transfer of melanin to the surface of the skin, further helping to combat pigmentation.