Pigmentation, dark spots, age spots, sun spots, freckles and uneven skin tone are a few challenges we all face. The good news is something can be done to achieve clearer, brighter skin.
What is pigmentation of the skin?
Our skin gets its colour from a pigment called melanin which is made by melanocytes in the skin and when these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it affects the production of melanin.
Usually melanin is evenly distributed in the skin. However, sometimes people have spots or patches of skin with more or less melanin. Examples of such spots include freckles, lentigo (flat brown lesions), melasma (grey-brown patches), vitiligo (white patches) and benign brown spots on the hands and face or other skin exposed to the sun, commonly known as age spots.
What causes pigmentation?
Your pigmentation / skin colour is determined at birth and melanin production can change over your lifetime depending on lifestyle and genetic factors. The most common cause of pigmentation in the skin is ultraviolet rays from sun exposure and hormonal changes.
Hyper-pigmentation is usually caused by the body making too much melanin and the skin gets darker. Causes include inflammation, medication and exposure to sunlight.
Hypo-pigmentation is where there is an abnormally low amount of melanin in the skin. The skin is lighter in colour. Hypo-pigmentation can be caused by previous injury to the skin, such as a blister, ulcer, burn, exposure to a chemical, or skin infection.
How can pigmentation be treated?
Most types of pigmentation can be treated using combined treatment methods including topical skincare, light based treatments, chemical peels, laser and other resurfacing treatments.
Australian Skin Face Body has state of the art lasers and skin care range to get the best results and are achieving excellent results for solar lentigo with the Candela GMax Pro Alexandrite laser.
The Cutera Limelight IPL is great for lightening the appearance of freckles and giving a gentle rejuvenation to the face.
The Spectra Q-Switch combined with the ND:Yag laser gently treats deeper pigmentation. This laser can also be used for removal of unwanted tattoos.
Better suited to lighter skin types the new CO2 Dot Fractional Laser treats all types of sun damage.
Medical grade chemical peels can also be used to exfoliate and lift superficial pigmentation over a course of treatments.
Treatments are best started in cooler months to help reduce excess sun exposure.
Prior to commencing treatment, a full body skin check with an Australian Skin Face Body qualified skin doctor is recommended. The experienced dermal consultants at Australian Skin Face Body, Skin & Laser Clinic will then discuss your skin concerns and tailor a treatment plan just for you.
Article as appeared in Geelong + Surf Coast Living Magazine, Winter 2017