Freckles, age spots, sun spots, liver spots or simply pigmentation. Whatever name you may have for it, irregular skin discolouration is a common and sometimes distressing problem caused by various factors. It can appear from a very young age, or later on, generally triggered by hormonal changes, acne, overexposure to UV radiation, some inflammatory skin disorders and other environmental factors.
Pigmentation refers to changes in the melanin (pigment) of your skin, it's important to note there are different types and they do not all respond to the same treatments. Because of this, receiving the correct diagnosis for the type of pigmentation you’re experiencing is essential if you are going to benefit from treatment.
COMMON TYPES OF PIGMENTATION
The most common type of pigmentation is ephelides, or freckles. These develop after repeated exposure to sunlight, particularly if you have a fair complexion. They appear darker during the sunny months and fade in the winter. Heredity factors also influences freckling.
Also referred to as liver spots or sun spots, these are pigmented spots with a clearly defined edge. They may occur anywhere on the body and vary in colour from light brown to black. These spots are caused by UV sun exposure and the degree depends on how much UV light these melanin pigments are exposed to. These must be monitored as there is a chance they may develop into skin cancer and melanoma. Annual checks with your skin specialist are essential.
POST-INFLAMMATORY HYPER PIGMENTATION
This is a response to injury of the skin and can be the result of acne, burns, friction or aggressive clinical treatments such as chemical peels, dermabrasion, laser and IPL. This condition often resolves with time and generally responds to topical products, although it can recur.
Melasma or chloasma is pigmentation that is deeper in the skin’s dermis. It appears on the face as larger brown patches with a non-distinct border. This type of pigmentation is more common in women. Though causes are unknown, it is often stimulated by hormonal increases. The condition is made worse with UV exposure, some medications, pregnancy and stress.
Depending on the type of pigmentation that is concerning you, there will be a treatment or combination of treatments that will achieve the most effective results.
The pigmentation treatments we offer include:
- Melan Tran3X
- Mesotherapy Micro Needling
- Cosmelan® Peel
It's important to note that some common laser treatments may cause hyper or hypo pigmentation if the pigmentation type has not been assessed and diagnosed correctly. That's why we always recommend a comprehensive complimentary facial assessment.
Each course of treatment can vary greatly for every person and so too will the cost, but to give some indication for various options, you can expect topical treatments to start at $195 and micro needling packages (which include product) will generally range from $290 to $1050.
Cosmelan® is the World’s number one skin lightening treatment for good reason. It differs from other skin lightening treatments or chemical peels because the ingredients are designed to treat the specific symptoms of Melasma. A common skin pigmentation condition that can occur in both men and women, Melasma will often appear in dark patches, often with distinct edges on the cheekbones, forehead, nose and upper lip but can also develop in other areas of the face. There are a number of factors that can trigger Melasma and it has long been one of the toughest skin conditions to treat because discoloration lies so deep within the skin's layers so is hard for medications to target.
Q: Hows does it work?
A: Cosmelan is a depigmentation agent, which acts by decreasing melanin from the skin. Melanin is responsible for the darkening of the skin and contributing to such factors as melasma and other skin discolourations. Melanin is increased by sun exposure, acne, ageing, and hormone fluctuation. Cosmelan has the ability to inhibit an enzyme (tyrosinase) that is involved in the process of causing skin darkening. Cosmelan leads to a decrease in melanin synthesis and hence to a decrease in darkened skin color.
Unlike other hydroquinone and tretinoin treatments, which can be harsh on the skin and cause a number of unpleasant side effects, a Cosmelan peel contains Azelaic Acid, which kills bacteria on the surface of the skin and boosts new skin cell production; and Kojic Acid, which is an acid that is derived from several different types of naturally-existing fungi and which inhibits the production of melanin in the skin
Q: What can I expect during the treatment?
A: The process starts with an initial consultation to check your suitability for the Cosmelan peel. After this we will ask you to re-book for the actual peel treatment.
The skin is cleansed and degreased to help the peel product penetrate deeper into the skin. The peel mask is then applied and allowed to dry. The client leaves with the clinic with the mask on and leaves it on for 8-12 hours. The mask is then washed off after this time and home care products can be used. The following day another appointment is required for a check-up and a maintenance cream will be given to use at home. Detailed aftercare is given and another appointment will be booked for a month later to check progress
Q: Are there any side effects?
A: Post-treatment you can expect to experience some peeling and redness and your skin will have a prolonged sensitivity to the sun. Most peeling will occur in the first week after treatment but dryness, tightness and slight soreness may continue for up to 4 weeks.
Q: How many treatments would I need?
A: A single in-clinic treatment followed two check-up appointments to review progress and results. You should expect to use a Cosmelan 2 maintenance cream for 7 months after the initial peel treatment to ensure the Melasma doesn’t return. The initial package cost includes your initial treatment, two check-up appointments and the 7 month supply of maintenance products.
Q: What results can I expect to see?
A: You should start to see substantial improvement after just two weeks. Blemishes, pigmented patches will start to diminish and skin will start to look brighter. More significant results can be seen at the end of the second week post treatment and in 99% of cases involving blemishes or abnormal hyperpigmentation of epidermal origin, the blemish elimination process achieved a 95% efficacy rate.
It is worth noting that without adequate sun protection any exposure to the sun can undo months of treatment and the dark patches can return. It is imperative that complete sun protection every day post treatment.