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.
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.
Photorejuvenation is a popular cosmetic procedure that uses intense pulsed light (IPL).
Most people know that pulsed light treatment is used for hair removal, but this minimally invasive procedure can also be used to treat a number of skin concerns, including:
- Pigmentation and ‘age spots’
- Sun damage
- Uneven skin tone
- Rosacea or skin redness
- Broken capillaries / thread veins on the face
What are the benefits of Photorejuventation?
- Reduce hyperpigmentation and skin redness to create a more even complexion
- Make your skin appear more radiant and skin tone more even
- Stimulate the production of collagen and elastin
- Assist in the healing and reduction of acne breakouts
- Increase blood circulation to the treatment area and reduce any inflammation
How long until I see the results of a treatment?
We often recommend that photorejuvenation treatments be performed in a series of 3 treatments, scheduled 4 weeks apart, however, photorejuvenation will provide visible improvements even after just one treatment. You may notice results 10-14 days post treatment.
This client has had photorejuvenation on her hands to help with the appearance of those brown marks known as ‘age spots’.
After treatment you can expect to look as though the area has been splattered with milo – in fact, this is known as the ‘milo-ing effect’.
The darkened pigment will eventually rise to the skin surface and flake off to reveal much healthier looking skin!
Watch this space for final results!
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.
For more information, download our Treatment Information sheet.