What is pigmentation?
Melanin is the pigment responsible for the colour of our skin. When our skin becomes damaged extra melanin is produced to protect it.
There are two types of pigmentation:
Hyperpigmentation is a darkening patch of skin whilst Hypopigmentation is a lightening of the skin.
What causes pigmentation?
Hypopigmentation is often caused by a trauma to the skin such as scarring, we can only treat hyperpigmentation as often with hypopigmentation it can be hard to get the colour back.
There are 3 main causes of hyperpigmentation:
- Sun damage
- Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
Pigmentation patches (solar lentigines) can develop after years of sun exposure. They are most common on areas frequently exposed to the sun: face, chest, arms and legs. Freckles are a normal genetic factor for many people however they can worsen with sun exposure.
Melasma/Cholasma is caused by hormones. It tends to appear as a larger patch on the face and can be symetrical on both sides of the face. Oral contraceptives and pregnancy can trigger it whilst sun exposure can darken it.
Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) can develop as a result of a trauma to the skin such as acne. PIH is a pigmentation that is left behind once the skin heals, this may be pink, purple, brown or black in colour.
How can I reduce my pigmentation?
The most important thing you can do is wear SPF. Ensure your SPF is a broad spectrum, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Also keep areas prone to pigmentation covered from direct sunlight.
Treatments for pigmentation
Because pigmentation can differ from person to person it’s not a one size fits all approach. Before every treatment journey begins we carry out a full consultation including a skin analysis with our scanner, this can show us how deep your pigmentation is.
Dermaquest Modified Jessner Peel
This advanced peel combines Salicylic acid with Resorcinol to reduce excess oil, treat current and prevent future breakouts whilst reducing any post inflammatory pigmentation scars from previous breakouts. Downtime peeling of 1-2 weeks.
Microneedling with the Dermicapen reduces pigment by causing micro ‘trauma wounds’ to the skin to encourage the production of collagen. Collagen is our bodys own wound healer. Collagen production will start throughout the treatment but as our skin takes 4 weeks on average to renew we start to see results after this time. Our skin becomes resurfaced after each treatment.
Skin will feel like a mild sunburn after so to finish off we apply a bio cellulose mask to promote healing and further absorption of serums. We advise 3-6 treatments, 4-6 weeks apart along with a homecare regime. Downtime of 1-2 weeks.
Combining Trichloroacetic Acid with Salicylic Acid and finishing with retinol this treatment peels away your top layer of dead skin cells whilst reducing pigmentation. Downtime 1-2 weeks.
Using Cynosure laser at 755nm, we can target areas of sun damage. The melanin in the pigment is our target, this absorbs the light from the laser and initially darkens before beginning to break down. The number of sessions needed depends on severity of pigmentation. We cannot treat melasma or PIH with laser. We may advise you to visit your doctor beforehand to ensure your pigmentation is safe to treat.
LED Light Therapy
Light Emitting Diode technology uses different wavelengths to treat different skin conditions. Each wavelength (depth of skin penetration) creates a different coloured light. For pigmentation we use the green light, this can be added on to other treatments.
Obagi Nu-Derm System
This prescription only range uses Hydroquinone to even skin tone. Results can be acheived in just a few weeks.
No treatment plan is complete without a homecare regime. Again as we treat everyone on a case by case basis, at each consultation we advise a regime for you. Some of these products can include:
This oil free SPF provides high protection from sun damage whilst added Fernblock provides added protection.
Obagi Retinol 0.5/1.0
During your consultation we can advise which strength you should use. Retinol is vitamin A, it will speed up cell renewal and promote the growth and repair of skin cells. Smoothing and refining skin whilst stimulating collagen production. It also includes jojoba oil and shea butter to promote firmness and elasticity.
Dermaquest Peptide Glyco Cleanser
With 15% glycolic acid, peptides and lactic acid; this treatment cleanser smoothes and gently resurfaces skin.
Skinceuticals Phloretin CF
With 10% L Ascorbic acid (pure vitamin C) Phloretin CF provides advanced protection against free radical and environmental damage. Phloretin derived from green apples helps to improve skin tone and reduce hyperpigmentation.
Dermaquest Mini Pumpkin Mask
With pumpkin pulp (natural enzyme), Lactic and Mandelic acids it exfoliates skin to provide a bright and glowing complexion. Weekly at home treatment.
Dermaquest Skinbrite Range
Within this range is a cleanser, serum and moisturiser all with pigment reducing ingredients. Combining lactic acid with pigment reducing peptides this range is strong but gentle.
Skinceuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector
Combining Hydroxyphenoxy Propionic Acid with Salicylic acid to reduce pigmentation and smooth skin.
Skinceuticals Discolouration Defense
Tranexamic acid contains anti-inflammatory properties to soothe the skin, Niacinamide restores dull skin, controls sebum production and helps to produce pigment evenly whilst HEPES exfoliates dead skin. Targeted treatment, apply to individual patches of pigment including Post Inflammatory Pigmentation.
Book your Online Consultation to start your skincare journey to clear skin.