Skin Pigmentation Treatment
What is Skin Pigmentation?
Skin pigmentation refers to the coloration of the skin, which is determined by the presence of melanin. While a certain level of pigmentation is normal, excessive or uneven pigmentation can lead to various concerns. Brown spots from sun damage, discoloration from post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and darkened areas from melasma are common types of pigmentation issues that many individuals encounter. Understanding these conditions and knowing how to treat them can help restore a more even and radiant complexion.
We will delve into the causes, characteristics, and treatment options for each of these types of pigmentation.
Brown Spots from Sun Damage
Excessive sun exposure can lead to the formation of brown spots, commonly referred to as sunspots or age spots. These spots are typically flat, round, and vary in size. They commonly appear on areas exposed to the sun, such as the face, hands, shoulders, and arms. Sunspots occur due to the overproduction of melanin in response to UV radiation.
- Topical Treatments: Over-the-counter creams and lotions containing ingredients like hydroquinone, retinoids, kojic acid, or vitamin C can help fade sunspots over time.
- Chemical Peels: A skin care specialist can perform a chemical peel to exfoliate the skin and lighten the appearance of sunspots.
- Laser Therapy: Laser treatments, such as the Sciton BBL or Halo hybrid fractional laser resurfacing, can target and reduce the pigmentation caused by sun damage.
Discoloration from Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) refers to the darkening of the skin that occurs as a result of inflammation or injury, such as acne, burns, or cuts. It happens when excess melanin is produced in response to the healing process.
- Sun Protection: Protecting the affected areas from the sun is crucial as UV exposure can worsen the pigmentation. Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Topical Treatments: Ingredients like hydroquinone, azelaic acid, retinoids, and vitamin C can be applied topically to reduce the appearance of PIH.
- Chemical Peels: Depending on the severity of the discoloration, chemical peels can help accelerate the fading process by promoting skin cell turnover.
- Microdermabrasion: This procedure involves exfoliating the top layer of skin to reveal fresh, less pigmented skin beneath.
- Bela MD combines medical dermal infusion with microdermabrasion for even more added benefits.
- Energy devices, such as the Halo hybrid, fractional laser, Fotona Dynamis fractional laser, Picoway, and the Sylfirm X RF microneedling system are all known to provide exceptional results through a series of treatments.
Darkened Areas from Melasma
Melasma is a common skin condition characterized by symmetrical, brownish-gray patches that typically appear on the face, particularly the cheeks, forehead, upper lip, and chin. Hormonal changes, sun exposure, and genetics can contribute to the development of melasma.
- Topical Treatments: Medical grade creams containing hydroquinone, tretinoin, corticosteroids, or kojic acid can help lighten melasma spots.
- Chemical Peels: Chemical peels with ingredients like glycolic acid or trichloroacetic acid can help fade melasma patches.
- Energy Devices: Certain laser treatments, such as fractional laser resurfacing, Q-switched lasers, Pico Lasers and certain RF microneedling devices such as the Sylfirm C can target and break up the pigmented cells associated with melasma. Caution must be taken when treating melasma by avoiding heat to the treated areas. Heat can worsen the pigmentation. The Sylfirm X and Pico lasers are able to break up the pigment without heating up the skin significantly.
- Combination Therapy: In some cases, a combination of topical treatments, chemical peels, and energy devices may be recommended for optimal results.
Dealing with pigmentation issues can be a challenge, but with the right knowledge and treatment approaches, it's possible to achieve a more even skin tone. Whether you're dealing with sunspots, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or melasma, it's important to consult with a skincare professional for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan.
Remember, consistent sun protection and a holistic approach to skincare are vital for maintaining long-term results and preventing further pigmentation concerns.
Schedule Your Appointment
If you are concerned with skin pigmentation, call us today at 604-662-7368 to schedule an appointment at our office. Our experienced team can evaluate your skin and provide the best treatment options for you.