how to treat skin pigmentation

How To Treat Skin Pigmentation

So what exactly is pigmentation and how can we treat it?

Is your pigmentation making you unhappy, affecting your confidence and resulting in you feeling the need to wear more makeup to cover up?

If the answer is yes your not alone, pigmentation is one of the most common yet complex skin conditions skin professionals encounter every day and its on the rise.

Treating pigmentation: Protection and Persistence

Improving pigmentation is challenging for therapists and clients. Pigmentation is often caused by years of damage and reversing this will not happen over night. A holistic approach is vital when treating pigmentation and the more you target the more effective your treatment programme will be. There is no one silver bullet that will cure pigmentation overnight and forever it is a longterm problem that needs commitment and perseverance.

Clients must be patient as results take time to appear. Melanactyes are in the lowest layer of the epidermis. The melanin produced is deposited in the keratinocytes also in the lower epidermis. As the keratinocytes mature and grow, they move upwards through the skin. Once they reach the upper layers of the epidermis we see visible pigmentation. The same is true in reverse when we normalise melanin production, the new, healthy keratinocytes will take time to work their way up to the visible surface of the skin.

Melasma:

Is a specific type of hyperpigmentation caused by hormonal changes and exacerbated by UV damage. Most common during pregnancy or in menopausal women Melasma usually has a distinctive appearance and is usually symmetrical across the face and is sometimes known as the pregnancy mask.

Post Inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH):

Is Inflammation in the epidermis stimulated by acne or dermatitis causing darker patches in the skin where flareups have healed. PIH also occurs if skin is severely damaged by an external aggressor such as some chemical peels, or lasers .

Solar Lentigines:

More commonly known as Age Spots, Liver Spots or Sun Spots. Most common in the over 40’s and caused by excess UV exposure

Freckles:

Another type of lentigo, freckles appear at any age and result from the short term response of melanocytes when exposed to sunlight. In freckles, the amount of pigment produced by melanocytes increases, but the number of melanocytes within the cell remains the same. Freckles are not a sign of severe skin damage, but do indicate a susceptibility to UV damage, making sun protection crucial.

Hypo-pigmenation:

Visibly the opposite of hyperpigmentation – hypo-pigmentation creates white or pale marks on the skin due to an absence of melanin. Several genetic conditions such as Vitiligo and albamism can cause hypo-pigmentation

Both Oral and topical ingredients with differing functions should be combined in a pigmentation treatment programme. Oral nutritional supplements show impressive results on pigmentation trials. As a powerful antioxidant Vitamin C helps counteract the reactive oxidative stress that triggers melanin synthesis. Skin Vit C Supplements from the Advanced Nutrition Programme have been shown to have a significant effect when treating pigmentation.

Vitamin C in the form of Ascorbic Acid has also been shown to inhibit tyrosinase, therefore reducing pigmentation. Ascorbic acid probed deeper into the skin used in the Environ Vibrant C Micro Peels has an even greater effect on treating pigmentation.

Topical Vitamin C creams such as Environs Skin EssentiA Antioxidant Moisturiser and Environs Intense C- Boost Mela-Even Cream contain fat soluble forms of Vitamin C readily accepted and absorbed in to the skin to both treat and prevent further pigmentation.

French Marine Pink Bark Extract

Is an emerging ingredient at the frontier of pigmentation treatment. Research has shown 94% of cases of pigmentation were improved using Pine Bark Extract. This ingredient can be found in The Advanced Nutritions Programmes Skin Ultimate Skin Box.

Other powerful ingredients such as Niacinamide, Astaxanthin, Geranium Extract and Clairju have all been found to reduce hyperpigmentation. These can be found in the Environ Mela fade lotion and Serum.

Lactic Acid

Studies show lactic acid accelerates epidermal turnover and inhibits tyrosinase activity, minimising existing pigmentation and preventing new pigmentation. Lactic Acid is also commonly used in Environ Cool peels. Gentle lactic acid peels are very effective within a pigmentation treatment programme, however some clients assume that stronger acids will result in faster benefits, this is not the case. Harsh acids are not beneficial for the skin and can cause serious damage, over stimulating melanocytes and causing post inflammatory pigmentation.

Sun Protection

The most crucial part of any skincare programme is protecting the skin from UV oxidative damage, it is pointless treating pigmentation without first and protecting the skin from more damage. Using daily SPF and staying out of the sun as much as possible is the best way to prevent further pigmentation, skin ageing and skin cancer.

For more information about how to treat pigmentation safety and effectively book in for a FREE Skin consultation with one of our Skin Specialists!

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