All you need to know: Skin Pigmentation
Skin pigmentation issues are a naturally occurring problem for many people, irrespective of age and gender. Common skin pigmentation afflictions include birthmarks, freckles, uneven skin tones and sun spots; what’s more, as people age they may also more liable to develop age spots. It is important to realise that skin pigmentation doesn’t discriminate between any groups of people, ensuring that the likelihood of developing issues with skin pigmentation comes down to any combination of genetics, lifestyle and chance. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common types of skin pigmentations:
Age spots tend to occur, as the name suggests, as people get older. The skin’s ability to protect itself against the sun’s rays decreases over time, allowing for a concentration of melanin to develop on the skin, producing the effect of age spots.
Hyperpigmentation refers to a process where the body produces a large amount of melanin above what is necessary, resulting in a noticeable skin pigmentation.
Melasma, or chloasma, are skin pigmentation that can sometimes result in visible, dark patches on pregnant women; and in some cases women who are using birth control. Melasma skin pigmentations may fade shortly after giving birth, however others may find that these dark spots remain with them for a long time after birthing.
Birthmarks are a very common skin pigmentation that affects a large number of people, though not all birthmarks are necessarily formed prior to birth. These skin pigmentations can vary in size, shape and colour, though the majority retains blue, black or brown hues. Depending on their location on the body, birthmarks can go almost unnoticed for some; for others however they can be deeply embarrassing, resulting in unsightly marks on the face, legs or arms.
Skin pigmentations can have psychological effects on people, causing undue stress and suffering. Melbourne Laser Clinic offers proven methods to help men and women overcome their skin pigmentations and discolorations, from lightening procedures to evening out skin tones.
Below are ten selected facts about pigmentation. You can use these facts as a primer for learning about pigmentation, or for simple, quick tips about pigmentation prevention and management.
- Pigmentation occurs as a result of melanin – a natural process produced by melanocyte cells – deposition on the skin;
- As a natural process of the body, pigmentation is a method in which the body acts in response to external and internal conditions or processes, including sun exposure, ageing or skin irritation;
- Skin pigmentations can result from any type of skin irritation. Even irritation that results from scratching – of acne for example – can leave pigmentation spots if irritated;
- While far from the only cause of melanin build up, the most common cause of skin pigmentations are exposure to the sun;
- A little known fact is that perfume alters the skin’s resistance to the sun, making the skin more prone to pigmentation caused by the sun;
- Exposing the skin to pollution can affect the skin by forcing it to release antioxidants, resulting in the overproduction of melanin;
- Vitamin E creams and lotions can work to prevent melanin build up by supplying the skin with antioxidants;
- The sun beams out two different types of rays that have specific effects on the skin – the UVA and UVB rays. While both are harmful to the skin, the UVA ray is the one that is responsible for skin pigmentations and darkening;
- Sunscreen protects the skin against both the UVA and UVB rays. The PA shows the protection level against the UVA rays, while the SPF shows the level of protection against UVB rays. It is important to read the label on sunscreen bottles as that information will allow you to determine whether it is effective enough to protect your skin from potential pigmentation.
- Aside from the effective treatments offered at Melbourne Laser Clinic in removing skin pigmentations, there are natural ingredients which can reduce the severity of dark patches; these include Vitamin B3, lactic acids and lemon juice, among others.
MLC Intense Pulsed Light treatments:
Melbourne Laser Clinic offers Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments that are extremely effective at not only reducing, but in some cases entirely removing, skin pigmentations. They can:
- Minimise and even eliminate the appearance of pigmentation;
- Apply the treatment to any part of the body;
- Allow for a quick and painless treatment, causing minimal discomfort;
- Contains almost no side effects;
- Provide an undisruptive procedure that allows for a quick return to work and other activities;
- Can provide gradual, natural-looking improvement;
- Provide results which are long lasting.
Laser and IPL treatments are non-invasive procedures that are almost entirely pain free. Facial treatments can take as little as 30 minutes. Speaking with one of our consultants at Melbourne Laser Clinic can tailor your treatment to suit your needs.
An IPL treatment typically involves lying prostrate on a bed while one of our physicians controls the light technology – used in a series of pulses – with a computer-controlled handpiece that they direct in and around the affected areas of the skin.
Intense Pulsed Light treatments can drastically reduce skin pigmentations within a matter of 3-6 clinical procedures, depending on the severity of the pigmentations.
The treatment, once completed, allows you to return to your everyday activities, making it an effortless procedure to have during the week, even while you are at work.
Following treatments you will see a noticeable change with your skin pigmentations, as they fade and disappear. Most IPL treatments have a high success rate, with 7 in 10 people reporting a significant improvement during the course of their treatment. In some cases the pigment may darken while it heals, while in others it can become flaky as it turns the pigment into a scab. Your MLC consultant will advise you on what is recommended for ensuring effective post-treatment.
If you are confident that IPL treatments can help you manage and reduce your skin pigmentations, feel free to speak to one of our experienced specialists at a Melbourne or Geelong Cosmetic & Laser Medical Centre for further consultation and advice.