The in’s and out’s of pigmentation and how to treat it

What Is Pigmentation?
Pigmentation are spots or darker patches of skin caused by excess production of melanin and are typically caused by hormones, the sun or inflammation from trauma.
There are many different types of pigmentation such as melasma, chloasma, freckles, dark circles and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Melasma is a skin condition which usually effects woman who are on the contraceptive pill. It will appear as darker patches across the forehead, upper lip and sides of the face and usually worsens when the skin is exposed to the sun or heat.
Chloasma is a hormonal condition caused by excessive melanin production during pregnancy. It will appear as a mask across the face and will also worsen when exposed to the sun, however it does usually resolve itself post pregnancy.
Freckles are usually hereditary, however they can also be sun induced and will become darker when exposed to the sun.
Dark circles under the eyes are more often than not hereditary and will appear worse the finer the skin is under the eye.
Post Inflammatory hyperpigmentation is caused by trauma to the skin and is usually seen as a marking left after a breakout has cleared.

How To Treat Pigmentation?
You cannot successfully treat pigmentation without protecting your skin from the sun so taking a preventative approach by using a good quality broad spectrum sunscreen is key.
In conjunction with sunscreen it’s also great to look for ingredients such as Niacinamide, Vitamin C, Retinol and AHA’s such as Lactic Acid to encourage cell turnover.
Hydroquinone is also very effective, however it’s often not well tolerated and shouldn’t be used long term.
Sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet can also help manage pigmentation. This includes avoiding dairy, wheat, soy, peanuts and refined sugars.

In clinic we can successfully treat pigmentation in a number of ways.
Laser works great to treat sun induced pigment. IPL is also very effective and has the added benefit of diffusing redness that is also usually present on a sun damaged skin.
Laser usually requires two to four treatments for sun damage and up to ten treatments for hormonal pigment and for best results are performed monthly.
IPL usually requires two to four treatments and can be performed two to four weeks apart.
For hormonal pigmentation depigmentation peels such as Dermamelan or Cosmelan are a safer option and work by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase to stop the excessive production of pigment. These peels are usually performed as a once off and results can be maintained with yearly treatments if necessary.
Lactic Acid Peel’s and Vitamin A Infusions are also great as they help to resurface and gradually lighten the complexion resulting in a much more even skin tone.
For Dark Circles, Dermal Filler which is made up of Hyaluronic Acid is best and works by filling out the fine skin under the eyes. This treatment usually lasts six – twelve months.
With most of these treatments the skin goes through a resurfacing process possibly causing flaking, redness, irritation and inflammation before the new skin is revealed so you will need about a week for your skin to recover.

Laser $550 per treatment
IPL $380 per treatment
Cosmelan $1000 per treatment
Dermamelan $1500 per treatment
Lactic Peel $150 per treatment
Vitamin A Infusion $250 per treatment
Dermal Filler $590 per ml