Pigment and hyperpigmentation can be a big cause of image anxiety and stress for us. It is incredibly important to me, that I can help you find the causes and provide treatments to improve this skin concern, making you feel more confident.
Pigmentation is due to the deposit of the pigment melanin, which is produced by melanocytes through a process of melanogenesis. There are many causes which can influence hyper activity of this process:
1. Genetics will pre determine your natural skin pigment and how your melanocytes respond to possible pigment triggers
2. Hormone imbalances and fluctuations can create hyperpigmentation like melasma which we see during pregnancy
3. Sun exposure and heat found in hot climates, hot yoga, exercise and hot ovens (cooking/baking) can stimulate melanogenesis as a skin defence mechanism
4. Certain medications can increase sensitivity to sun exposure and hyperpigmentation
5. Trauma, injury and inflammation from acne, abrasions and poorly executed treatments can result in hypo or hyperpigmentation. High inflammatory markers within the body can also trigger melanogenesis as a skin defence mechanism
The different types of hyperpigmentation we can see include sun damage (freckles), melasma, post inflammatory pigmentation (acne scarring), letignes or liver spots, melanomas, acquired bilateral naevus of ota like macules and dermatosis papulosa nigra. All of which are difficult to fully resolve, but when we pin point the triggers and include good home care and facials in a treatment plan it is manageable. We can treat pigmentation with:
1. Consistent wear of a good quality sun screen everyday with re-application throughout the day if necessary. I recommend Coola Sun Care which is a high quality and cruelty free range using natural ingredients.
2. Using a serum with a tyrosinase inhibitor. Tyrosinase is an enzyme that aids in the conversion of melanin. When we inhibit this it reduces the risk of further hyperpigmentation. I recommend either Aspect Skin Care - Pigment Punch + or Cosmedix Skin Care - Simply Brilliant.
3. A professional course of peels with highly active ingredients will target the deeper layers of the skin, reducing the appearance of pigmentation
4. Avoid activities that you know trigger your pigmentation eg. Sun exposure, hot yoga, baking in front of a hot oven
5. In your skin care regime include vitamins A, B and C and cleansers and exfoliants with AHAs and BHAs to encourage your skins natural exfoliation process and lift pigmentation. From Aspect Skin Care I recommend Retinol Brulee, Extreme B, Extreme C, Purastat 5 cleanser, Exfol L and Illuminating Polish. From Cosmedix Skin Care I recommend Define, Refine, Pure C, Purity Clean, Defy, Simply Brilliant and Glow mask.
6. Invest in more intensive treatments such as micro needling to encourage cell repair in the deeper layers of your skin
Pigmentation is not a quick fix and once present will require continual maintenance. It is imperative to follow these steps as closely as possible when treating pigmentation, and is highly recommended to consult a specialist skin therapist for optimal results. Book a complementary skin consultation now if you are serious about treating your pigmentation!