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Everything you need to know about hyperpigmentation treatments

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Hyperpigmentation occurs for many of us and can affect most skin types. A substance called melanin is over-produced in areas of the skin that have been overexposed to sunlight or other contributing factors. Melanin helps to protect the skin as a defence against damage caused by UV rays. As a result of this melanin production, the skin changes colour (tanning, brown spots, freckles and dark patches).

As time passes, and as we age, we can start to notice age spots. These are actually patches of hyperpigmentation that have come to the surface of the skin over time. Age spots are the same as hyperpigmentation, simply darker skin patches that have come to its surface during the ageing process.

How is pigmentation formed?

To understand this, we need to know what’s going on beneath your skin.

Melanocytes are found in the basal layer of your skin. They are responsible for the production of melanin, which gives the skin its pigment, by converting amino acids into tyrosine, which is then converted to melanin. If we imagine the melanocyte as a factory that produces pigment, the skin uses melanocytes for protection from UV light.

Keratinocytes are then the carriers of this pigment to the upper layers of the skin, which is where we notice the darker patches, freckles or tan marks. Our skin cells are in constant momentum to the surface of the skin. Dead proteins and melanin continually build up the surface of the skin.

Common Causes of Pigmentation/hyperpigmentation

  • Overexposure to the sun
  • Birth control, which makes the skin more sun-sensitive
  • Hormones changes from pregnancy or menopause (melasma)
  • Medications that cause liver damage or light sensitivity
  • Inflammation of the skin
  • Acne or picking acne
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Damage to the skin

There are four types of hyperpigmentation (an overproduction of pigment in the skin)

  • Melasma: Large dark brown patches that usually show up on the forehead, cheeks, or around the mouth. This is a hormonal condition.
  • Post-inflammatory pigmentation, referred to by specialists as PIP: Smaller, individual dark spots (red/brown/dark brown) leftover from skin trauma. This could be a blemish, insect bite, or a reaction to a cut or scratch.
  • Age/Sun Spots: Flat patches, which can be light or darker brown in colour. These are mostly caused by sun exposure over time.
  • Freckles: Smaller brown spots, usually brought on during childhood—a genetic condition.
    How can I get rid of my skin pigmentation?

While we can treat pigmentation successfully and permanently in some cases, it’s not always possible to completely get rid of it. Pigmentation is very complex and usually occurs so deeply within the skin that it can be difficult to treat it completely. The treatment’s success is based on an individual’s skin type, tolerance to the various treatments, and probably most importantly, how dedicated you are to improving the condition and sticking to a strict regimen.

At KL Cosmetic Clinics in Doncaster, we offer a range of treatments for pigmentation, which can fade dark spots or marks and improve skin quality. They include:

  • HydraFacial with boosters – a pain-free, tailored facial using HydraFacial technology to deeply yet gently exfoliate your skin, alongside at-home use products to lighten dark areas of the skin further. Patients can have a regular HydraFacial once a month to optimise and maintain results. Unlike some facials, HydraFacial offers no downtime and can be enjoyed during your lunch break. There is no requirement for a topical anaesthetic, and patients can notice a significant improvement in their skin’s tone, texture and quality with regular treatment.
  • ZO 3-Step Peel™ – developed by leading dermatologist Dr Zein Obagi, this range of highly-potent, effective and clinically-proven chemical peel to deeply exfoliate, lighten and correct the tone of the skin. The 3-Step Peel™ uses a blend of salicylic, trichloroacetic and lactic acids to remove the outer layer of the epidermis. Glycerine is also present to improve the skin’s hydration. Your skin specialist at KL will recommend a follow-on skin regime to maintain and enhance results following the treatment.

Home treatment for hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone

Using a cosmeceutical skincare regime at home is vital to maintain results that are achieved with our in-clinic treatments. We are often asked regularly here at KL Cosmetic Clinics if patients can discontinue their skincare regime once the pigmentation is under control or has been eradicated. The answer to this is quite simply, “yes – if you want your pigmentation to re-occur!, NO – if you would like to maintain your results”.

Pigmentation can easily creep back if you are not staying on top of it with a good quality, proven skincare product range, as it has ‘memory’. UV rays don’t simply appear when the sun is out; UVA is a constant threat, even when it is cloudy, so it’s an absolute MUST that you continue to use the products we recommend at home if you want to ensure that your pigmentation will not return. When treating pigmentation at home, there are a few vital skincare routine steps to adhere to:-

• Exfoliate – this created cellular turnover to slough away damaged surface skin cells
• Treat – brighten the skin and remove existing pigmentation with skin brighteners
• Protect – use a high-factor SPF of at least factor 30, reapplied regularly, to guard your skin against the damaging effects of UV rays

Pigmentation and uneven skin tone can be tricky to treat, so when we have done our work here at KL Cosmetic Clinics in Doncaster, it’s vital to maintain your results at home. Think of us as Doncaster’s skin treatment mentors, keeping us in the know of any further changes to your skin tone; should small areas of hyperpigmentation start to re-appear, we can usually catch it and restore it early. Together, we can make a huge difference to your skin tone and health with our range of state-of-the-art treatments and home-use products.

For more information on hyperpigmentation skin treatments in Doncaster and the surrounding areas, contact our friendly team today. You can also book a consultation either face to face with one of our skin health experts or have a virtual consultation from the comfort of your own home.

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