Pigmentation, Sun Damage & Melasma Treatments

How to remove pigmentation. If you suffer from Hyperpigmentation you know how genuinely frustrating it is to try to conceal, lighten or erase the spots and brown patches on your skin.

Hyperpigmentation is essentially a case of your pigment-producing cells being pushed into overdrive by either external factors (typically sun exposure) or internal factors such as hormonal shifts caused by pregnancy, birth control pills, medication or menopause. Any form of Hyperpigmentation will be worsened – sometimes significantly – by sun exposure

Hyperpigmentation may be referred to by a number of names, including brown spots, melasma, age spots, “liver spots”, sun spots, sun freckles,  pregnancy mask (melasma). Whether diffuse, as in melasma, or in single concentrated areas such as those in a freckle, hyper pigmentation can often be removed or lightened with light therapies.

Melanin – The Good and Bad of your natural pigment

Skin gets it’s color, whether light or dark, from melanin. Our skin has a different colour in different areas. There are more melanocytes in darker areas like the neck as compared to lighter areas eg; the face. However the concentration of approximately 1000 to 2000 melanocytes per cubic millimetre is the same for all race groups. So, it does not matter if you are a black skinned person or a pale redhead. you will still have about the same number of melanocytes!

Sun exposure, heat, injury or hormonal changes can all trigger increased melanin production. It is the abnormal increase that causes irregular colour on the skin. Melanin rises to the surface of the skin in response to these triggers but is not seen right away as the cells are produced deeper in the skin and then rise slowly to the surface. This is why you may not see the brown spots until days, weeks, or even months after the cause.

Melanin is a skin protector and is the body’s attempt to stop cell damage from sun or heat. The “tan” that sun worshippers seek is actually the body’s reaction to cell damage. With repeated insult, skin that evenly tans will begin to take on a mottled appearance and then begin showing concentrated dark spots. Our SKYN® solution at our Perth cosmetic clinic can assist you to remove pigmentation.

The 3 Major Causes of Hyper Pigmentation and Brown Spots

One of the primary functions of melanin production in your skin is to protect you from UV rays from the sun. A “tan” is the prime example of your body’s melanin response to the sun.
When the skin is assaulted by repeated exposure to the sun, you experience sun damage in a variety of ways and one of those is brown spots and hyper-pigmentation resulting from an over-production of melanin. Once the cycle of pigment over-production has started, it is difficult to stop it and usually medical intervention is required.

The second most frequent cause of hyper-pigmentation is hormone changes. This may be a result of birth control pills, pregnancy or the various stages of menopause. Hormone shifts trigger the melanin cells to go into over-drive. This can happen even if you are not a sun worshipper. Sun exposure will always make it worse.

The third most common cause of pigmentation is a direct result of some type of injury to the skin. Typical pigmentation-causing injuries include;

  • Improperly performed laser treatments
  • Acne or acne cysts
  • Over-exposure to heat
  • Hair waxing
  • Insect bites or itchy rashes
  • Abrasions or cuts

Inflammation is your body’s response to injury. Often inflammation is not obvious because it is occurring at a deep level. This inflammation triggers melanin production and the result is a concentration of pigment in the affected area. A common result of improperly performed hair laser is a proliferation of dark patches on the legs or face. There are a variety of hair lasers on the market and not every one is designed for every skin type and colour such as elos.

The Best Way to Prevent hyperpigmentation

Taking care of your skin by controlling sun exposure is key.

Sun exposure is the primary cause of facial and body brown spots, age spots, freckles, moles and pre-cancerous actinic keratosis. Preventing sun-induced Hyperpigmentation is a full time process. Hormones, injury and pigmentation from allergic reactions or skin disease such as acne are mostly beyond your control.

Sunscreen, Sunblock, hats and sun-protective clothing are your first line guard against not only unsightly brown patches but also sun damage that could lead to skin cancer.

Sun Damage

Sun damage is the culmination of repeated exposure to the sun’s powerful UV rays. UVA rays alter the look and feel of skin, accelerating the aging process and creating discoloration. The result is loss of collagen, wrinkles and discoloration (a.k.a. sun spots, liver spots or old age spots), as well as superficial blood vessels (telangiectasias). Meanwhile, UVB rays (the key source of sunburns) work just as aggressively at damaging the epidermis.

Sunspots (medically known as solar lentigines) are the most common expression of sun damage, and result from an overproduction of melanin as the skin attempts to protect itself from UV light. These flat lesions are tan or brown and appear most frequently on the cheekbones, temples, nose, shoulders, décolleté and hands.

What to avoid

Unprotected exposure to sunlight, especially in the late morning and early afternoon hours (11:00am – 3:00pm)

What you can do

  • Practice damage control by applying sun protection every time you go outside, all year long. Use a broad spectrum sunblock with an SPF of 30 and make sure it contains a physical sun block like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Remember to apply sunblock to the scalp (for thinning hair), ears, lips, neck, décolleté and hands. Only five sunburns in your lifetime will more than double your risk of skin cancer at a later age.
  • Skip the tanning bed. Sun lamps and tanning beds emit UVA light which causes skin cancer.
  • Fake it. There is no such thing as a safe tan, so switch to artificial self-tanners and spray tans.

SKYN® Solution

Laser toning is a unique treatment for Melasma and Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation as it uses the laser energy to reduce visible pigmentation by breaking down melanin molecules naturally, allowing your immune system to remove them. For more information: Spectra Laser Skin Toning

A series of Solari IPL treatments effectively decreases the appearance of sun spots and superficial blood vessels. For more information: Solari IPL

Fractional laser technology refreshes skin from the inside out.

For more information click here: Clear + Brilliant

This medical-grade exfoliation sloughs away the top layer of skin, helping to improve the superficial appearance of the skin.

For more information: MD Microdermabrasion

A series of “lunchtime” peels lighten hyperpigmented skin and smooth skin texture.

For more information click here: ZO Stimulator Peel

Ready to get started?

For a consultation, or to book in for a treatment, call SKYN 08 9389 9022 or book online.