If freckles, skin discolouration, dark spots and birthmarks are plaguing your skin, a treatment for pigmentation may be just what you need.
These common skin concerns are collectively known as hyper-pigmentation, which is caused when an excess of melanin forms deposits in the skin.
Dark spots, skin discolouration, blotchiness, ephelides (freckles) and melasma are all common skin concerns known as ‘hyperpigmentation’.
Hyperpigmentation is the over production of melanin resulting in skin darkening. Often this excessive melanin production clusters in localised areas in a disorderly fashion forming patchy skin tones or “dark spots”.
The term ‘pigmentation’ refers to the skin’s natural colour irrespective of any sun exposure. This natural colouring is associated with cells within the skin known as melanocytes. The melanocytes primary function is to produce pigments referred to as ‘melanins’ which provide natural protection against ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the sun.
Hyperpigmentation is darkening and discoloration of the skin, often due to higher than normal levels of melanin, (the chemical that gives skin its pigmentation), and a type of hyperpigmentation that’s more often seen in women or those with darker skin tones, is melasma. A real pain for those who find it suddenly appearing in their life, melasma occurs on the cheeks, sides of the face, upper part of the nose, forehead and above the lips.
Melasma has been linked to hormonal influence, meaning for women on the contraceptive pill, the discolouration that appears may very much be due to their choice of medication. Melasma is also more likely to occur during pregnancy or during other times of hormonal imbalance, and can decrease once hormones are back to their normal state.
Sun damage has a big part to play in making the appearance of any melasma much darker and more visible, so if there’s one top tip – it’s to protect your skin from the sun! Make sure the sunblock is packed and purchase an easy to slip on shawl.
Hyperpigmentation has a reputation of being difficult to treat. That’s why it helps to have professional advice and a number of different approaches. A detailed skin analysis by our expert skin specialists is a great place to start. During your skin consultation we look at your skin through a Woods Lamp which allows us to assess your skin through different levels. Woods Lamp uses a UV light to allow us to see through the deeper dermal levels (we can see pigmentation underneath the skin which we can’t see with a naked eye).
If you have any concerns about your sun spots we strongly advise that you visit our friends at Mole Check to have them checked out and put your mind at ease before having them treated with us.
The way to eradicate pigmentation is to lighten the skin, and this can be done in a number of ways. A new approach to treating vascular and benign pigmented conditions, Laser Excel V, Direct Needle Therapy and IPL are three treatments that can help to reduce the appearance of pigmentation, and return your skin to a much healthier looking state.
At Total Body Concept we also offer microdermabrasion treatments, as well as two facial peels that are designed to help reduce pigmentation; the Brightening Accelerator Facial and the Mandelic Peel. Both peels will help to brighten your skin and improve your overall complexion by working to even out your skin tone.
The most effective method to remove pigmentation is IPL or Intense Pulsed Light. A course of IPL treatments can help to reduce the appearance of pigmentation, and return your skin to a much healthier looking state. This treatment involves quick and powerful flashes of light penetrating the skin’s surface, where melanin exists. The heat caused from IPL breaks down the melanin pigment into small particles which will either rise to the skin’s surface and be naturally removed, or the particles will be carried away by the body’s lymphatic system. IPL is an extremely effective way of treating pigmentation, with real and visible results.
Excel V is the most advanced aesthetic technology that combines two powerfully precise lasers to target and eliminate vascular concerns (redness, unsightly veins) and benign pigmented lesions (age spots, sun spots, discolouration) on the face and body.
The less invasive of the two treatments, Excel V is great for individual spot treatments. Nearly twenty unique aesthetic and dermatologic skin concerns. The most common Excel V treatments include rosacea, facial and leg veins, age/brown spots and acne scars.
Your therapist will select one of Excel V’s two lasers and customise the treatment settings to target the colour and depth of your skin concern. Most treatments are finished in just a few minutes.
Direct Needle Therapy is a skin rejuvenation treatment that helps to restore and accelerate the skin’s own regeneration of collagen and elastin through a natural healing process. During the healing process your skin resurfaces and new cells are brought to the surface. If you have any superficial pigmentation this will be slothed off with the older skin cells, leaving you with a much more even skin tone, texture and brighter complexion.
Microdermabrasion is a non-surgical exfoliation technique to remove dead skin cells from the outer layer of skin. The treatment helps to improve irregularities on the surface of the skin including pigmentation marks.
Our Ultra Brightening Accelerator facial contains a powerful blend of ingredients that will rapidly break down melanin within pigment cells and kick start the removal of hyper-pigmentation from your skin.
An ideal treatment for hyperpigmentation, Mandelic acid, the main ingredient of this peel is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) derived from bitter almonds which helps to efficiently eliminate dead skin cells, counteract excess lipids on the skin, unblock pores, break down intercellular bonds and activate the skin’s natural regeneration cycle.
As an alpha hydroxy acid, Mandelic acid works by breaking up the bond between skin cells, leading to an increased rate of cellular turnover. This is beneficial because it purges the skin of dead skin cells, which can contribute to hyperpigmentation. At higher concentrations Mandelic acid makes a great chemical peel and is less irritating than a Glycolic or Lactic peel.
Read more about pigmentation on our journal