If you’ve got skin pigmentation, you’ll know how difficult it can be to cover them up. Dreaming of a flawless complexion is one thing, but finding the right treatment to realise that dream can be a challenge. Porcelain and translucent skin may not be the norm for some, but there is a way to smooth out uneven skin and remove those pigmentation for good.
Skin pigmentation is determined by melanin, which is a dark brown to black pigment that gives color to the hair, eye (iris) and skin. The amount of melanin in a person’s body is dependant on genetic factors, such as ethnicity. When the body produces too much or too little melanin, skin pigmentation disorders occur. The usual culprits are skin trauma, acne, sun damage and hormones. Pigmentation can be superficial and located epidermal layers, or deeper in the skin. It’s first important to identify the type of pigmentation you have in order to treat them effectively.
Read on for a guide to the top 3 most common types of pigmentation and how to treat them each one of them.
What it is: Freckles are spots which commonly appear with sun exposure and are found on the cheeks and nose. They show up in the teenage years, increasing with age and usually darken with sun exposure.
How can we treat it: Avoid sun exposure as much as possible. Wear a sunscreen of at least 30SPF even when it’s cloudy. Apply to bare skin at least 15 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every 2 hourly. Sunscreen won’t get rid of existing freckles, but it helps prevent new ones from forming. Studies showed that light and laser treatment lightened more than 50 percent of freckles in 62 percent of participants. The treatment is generally safe when done by a certified doctor.
What it is: Melasma tends to be distributed either over the cheeks or a central distribution from the forehead down to the chin. It is multifactorial, with a strong genetic and hormonal component and can worsened with sun exposure, appears in association with oral contraceptive (OCP) use or pregnancy.
How can we treat it: A carefully personalised programme works best as every melasma is different. They can be lightened and controlled with strict sun protection, advanced treatments such as prescription creams, oral medication, medical peels and lasers.
3. SUN SPOTS
What it is: Sun spots develops after prolonged periods of sun exposure and often look like brown specks. They most commonly present on the face, hands, arms or on areas of the body most often exposed to the sun. While they can be harmless, they are a result of cells that have been damaged by the sun, which produce melanin as a result.
How can we treat it: While it’s true that usually skin sun spots are harmless and not cancerous, it is still recommended to take the opinion of a skin doctor to rule out the risk. Treatments include prescription creams, medical peels, light and lasers.
While over-the-counter skincare targeted at lightening pigmentation certainly isn’t new, most of them fade dark spots by exfoliation. These creams slough away the outer layer of skin, allowing new and lighter skin to show through underneath. Although they may help to slightly lighten pigmentation, it is still best to consult the doctor for his expert opinions on the diagnosis and treatment plan that would work best in your case.
Disclaimer: The material contained in this is for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for doctor’s advice, diagnosis, or treatment.