I definitely understand the struggle. I had freckles as a child and now I have those ‘dirty patches’ which are appearing on my cheek. Let me tell you, referring to them as “age spots” makes me feel worse. It is a constant battle with professional treatments and home care to keep them in check.
What causes pigmentation
The biggest one is the sun. We all know that the sun causes pigment, but do you know how?
The sun is a powerful activator of melanocytes, which are the cells in skin that are responsible for producing pigment.
The sun’s solar energy increases the number of melanocytes and their level of activity. This is why skin tans and burns when it is exposed to sun.
Melanin (pigment) is your skin’s defense mechanism against harmful UV radiation. It is the body’s way of coping with excess radiation. Melanin absorbs this heat energy to prevent it from damaging DNA and cellular organelles, both vital for normal skin function.
Any time you expose your skin to sun, the melanocytes in your skin become more active.
It is important to use sunscreen and appropriate skin care to protect against UV radiation and water loss. When our skin is dehydrated it is prone to further pigmentation as a result.
The next cause for pigmentation I want to talk about is Hormones.
What we do know is when hormone levels change we see an increase in pigmentation on the face and body. Clients who are either pregnant, on a contraceptive pill or sun sensitive medications where estrogen and progesterone levels are disrupted tend to have increased amounts of pigmentation.
Treatments for pigmentation
Firstly I believe you need to get your hormones stable. Remember, medication alters your hormone levels so if there is a natural alternative – take it!! . Look at your stress levels and your diet which you should keep as ‘clean’ as possible. Take evening primrose oil! This little beauty is amazing at stabilizing your hormones.
Next, you need to be on a full system of pigment fading skincare. Pigment needs to be tackled from different areas and usually a system does this best. Make sure you exfoliate 2-3 times per week and wear a sunscreen.
When it comes to professional treatments, you can have IPL, laser or chemical peels. Chemical peels are stronger than the exfoliants you can buy yourself from a retail store. Even the exfoliants you buy from a beautician or dermal therapist are not professional-strength. Professional-strength exfoliating products are never sold to consumers. This is one good reason to get a facial from time to time (you get a much deeper clean and exfoliation). Medical-grade peels are the strongest as they remove the most skin
You’ll need a series of treatments. Not just one or two. Treating pigment takes time so we typically need to treat the skin every 2-4 weeks with a combination of rebuilding treatments and peels. It can take several months or up to a year to complete, depending on your skin and your treatment goal.
So please look after your hormones , get some great home care and get in for some professional treatments so we can get on top of this pigment problem!!