Most people who have brown spots and/or pigmentation, know this is the result of ageing and sun exposure. But did you know that pigmentation can also be caused by heat, friction, skin injury, inflammation, acne, hormones and even stress?
This may come as a surprise to most people because we are always taught to protect our skin from the sun. The fact is, all pigmentation problems will deepen with UV exposure, but the initial cause will have to be addressed to gain the best results.
Let’s address each pigmentation type, the causes and the best ways to treat and manage pigmentation for clearer, brighter and even-toned skin.
Some people have a genetic predisposition to freckles. Most common in people with fair skin, and fair or red hair are especially vulnerable to freckles. Many children develop freckles on the nose and cheeks if they spend a great deal of time outdoors.
Age spots are dark brown or dark purple spots often seen on the back of arms and hands. Triggered by hormones as we age and the result of years of sun exposure, these spots are unsightly but harmless. It is important to keep an eye on them, however, because sometimes they can turn into something nastier. It’s important to have these checked by a doctor every year.
This type of pigmentation occurs deeper in the skin and is often associated with pregnancy, but can be the result of taking certain medications. Melasma is a large brown stain on the skin, mostly seen on the forehead, cheeks, or neck. Hormones, stress, and medication are the primary causes, but UV exposure will make the problem worse.
Post Inflammatory Hyper-Pigmentation
We find many people do not know about this type of pigmentation. Most commonly it occurs in people of colour, Asian, or Mediterranean background however it can also occur in Caucasian skin. For example, we are all prone to the friction of skin against skin as seen under the arms or between the thighs. Over time the skin will darken in this area.
Heat, friction, skin injury, inflammation, and acne are common causes of this type of pigmentation. As the skin heals after an injury, melanin is triggered making the skin appear darker. People prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, have to be especially careful with a laser, IPL, microdermabrasion, and very strong peels.
Once the cause has been addressed, all forms of pigmentation will improve with time, patience, diligent skincare and professional treatments designed to fade pigmentation and brighten the skin. Skincare to look for include ingredients such as Vitamin C, Niacinamide, AHAs and brightening botanical extracts such as liquorice. Professional treatments have to be selected carefully for each type of pigmentation problem.
A good place to start for most people is the Dermafix Hyperpigmented Corrective Facial – with Vitamin C infusion and then, depending on the skin type, we may go on to select additional treatments such as microdermabrasion, micro-needling or AHA peels to further target pigmentation in the skin.