So what are we talking about when we say Pigmentation? We’re talking about skin discolorations, including dark spots, blotches or the most common symptom being our old friend the freckle. Almost 9 out of 10 women have some kind of pigmentation symptom.
The main causes of pigmentation:
1. Overexposure of the skin to sunlight. Such freckles will fade when sun exposure is reduced or eliminated.
2. When the melanin skin pigment accumulates in one place, then it may result in freckles.
3. Genetic Influences
4. Hormone imbalance (estrogen over-stimulates pigment-producing cells, causing them to generate excess color when exposed to sunlight.)
Types of Pigment
PIHP(post inflammatory hyper pigmentation) – is the dark brown pigment that is primarily formed when an acne scar, rash, scratch mark or an injury gets over exposure to UV rays.
Melasma (or choalsma) – The dark spots often found on cheeks, forehead and upper lip. Caused by hormonal factors such as pregnancy, contraception pills and menopausal changes. Pigments can be deposited superficially (epidermal) or deeper (dermal).
Ephelides (singular: ephelis, the Greek word for freckle): These are flat and red or brown in color. These kinds of freckles generally appear in summer season and look fainter in the winter season.
Lentigines (singular: lentigo, from the Latin word for lentil): These are small in size and can be tan, brown or black in color which tends to be darker than an ephelis-type freckle and does not fade in winter.
Pigmentation Removal and Pigmentation Treatments:
Bleaching Creams – Products that containing arbutin are one of the most skin-friendly whitening and spot lightening agents. Hydroquinone and kojic acid are one of the beneficial treatments for freckles.
Chemical Peel:An acid (usually glycolic acid) is used to exfoliate age spots, freckles, discoloration and damaged skin allowing new skin to regenerate.
Microdermabrasion: A device almost like a fine sandblaster is used to spray tiny crystal across the face, mixing gentle abrasion with suction to remove the dead, outer layer of skin as well as dark spots and freckles.
Cryosurgery: A light freeze with liquid nitrogen can be used to treat freckles.
Laser Freckle Removal:There are many solutions based on laser treatments. The Laser Freckle Removal treatment is safe and effective. The light is absorbed by the oxyhemoglobin and melanin so that the darker cells are destroyed and the healthy cells are left in tact.
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light): Using a broad band of intense pulsed light rather than a laser beam, the treatment safely targets and improves concerns such as freckles, uneven skin tone, fine lines, and vascular blemishes like broken veins.
elōs (Electro-optical Synergy): Possibly the safest and most effective treatment for freckles, discoloration and pigment removal. Cooling of the sapphire treatment tip helps direct energy focus on to the problem area. This enables use of light energy at a level that is safe for all skin types (less optical energy compared to conventional lasers and IPLs).