Sunspots, age spots or brown patches are all terms we use to describe the uneven complexion that can be experienced on the face, hands and body. This is medically referred to as pigmentation, but what exactly is pigmentation? And is there anything we can do to prevent or reduce it?
Pigmentation refers to the colouring of our skin, hair and eyes and is determined by the level of melanin within our cells. Our skin produces melanin as a protective mechanism against the harmful effects of sun exposure and reduces the likelihood of cellular damage associated with sunburns. This process is more commonly recognised as tanning, with some of us genetically better equipped to experience longer periods of sun exposure then others. But occasionally, our bodies produce melanin unevenly as a result of certain variables such as an increase in hormones (melasma), trauma (post-inflammatory pigmentation) or simply too much sun exposure leading to hyperpigmentation (excessive amounts of pigment).
Our skin is the canvas that envelopes our body, protecting our vital organs from the outside world, managing moisture and keeping us safe from germs, toxins, cold temperatures and the sun. But functionality aside, the presentation of our skin can play a large role in how we feel about our overall appearance. So, in the event that we experience changes that are felt to be negatively impacting our skin’s presentation, many of us seek to make positive changes to resolve them.
The treatment of pigmentation disorders varies widely, and will largely depend on the characterisation of pigment and preferences of the person experiencing it. Robust, medical grade skincare is efficient in removing superficial discolouration and helping to prevent further patches from appearing. However, clinic treatments such as chemical peels are an equally efficient way to approach the problem. Stubborn pigment that exists deeper in the epidermis may require slightly more aggressive treatment and, in these cases, lasers may be required in order to improve the overall outcome.
Due to the complexity of our skin anatomy, it is crucial for us to be treated as individuals when it comes to treatment planning, and therefore it is highly advisable to see a clinician who favours individual assessment, to allow correct diagnosis of the anatomical structures in need of a little support. Performed properly, this will allow for robust treatment planning that aims to provide you with pleasing results.
If you are interested in learning more about our treatments to improve pigmentation, then please refer to the recommended treatments section of this page.Book Now