Do you have ‘age spots’, ‘sun spots’ or ‘brown spots’?
Skin Pigmentation issues are common with people who spent a lot of time in the sun whilst growing up. They are called “age spots” for a reason – early skin damage can show up in your 30’s, 40s, and 50’s.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Human skin contains melanocyte cells that produce melanin, a chemical that gives skin its colour. Too much melanin leads to hyperpigmented skin and common examples include freckles and age spots. Hyperpigmentation can results from sun exposure, trauma to the skin or as a side effect of pregnancy and certain drugs. Hyperpigmentation can cause your skin to look uneven, sallow and aged. The most common types of hyperpigmentation include:
- Solar/actinic keratosis (sun spots)
- Lentigines (freckles)
- Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)
Treating hyperpigmentation often requires a multifaceted approach as there is no one single procedure that can resolve the pigmentation. It can affect the skins surface (epidermal), deep (dermal) or it can be both. A thorough skin assessment is important to establish the type of hyperpigmentation so a tailored treatment plan can then be recommended to achieve best results.
What are the main causes?
Ultra Violet Light
One of the main causes of hyperpigmentation is prolonged sun exposure. Cumulative ultraviolet radiation(UV) can penetrate deep into the skin and cause pigmented lesions including liver spots, age spots, freckles and actinic keratosis.
Medications & Hormones
This type of hyperpigmentation is caused by hormonal fluctuations, and is a normal occurrence during pregnancy. It can also occur as a results of thyroid dysfunction and as a side effect of taking birth control pills or hormone therapy medication. This type of hyperpigmentation is called Melasma and it appears as a butterfly-shaped darkening of the skin which often appears across the cheeks, upper lips and forehead.
This type of hyperpigmentation is called Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) and is caused by skin injury such as psoriasis, burns, acne and some skin care treatments. It usually goes away as the skin regenerates and heals, however in darker skin types PIH can sometimes be permanently embedded in the skin.
What treatments are available?
The Fraxel 1927nm and the CO2 Fractionated RF Dot Therapy are two great procedures that can dramatically improve sun damaged or hyper pigmented skin. The laser technology produces tiny dots of laser to treat “fractions” of the skin, removing the pigmentatation along with the top layers, allowing the remaining intact skin to heal and rejuvenate. These laser treatments have become the gold standard for the removal of pigmented skin compared to traditional lasers.
This treatment utilises Intense Pulse Light (IPL) to absorb the superficial pigmentation in the skin. It can also pick up any superficial redness and tiny little capillaries at the same time to refresh the skin.
Chemical Skin Peeling
Chemical skin peels that contain specific lightening ingredients can reduce hyperpigmenattion by exfoliating the layers of the skin where pigmented spots and discolouration are present. This treatment is more ideal for those with superficial (epidermal) hyperpigmentation. It also helps to improve skin penetration to further reduce and prevent pigmentation from coming back.
It is known that UV light from the sun can cause skin darkening and hyperpigmentation. Applying a good quality brad spectrum sunscreen everyday is the most important part in treatment and preventing discolouration and pigmented skin.
These contain bleaching and pigment inhibiting ingredients including hydroquinone, kojic acid, retinol, lactic acid, glycolic acid and salicylic acid. These are effective topical preparations for hyper pigmented skin and to maintain a brighter complexion.
Next Step: Booking your Initial Consultation for Hyperpigmentation Treatments
Send us a confidential enquiry or call on (03) 8849 1400 to arrange your Confidential Consultation with one of our Coco Ruby team.
Want more information before scheduling your treatment consultation?
- Request more information about any of our skin procedures including laser rejuvenation, Fraxel, Injectables or Healite II treatments – call or contact us
- Attend our FREE Regular Practice Events and meet our Skin Treatment Experts and our team of Plastic Surgeons – learn more about non-surgical and surgical options for face, body, breast and skin