What causes pigmentation of the skin?
Sun damage is generally the main cause of pigmentation issues and is predominantly seen in light skinned individuals. For those with dark skin, pigmentation tends to be related to melasma or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation caused by hormonal issues, acne, psoriasis, burns or injury.
When the skin is exposed to UV radiation, hormonal balance or trauma, it activates melanocytes which increase melanin production. Melanin is the pigment that gives the skin colour. When melanin is not evenly distributed, it can cause freckles, brown spots or patchy pigmentation. Although freckles and brown spots are not a skin disorder, it is a key sign of sun exposure and damage which will age the skin prematurely and is associated with skin cancers.
Treatment for Pigmentation
Pigmentation due to UV damage can be treated with IPL on our Harmony Laser machine. The laser is attracted to the darker pigment, shatters the pigment and draws it to the surface. This darker pigment then flakes off 5-10 days post treatment.
Although this laser treats superficial pigmentation, patients with deeper pigmentation, which is usually to due hormonal imbalance such as melasma, or post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation due to inflammation, this can be treated with a combination of skin care products and deep skin peels. By using hydroquinone products (ZO Skin Health Pigment Control and Blending Creme and Pigment Control Creme) or retinol based products (ZO Skin Health Skin Brightener 0.25%, 0.5% or 1%) alongside other ZO Skin Health products, the deep pigmentation can be effectively treated and reverses the ageing effects of sun damage and pigmentation.