Removing the mask – combating pigmentation
We all want to look our best, which is why we place so much importance on the health and appearance of our bodies. Pigmentation on the face and hands can be very distressing as these areas of the body are highly visible. The good news is that with modern aesthetic therapy, this difficult to conceal skin concern can be corrected.
Pigmentation is caused by an increase of melanin (which gives skin its colour), leading to uneven colouration and darker patches on your skin. This over production of melanin has three main causes: injury and inflammation, hormones, and sun damage. While injury and hormones are unavoidable, sun damage is, and your chances of experiencing pigmentation from sun damage will be drastically decreased by the use of sunscreen that has both UVA and UVB protection, this is especially important considering the sunny climate we have here in South Africa.
When it comes to treating skin pigmentation, winter is actually the best time of the year. As pigmentation treatment often strips away the top layers of your skin, leaving it sensitive and exposed, it helps to be treated during the winter months when the sun rays are slightly weaker. This doesn’t mean you won’t need sunscreen. During and after your pigmentation treatment sunscreen will become an important part of your beauty regime and ensure that your pigmentation treatment is effective and long-lasting.
There are a few key treatments that help lessen the appearance of pigmentation, namely:
Laser treatment: laser light is absorbed by the darker patches of the skin where melanin is more concentrated, and breaks up the melanin concentration using heat, lightening the pigmented spot. Winter is an ideal time of year for this treatment as tanned skin tends to absorb the light rather than focussing targeting the pigmentation, which prolongs the treatment time and makes it less effective. This treatment is done with the state-of-the-art Palomar, which is known for its effective results and pain-free application.
Micro needling: also known as collagen induction therapy, micro needling uses small needles to gently puncture the skin, which stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, which, in turn, helps erase the signs of pigmentation. This treatment helps reduce pigmentation that occurs in the epidermis and the dermis, meaning it is able to target deeper pigmentation than peels. Micro needling is often paired with a lightening cream to improve the results of the treatment, and get rid of as much pigmentation as possible.
Chemical peels: chemical peels are one of the most common pigmentation treatments, and are a simple and easy process. Chemical peels essentially strip away any dead skin cells, which, in turn, can remove some of the pigmented cells. Chemical peels also come in different strengths and formulations allowing aesthetic practitioners to choose one best suited to each individual case of pigmentation.
Glutathione injections: Glutathione is a combination of different chemicals including Vitamin A, C and amino acids, which is administered intravenously, and provides safe, even skin lightening. Glutathione is one of the newer pigmentation treatments and is much safer and more effective than many skin lightening creams, which can sometimes worsen pigmentation. As the glutathione is injected into your body, it can be carried to where it is needed and target pigmentation from the inside, providing great results not only in lessening skin pigmentation but also in the overall health of your skin.
All of these treatments provide lightening of the skin and excellent reduction in pigmentation, and finding the best treatment or combination of treatments for you is as easy as making an appointment with your aesthetic practitioner.