Did you know, hyperpigmentation is one of the most common skin concerns?
Never mind fine lines and wrinkles. Over 30 million people worldwide are worried about an uneven and discoloured complexion – particularly on their face, neck, décolletage and shoulders.
Pigmentations disorders can have a wide range of causes, including trauma, injury and hormonal changes. But the main culprit is sun exposure. With the summer weather hotting up – and more people than ever sunbathing at home due to lockdown – we thought we’d explore the condition in a little more detail and advise on some of the best ways for it to be prevented and treated.
Why does hyperpigmentation occur?
Essentially, hyperpigmentation is caused by an increase in melanin.
Melanin is the pigment that gives skin, hair and eyes their natural colour. If the skin is repeatedly exposed to the sun, melanin production goes into overdrive – and, eventually, this leads to a localised build-up of darker cells and dark patches (known as age spots) start to form.
These age spots can be light brown to black in colour and will often vary in terms of their size and shape. Despite their name, they have nothing to do with a person’s age. Anyone can be affected at any point in their life. And, interestingly, the spots may not necessarily appear as soon as the skin is afflicted. Sun damage that occurred in your 20s may only start to surface in your 30s or 40s.
How to prevent hyperpigmentation
It may seem obvious, but one of the best ways to avoid hyperpigmentation is to use sunscreen.
Even on cloudy days, you should apply SPF30 first thing in the morning – paying particular attention to the face and neck. If it’s a hot and sunny day, and you wish to sunbathe, extra caution should then be taken and we recommend using an SPF50 cream and applying it at regular intervals.
Protective clothing – such as sun hats and sunglasses – should also be worn to enhance your protection. And, wherever possible, it’s a good idea to avoid the sun and sit in the shade.
How to treat hyperpigmentation
If the damage has already been done, and you’re unhappy with the complexion of your skin, there are things you can do to help. Here at Aesthetics of Essex, we offer a number of treatments for hyperpigmentation – all designed to even the skin tone and reduce dark age spots. These include:
Chemical skin peels – such as the ZO Brightalive and ZO Retinol Skin Brightener – are a great way to remove the discoloured skin patches, whilst tackling hyperpigmentation at the cellular level.
These products were developed by Dr Obagi, a leading dermatologist with more than 35 years’ experience in skincare. They’re designed to create and maintain healthier skin from within (rather than just treat the damage) and, as such, produce results that are effective and long-lasting.
CryPenTM is a state-of-the-art treatment, which uses extreme cold (i.e. cryotherapy) to destroy hyperpigmentation on the skin. A pen-like instrument is used to deliver liquid nitrogen, at high pressure, to the target area – tackling the dark patches, without damaging the surrounding tissue. It’s a fast, effective and safe solution that is guaranteed to produce impressive results.
This is an increasingly popular treatment, which uses light-emitting diodes (LED) to stimulate and kick-start various processes inside the skin cells. For example, it encourages collagen production and speeds up the process of cell turnover – and, as such, can be used to relieve pigmentation disorders. Not only does it help to even the skin tone, the skin is also rejuvenated and will look significantly fresher.
Contact Aesthetics of Essex today
If you’re concerned about hyperpigmentation, remember, we’re always here to help. Our team have excellent knowledge of pigmentation disorders, including their main causes and the best ways to reduce their effects. So, whether you’d like further tips on prevention or wish to find out more about the hyperpigmentation treatments available, please feel free to get in touch.