Skin pigmentation can appear on the face as freckles, age spots and acne marks – this condition is a result of abnormal production and melanin deposition by the pigment cells, or Melanocytes. The colour of your eye, hair and skin is determined by the number of melanocytes present in the skin. For example, people who are fair-skinned have little melanin while those with a deeper skin tone produce the most melanin. Melanin also functions as the skin’s first layer of defense to protect DNA cells from UV radiation.
When there is a disruption in the melanin production, this can lead to pigmentation problems. Excess production of melanin results in the appearance of brown or darker spots of pigmentation on face and even body. We explore 3 causes of pigmentation to help understand about them further and seek the appropriate treatment.
1. Sun exposure
Being exposed to the sun is one of the main contributing factors of skin pigmentation. The sun’s harmful UV rays can cause damage to the melanocytes and trigger an increase in the production of melanin. Excessive melanin can be focused on one spot, resulting in sun spots to form. If there are existing dark spots, overexposure to sunlight can also worsen them by making age spots, freckles and hyperpigmentation even darker. Thus, using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF is always recommended to protect your skin as well as limiting the time spent in the sun.
2. Hormonal changes
This factor is associated to a type of skin pigmentation known as melasma, which tends to affect more women than men. This is due to the overstimulation of melanocytes, caused by female sex hormones: progesterone and estrogen. Melasma is common with pregnant women, but it can also be triggered by hormonal medication, such as the contraceptive pill or medical conditions that cause a change in hormone levels. It can also increase your sensitivity to the sun, and cause small and dark patches to show up.
3. Injury or inflammation to the skin
Trauma can be inflicted on the skin due to physical injuries, such as cuts, burns, insect bites, and overly harsh treatments, which can leave scars that appear darker than the surrounding skin. Eczema, psoriasis and acne are common inflammatory conditions that can cause brown spots to appear – also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Any injury or inflammation to the skin causes it to become inflamed. This triggers excessive pigments to be produced and discolour the wounded area, remaining there even until after the area has recovered.
Solving your pigmentation issue
Pigmentation on the face is more of a cosmetic issue that people wish to get rid of for better skin appearance. It is important to limit sun exposure to prevent existing pigmentation from darkening and new spots from forming, but there are also skin treatments can be recommended by doctors to clear these brown spots.
At Aesthetics Central Clinic, we use the Edge Fractional CO2 Laser which destroys the skin’s outer layers and stimulates cell turnover in the deeper layers. As a result, pigmentation is lessened and collagen can be restructured to reduce wrinkles while improving dark spots. Another laser we have is the Tri-Beam Qswitch Laser – it uses laser energy pulse operating in billionths of a second to release pigmentation into the skin so it can be eliminated naturally by the body. Beyond just treating melasma and age spots, the lasers are also suitable as acne scar treatments if you have post-acne hyperpigmentation.
Chemical peels are also available, using 20% to 50% salicylic acid concentrations, depending on individual skin condition and suitability as assessed by the doctor. The solution will be applied to your skin and aims to reduce pigmentation by removing several layers of sun damaged cells.
Reduce your pigmented spots and regain clear skin with Aesthetics Central Clinic. You can also find other popular aesthetic procedures such as acne treatment to control your breakouts. Contact our concierge at +65 62218221 or +65 97268856 to find out more.