What is Skin Pigmentation?
If you feel like your skin is showing signs of aging, but you know you don’t have overly noticeable deep lines and wrinkles, then the chances are it’s thanks to uneven skin tone. Now, we’re not talking about a slight sprinkling of freckles. We actually rate them as quite cute. We’re talking about bigger, uneven brown patches on not only the face but hands, décolletage and shoulder areas. It’s these ageing dark spots of bother that is known as pigmentation, caused by sun exposure and specifically the UVA rays which penetrate deep into your skin and cause ageing.
Usually more visible after a period in the sun, you’ll spot pigmentation in the various forms:
Dark freckle-like marks
Discolored patches of skin
Patches of usual lightening of the skin
Your skin gets its color from a pigment called melanin. Special cells in the skin make melanin, but when these cells become damaged or unhealthy (usually by sun exposure), it affects melanin production. Some pigmentation disorders affect just patches of skin, which is why we often complain about dark patches or an area of ‘burnt looking’ skin
Intense pulse light therapy (IPL)
IPL therapy is a type of non-ablative (fractional) laser treatment. Also known as a photofacial, IPL therapy stimulates collagen growth within the dermis. It usually requires multiple sessions.
IPL is used for overall pigmentation issues, but flat spots especially respond to this treatment. It may also help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, spider veins, and enlarged pores.
Microdermabrasion is an in-office procedure used to treat hyperpigmentation that affects the epidermis only (superficial scarring). During the procedure, your dermatologist will use a drill-like handheld tool with a wire brush or other abrasive attachment. The tool is then swiped across your skin to rapidly — but gently — to remove the epidermis. You may need multiple sessions to achieve your ideal result.
Who should try this?
Microdermabrasion works best on superficial scars. Your dermatologist can help you determine whether this treatment is right for you. It also works well for people with fairer skin.