Pigmentation Therapy

Pigmentation therapy is used to reduce darkened patches or spots on the skin. Pigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in colour than the normal surroundings skin. Hyperpigmentation can affect the skin colour of people of any race. Age or liver spots are a common form of hyperpigmentation. They occur due to sun-damage, and are referred to by doctors as solar lentigines. These small, darkened patches are usually found on the hands and face or other areas frequently exposed to the sun.

Different types of skin pigment conditions
•Freckles – Freckles are the most common type of pigmentation. …
• Solar Lentigines – Solar Lentigines are the pigmentation types also known as liver spots, sun spots, brown spots or age spots.
• Melasma
• Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)  –          Pigmentation is a common skin condition, and there are a number of different treatment options available. To learn more about your options, including products you can try at home, what to expect from procedures like microdermabrasion, and more:

1. Lightening Creams— Lightening creams are over-the-counter (OTC) treatments that work with select ingredients to help decrease pigmentation. Many of these creams are available in stronger prescription forms. They’re usually applied once or twice a day to help lighten the skin over time. Topical treatments for lightening also come in gel form. Common ingredients found in OTC lightening products include:

licorice extract
vitamin B-3 (niacinamide)

2. Face acids—  Face acids, or skin acids, work by exfoliating, or shedding, the top layer of your skin. Whenever you exfoliate your skin, new skin cells emerge to take the place of the old ones. The process helps even out your skin tone and makes it smoother overall. Many face acids are available OTC at beauty stores and drugstores. Popular options include:
alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycolic, lactic, citric, malic, or tartaric acid
azelaic acid
kojic acid
salicylic acid
vitamin C (in the form of l-ascorbic acid)

3. Retinoids— Derived from vitamin A, retinoids are among some of the oldest OTC skincare ingredients used. Their small molecular structure allows them to penetrate deep into the skin and treat the layers below your epidermis. Retinoids can come in either a prescription or OTC formula. However, OTC versions tend to be weaker.

4. Chemical Peel— A chemical peel uses acids at stronger concentrations to treat the desired area of skin. They reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation by removing the epidermis. Deeper versions may also penetrate the middle layer of your skin (dermis) to produce more dramatic results. Although many chemical peels are available OTC, you might consider getting a professional-grade peel at your dermatologist’s office. These are more powerful, and they yield quicker results.

Due to their strength, in-office peels may also increase your risk for side effects. Talk to your dermatologist about your individual risks. Possible risks with both at-home and in-office chemical peels include redness, irritation, and blistering. When used improperly, blisters or scars may also develop. If you’re out in the sun on a regular basis, chemical peels may not be the best treatment option for you. Chemical peels cause your skin to be more sensitive to the sun’s rays.

5. Laser peel (skin resurfacing)— A laser peel (resurfacing) treatment uses targeted beams of light to reduce hyperpigmentation.

There are two types of lasers: ablative and non-ablative. Ablative lasers are the most intense, and they involve removing layers of your skin. Non-ablative procedures, on the other hand, target the dermis to promote collagen growth and tightening effects.

6. 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.

7. Microdermabrasio— 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.

8. Dermabrasion— Dermabrasion also involves the removal of your epidermis, but its effects continue down to part of your dermis. While dermabrasion is sometimes used to smooth out wrinkles, the procedure has been historically used to address texture concerns. These include:

acne scars
age spots
chickenpox scars
injury scars
sun damage

General Guidelines: In order to identify any underlying causes of hyperpigmentation or identify any factors that may hinder treatment, it is essential to obtain a detailed medication history for all patients.

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