The options to treat hyperpigmentation have never been better, but success depends on using the right treatment
Successful treatment of hyperpigmentation is one of the Holy Grails of skin science. This complex skin issue needs different, and possibly lifelong, management – depending on its type.
As hyperpigmentation is not a straightforward condition, we recommend you visit an aesthetic doctor for an individual assessment as soon as you notice you have pigmentation issues, to ensure that the correct treatments are prescribed. Let’s find out about your treatment options.
If you have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) due to skin injury or after acne:
This is fairly easy to treat with intensive light treatments such as Laser Genesis and Limelight IPL, chemical peels from Lamelle, and NeoStrata, microdermabrasion (a thorough yet gentle exfoliation of the superficial skin layers) and with transdermal mesotherapy (multiple fine injections of vitamins and active ingredients into the skin), or a combination of these treatments.
If you have pigmentation due to sun damage:
This type of ongoing pigmentation that rises to the surface of our skin as we age due to sun exposure in our youth needs to be managed daily with effective medical aesthetic home care ranges such as NeoStrata Enlighten or Lamelle Luminesce.
Professional treatment includes using state-of-the-art lasers such as Fraxel DUAL, Pearl Fusion and Laser Genesis as well as Limelight, chemical peels, carboxytherapy (CO2 injections with multiple skin benefits), microdermabrasion and transdermal mesotherapy.
If you have hormonal pigmentation (melasma):
This hard-to-treat pigmentation needs multiple types of investigation to establish the cause and then the treatment, as it may stem from medical causes such as unbalanced hormones, leaky gut and uncontrolled inflammation. Think of it as a chronic illness – it may also, unfortunately, need lifelong treatment and management, or it may reoccur.
The first step is investigation by a Health Renewal doctor in the form of possible blood tests to investigate hormonal profiles, gut health and possible deficiencies. Most often, hormonal pigmentation requires gut restoration, hormone balancing and a reduction in inflammation, before in-clinic treatments will work.
Topical treatments are used to suppress pigmentation, while targeted treatments such as Cosmelan and Dermamelan as well as non-inflammatory in-office treatments like mesotherapy can slowly and systematically target the pigmented areas, lightening and eventually eliminating them.
If you suffer from hypopigmentation:
This is another difficult condition to treat due to the fact that it can have multiple causes, such as injury, severe sun damage, scarring and certain diseases. Unfortunately, in some cases, especially when it’s caused by diseases that completely destroy the melanocytes (your skin’s cells that produce the pigment that give it its colour), hypopigmentation is irreversible.
With hypopigmentation, it’s vital to seek diagnosis and treatment early, with a Skin Renewal Doctor, for example, to establish the cause of the depigmentation, and to assess whether there is any chance of restoring the melanocytes’ natural pigmentation process. If not, your only option is to replace the pigment artificially, using make-up or permanent make-up tattooing, which can be very effective if done by a skilled professional.
CAUTION: With any pigmentation problem, daily use of SPF 50+ sunscreen is mandatory to prevent restimulation of melanin production.
Next week we look at a case study of a successful pigmentation treatment.
For more information on pigmentation as well as hypopigmentation and the treatment thereof, visit Skin Renewal on www.skinrenewal.co.za or contact 0861 SKIN SA (754 672).
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