TYPES OF PIGMENTATION
There are a variety of different types of hyperpigmentation that can occur in the skin. At Skin and Body Boutique, we specialize in assessing the skin to determine which type of pigmentation is present and offer you the best treatment options in the industry.
Hyperpigmentation is an excess/overproduction of pigmentation/colour cells in the skin. The treatment of pigmentation must address the root cause in order for the discoloration to be corrected.
Sun Spots are dark spots (usually brown) induced by sun exposure; also known as photo damage. The sun stimulates the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for producing colour in skin. Sun Spots form after years of sun exposure. They are flat spots usually located on areas normally exposed to sun such as the face, decollete, arms and hands. In the beauty industry some people call sunspots by different names such as brown spots, liver spots and age spots. The medical term for spots resulting from sun exposure is Solar Lentigines. The treatment best for Sun Spots is IPL PhotoRejuvenation. Other treatment options include Melan:Off, DermaFrac, Chemical Peels, Microdermabrasion and Fractora.
Freckles are clusters of spots that appear mostly across the upper cheeks and nose at a very young age. They are flat and circular.Freckles are mostly a genetic condition. But sun exposure and other environmental factors can darken freckles. Freckles tend to fade in the winter, whereas other forms of hyperpigmentation do not. The medical term for freckles is Ephelides. Since Freckles are genetic there is safe way to remove them permanently. IPL PhotoRejuvenation is suggested for reducing the sun damage that accumulates alongside freckles. This will keep the skin looking even and youthful.
Age Spots are yellow to dark brown spots that result from a cellular waste, called Lipofuscin, which is a different pigment from melanin. “Age Spots” is often a misused term. Many people in the cosmetic industry say Age Spots when they are referring to Sun Spots. Age spots are different in that they occur because of the general wear and tear of the skin and not only by sun exposure. This type of spot generally requires a combination of IPL PhotoRejuvenation and Fractora. Other treatment options include Melan:Off and Chemical Peels.
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) is spotting or discoloration due to inflammation caused by trauma to the skin. The most common causes of PIH are acne breakouts, cysts, excess chemical exfoliants, overuse of harsh chemicals, a wound that leads to a scar or any type or any type of excess irritation to the skin. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can occur in any skin type but is more common in darker skin tones. This type of pigmentation requires a combination of at home skin care products with Chemical peels, Melan:Off, Microdermabrasion, Facials, DermaFrac, IPL PhotoRejuvenation or Fractora.
Melasma is hormonally-induced pigmentation that appears in well defined symmetrical patches on either side of the face and neck. It most commonly occurs on forehead, temples, cheeks, upper lip, chin and jawline. This hormone fluctuation can be due to pregnancy, birth control pills, changes in estrogen/estradiol/progesterone levels, thyroid dysfunction, high stress or genetics. Melasma can darken quickly due to sun exposure. This type of pigmentation requires a combination of at home skin care products with Melan:Off or DermaFrac treatments.
Moles are clearly defined spot that ranges in color from tan to black. They can be flat or raised. It is important to have regular check ups with your dermatologist to assess your moles. They will follow the ABCDE checklist for recognizing a cancerous moles:
A – Asymmetry – two sides of the mole are not identical
B – Border – the border is irregular
C – Color – the color is very dark, or there is more than one color
D – Diameter – the mole is larger than a pencil eraser
E – Evolving – the mole is changing its size, shape, elevation
It’s a good idea to check your moles regularly and see your doctor immediately if you notice you see any changes. The treatment for moles is to have them excised (cut out) by your physician or reduce the look of them with an application of liquid nitrogen. Your physician can discuss these options with you.