Pigmentation - All you need to know!

Pigmentation can be one of the trickiest skin issues to treat; it is often deep-rooted and needs multiple treatments to help it fade, along with a stable home care regime.

There are many different types of pigmentation and these can be deep-rooted in the layers of the skin or can sit on the surface; these include birthmarks, tanning, age spots, melasma and pigment caused by injuries such as burns and cuts.

Pigmentation is caused by an excess of melanin in the skin. Melanin is what gives your skin its colour; when your cells get damaged, it affects melanin production, and you can develop brown spots on the skin. This is often most noticeable on the face, neck, chest and hands. Often these marks can be mistaken for freckles depending on how they are laid out on the skin.

To treat, it is essential that we understand how and why the pigmentation arises. The most significant cause of pigmentation is due to genetics. Extensive sun exposure and suffering from skin burns also increase your risk of developing pigmentation. Hormones can also play a part in developing pigmentation - pregnancy is a very common cause of melasma. Severe stress can also cause bouts of melasma due to the change in hormones. Many people find themselves developing pigmentation during a stressful and challenging time in their lives.

To understand pigmentation, we must understand the specifics! In the basal layer, there is a cell called a melanocyte. A melanocyte is a dendritic cell, meaning it has branch-like legs that reach up through the layers of our skin. It is responsible for transporting melanosomes that contain pigment (melanin) to give us the colour of our skin, hair and eyes. We all have roughly the same number of melanocytes, but the amount of melanin produced is what gives our skin its colour. For example, someone with fair skin has around the same number of melanocytes as someone with dark skin. However, their melanocytes produce less pigment than the person with dark skin, resulting in a paler complexion.

As mentioned previously, it often takes a course of treatments and daily use of home care products to fade pigment. Both iS Clinical and Osmosis have amazing treatments (including chemical peels and vitamin infusions) to treat hyperpigmented skin. Check out the iS Clinical Brightening Resurfacing Peel or the Osmosis Brightening Vitamin Infusion with LED here.

There are also products that can be used to fade hyperpigmentation. Here at dermoi!, we recommend:

iS Clinical White Lightening Complex
iS Clinical Super Serum Advance
iS Clinical Active Serum
Osmosis Enlighten Pigment-Fading Serum
Osmosis Catalyst AC-11 Repair Serum
Osmosis Rescue Epidermal Repair Serum

It can be challenging to prevent hyperpigmentation, especially if it is caused by hormones or stress. However, if it is caused by UV exposure, this is easily avoided. By wearing an SPF daily, you will block UV rays from your skin, therefore not allowing them to damage our cells (resulting in hyperpigmentation). More people than you may think suffer from pigmentation - if you are concerned about this or any other skin condition, drop us a message on Instagram (@dermoifacials) or send an email to support@dermoi.com and we will be happy to help!

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