Excessive sun exposure is the leading cause of premature and extrinsic ageing and can cause serious detrimental effects to the skin’s immune function. As a result of prolonged and unprotected sun exposure, we are increasing the risk of developing skin cancers as well as aesthetic problems of hyperpigmentation. There are many disorders of pigmentation, but I refer only to facial pigmentation issues presenting in the medical aesthetic setting.

Blemishes caused by excess melanin in the skin are a common aesthetic concern. It presents in different forms such as freckles, irregular or defined brown patches of various size, shape and distribution.

Pigmentation appears on the face, neck and décolletage resulting from culprits such as genetics, ethnicity, excessive sun exposure, hormonal changes, medication, inflammation or injury to the skin.

Before pigmentation can be treated, it is important to diagnose the type and origin of pigmentation. This determines the best modality of treatment as not all treatments are suitable for all types of pigmentation and if treated incorrectly can exacerbate the original dyspigmentation.

The production and synthesis of pigmentation is a complex biological pathway. Without diving into the science, this is a simplistic explanation of Melanogenesis, the name given to the process of melanin production. The process is triggered by the production of a hormone in the pituitary gland. Melanin is produced by the melanocyte cell found in the basal layer of the epidermis, it is transferred through finger-like projections into keratinocytes (the main cells that make up our skin). As keratinocytes mature they travel up towards the surface of epidermal layers carrying melanin within them.

Melanin is a natural component of skin. It forms an important component of the skin barrier defence system and has a role in protecting against UV damage by absorbing and scattering the UV rays.

Melanogenesis is increased by several stimuli including UVR, hormones and medication. This results in increased numbers of less effective melanocytes increased melanin production and redistribution. Damaged cellular membranes allow melanin to enter the deeper dermal layer of the skin where it can persist for years. These processes contribute to the appearance of clinical disorders of facial pigmentation.

To address any pigmentation disorders a multidisciplinary approach is required not only in the clinical setting but requiring commitment from the patient.

As a clinical solution, Cosmelan depigmentation is my treatment of choice to address moderate pigmentation. This method has been designed to address the effects of excess pigmentation. It is highly effective on hormonal pigmentation, senile blemishes and sunspots. I particularly recommend this treatment to eliminate hormonal pigmentations such as Melasma that is at risk of worsening from the trauma of laser therapy.

To manage all types of pigmentation it is imperative to introduce topical skincare containing specific ingredients to improve pigmentation. I recommend the Obagi Nu-Derm System, a range only available through medical skin practitioners. Diligent sun protection on a daily basis is also necessary. It is futile investing in clinical treatment without the correct skincare and daily application of SPF.

If you would like a complimentary consult to discuss pigmentation or help to devise a skincare routine, please call
Beverley at Mediderm