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Pigmentation

Hyperpigmentation, melasma and sunspots need no longer be a worry with treatment programs at Amara.

Pigmentation Essentials

Causes: Abnormal production of melanin by melanocytes

Where it occurs: Anywhere on the face and chest particularly, but it can occur anywhere on skin

Why it occurs: It’s multifactorial with hormonal, stress, genetical, thyroidal, and medication based triggers

Treatment: Multiple options for symptomatic improvement - this include machine led treatments and lifestyle changes. Medical grade melanin suppressors and skin brighteners and blenders are best for patient long term results. In extreme cases hydroquinone may be used with caution.

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Pigmentation issues come in a whole host of types and sizes. The underlying reasons for each are multifactorial but melanin production by specialised cells called melanocytes is always at the heart of pigmentation issues.

What is hyperpigmentation?

This is a broad term that covers any issue where a darkening of the skin, or patch of the skin occurs. The patches can vary greatly in size and occur anywhere on the body. The skin usually turns a brown colour due to the over production of melanin. The reasons for the over-production of melanin vary.

What are the types of hyperpigmentation?

There are a few types we see at Amara regularly. These include:

Type
Cause
Presentation
Melasma (pregnancy) Hormonal – during or post pregnancy and birth control related Discolouration and darkening of skin in patches around the face and abdomen most commonly
Melasma (other) Stress or thyroid related Discolouration and darkening of skin in patches around the face and abdomen most commonly
Sun damage related Exposure to UV light Sun spots, liver spots, lentigines – small dark freckle like patches that appear on areas most exposed to sun and UV light
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) Injury to the skin Darkening of the skin in the area where a skin injury has occured – this may include acne scarring

What are the symptoms of skin hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is always characterised by a a darkening of areas of the skin. These can vary in size and number greatly and don’t have to be even or have an even tone, or fixed shape. Hyperpigmentation is random in this regard.

What causes hyperpigmentation of the skin?

Melanin is produced in cells within skin cell called melanocytes. Melanin is responsible for the brown colour observed in hyperpigmented skin. The more melanin the darker the skin.

Depending on the type of hyperpigmentation, over-production of melanin can be induced by hormones, stress, thyroid issues, exposure to UV light (sunlight) or as a result of post-inflammation events that might occur after injury.

Hormonal (pregnancy + others) Stress related Thyroid problems
UV light exposure Post-Inflammatory Response Certain medications

 

How do you treat hyperpigmentation?

At Amara, we treat hyperpigmentation using a multifaceted approach. Each of our specialist treatments (the Hydrafacial, Rejuvapen Microneedling and the ZO Stimulator Peel) will work on some aspect of a symptom of pigmentation to some degree. However, none of these on their own will really address the concern in full.

Thankfully, the ZO Skin Health Range carries a number of melanin suppressors and skin brighteners and blenders. So, following a consultation with one of our Skin Health Specialists, a treatment program bespoke to your pigmentation causes will be designed for you. It will, depending on the primary cause of your pigmentation, likely involve a regime from across our catalogue of services and products. We have been very successful in achieving excellent patient outcomes this way. We do not use lasers.

Does hydroquinone fix hyperpigmentation?

Hydroquinone superficially fixes hyperpigmentation. It does this by bleaching the skin, an extreme step. It requires heavy oversight because of the power of hydroquinone and there are multiple cases of very adverse reactions due to improper use when unsupervised. Furthermore, stop using hydroquinone and pigmentation can return. As such, even though we’re doctor led, we have taken the decision based on the success of our other treatment protocols to avoid its use wherever possible.

When addressing hyperpigmentation we still have a host of effective products minus the dangers at our disposal. Melanin suppressors suppress melanin overproduction while skin brighteners and blenders ensure the skin tone and colour are restored evenly. This may take longer, but the risk of phototoxic side-effects are removed for you, the patient.

IMPORTANT – Non-hydroquinone approaches provide more efficacious and longer term results for the patients because they address the root cause of hyperpigmentation – melanin production.

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