Skin pigmentation (or hyperpigmentation as it is often known) is a common skin complaint. Age spots or sunspots are dark patches of skin that appear on the face, hands and other parts of the body regularly exposed to the sun. Cells in your skin make melanin. When these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it affects melanin production. This can lead to pigmentation disorders which affect patches of skin. Laser treatments can be used for pigmentation removal.
Pigmentation Causes and Treatment
Hyperpigmentation is caused by an increase in melanin. Melanin is the natural pigment that gives our skin, hair and eyes their colour. A number of factors can trigger an increase in melanin production, but the main ones are sun exposure, hormonal influences, age and skin injuries or inflammation.
As skin ages, the number of melanin-producing cells decreases but the surviving cells increase in size and their effect becomes more focused. These changes explain the increase of age spots in those over 40.
Hyperpigmentation can also be a side effect of certain hormone treatments.
Laser pigmentation removal works by penetrating the skin to reach the melanin cells and break them up. This means that melanin’s effect is spread more evenly over the skin surface. After laser pigmentation removal your dark spots will get darker at first and then gradually fade to the result you want.
Depending on severity hyperpigmentation can also be treated with LED light using the green or yellow light spectrum.
Another pigmentation treatment is Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) this treatment uses broad-spectrum visible light to treat sun spots and sun damaged skin.
The type of laser used will be discussed at consultation with your therapist.
How long the results last is dependent on how you take care of your skin post-treatment. You should always wear sunscreen to prevent sun damage.