Do you have skin discolouration, dark spots or lighter patches of skin? You are not alone. Skin pigmentation is something that affects many of us at different stages in our life.
Changes in your skin pigmentation can impact how you feel about the way you look. At MySkyn Clinic, we often get patients asking us how they can treat skin pigmentation issues such as brown spots, blotchy skin or an uneven skin tone. But it is also important to know the reasons you can develop this in the first place.
So, what are the main causes of skin pigmentation issues and how can you work to treat these? We are here to provide you with all the information you need.
What is skin pigmentation?
When we talk about skin pigmentation, we are referring to the colouring of your skin. The colour of your hair, skin and eye colour is linked to your genes.
Your skin colour is dependent on melanin production in your skin and the type of melanin you have. Melanin is a dark brown to black pigment that comes from skin cells called melanocytes. Melanin is important as it helps our body store the vitamins it needs, while also protecting us from harmful UV rays.
So why do you see lighter or darker skin patches forming? When the skin cells that contain melanin become unhealthy or damaged, it can affect melanin production.
Skin pigmentation disorders affect the colour of your skin and can impact small patches of your skin or larger areas of your body. One skin condition that causes darker patches of skin is hyperpigmentation. The most common types of hyperpigmentation are freckles, sun spots and age spots (liver spots).
What are the causes of hyperpigmentation?
There are a number of reasons why you might develop changes in your skin pigmentation. Here are the main causes of hyperpigmentation:
Excessive sun exposure
We all enjoy a bit of sunshine, but we are also aware that too much sun exposure is bad for us. Sometimes, the sun can lead to an increase in melanin production. This can cause changes to the pigmentation in our skin and results in sun spots or age spots.
Sun exposure over longer periods of time can also result in sun-damaged skin. This includes the potential risks of developing skin cancer from intense sun exposure or burning of the skin.
This is the result of inflammation after an injury to the skin. You may also experience post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation if you suffer from skin conditions such as eczema, acne or dermatitis. This can affect both your face and areas of your entire body. It appears as brown patches or areas of darker skin that form.
Both men and women can get post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and most skin types are susceptible. However, it is more prevalent in people with darker skin tones.
Melasma or Chloasma causes skin discolouration or dark patches of skin to form. This usually appears on the face and results from hormonal changes. This is mostly associated with women during pregnancy, but can also affect women at any time. If you take hormonal contraceptives such as birth control pills, you may also see changes in your skin pigmentation.
Certain medical conditions can also cause darker pigmentation on your skin such as Addison’s disease. If you are not sure why you are developing hyperpigmentation, you should always seek medical advice from your doctor or skin care professional.
How can you prevent hyperpigmentation?
Not all hyperpigmentation is the same, and so you cannot always stop it from appearing. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of your developing some types of hyperpigmentation.
1. Minimise exposure to the sun, especially during peak hours when the sun is at its strongest.
2. Always wear sun protection that is at least SPF factor 20 or above. This will help to protect you from harmful UV rays.
3. Do not pick or scratch as sores, spots or scabs as this can result in inflammation and lead to changes in your pigmentation.
4. Using topical products in your skincare routine such as Vitamin C can help prevent damage caused by UV rays. It is a great antioxidant and is a beauty go-to for its ability to brighten your skin and reduce visible signs of ageing.
How can you treat hyperpigmentation?
At MySkyn Clinic in Bradford, we provide a number of treatment options to help with skin pigmentation issues. You will need a consultation with one of our practitioners who will talk you through which treatments will be best for you and your skin.
Hyperpigmentation treatments may include one, or a combination of:
· Laser treatment such as laser skin resurfacing
· Chemical peels to help remove dead skin cells
· Dermalux LED Phototherapy
· Skincare products from Obagi
Check out more about our range of skin pigmentation treatments.
Find out more about how we can help treat skin pigmentation issues. Contact us online or by calling us on 01274 921121. We are a CQC-registered all-female-run clinic and speak both Urdu and Punjabi if you require.