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Cosmetic Dermatology

Pigmentation Treament

What is pigmentation?
Sun, stress, pollution and reduced immunity activate melanocytes (cells that produce melanin) under our skin. Pigmentation occurs when these sensitive melanocytes are over-stimulated, causing an excess of melanin. This excess melanin begins as tiny brown spots which slowly join together to become big visible spots that go by many names including brown spots, freckles and age spots. 

What causes pigmentation?
Sun-induced pigmentation is caused by UV light and begins from the day you were born. It has a cumulative effect which is why you only notice dark spots forming many years later.
Hormone-induced pigmentation usually appears post pregnancy or after taking oral contraceptive pills. Once pigmentation has set in, discontinuing the consumption of these pills will not reduce existing pigmentation. 

How can I prevent pigmentation?
Sun-induced pigmentation can be prevented by applying sunblock, avoiding sun-bathing and keeping away from the sun during the hottest part of the day – 10am to 2pm.
Unlike sun-induced pigmentation, there is no preventive measure for hormone-induced pigmentation. However, you can reduce the effects of pigmentation through proper skin treatments.

Why is some pigmentation easier to reduce than others?
Pigmentation, freckles and age spots (liver spots) occur at different levels of the skin and cannot be banished all at the same time. The easiest form to expel is sun-induced pigmentation as this appears on the epidermis, the first layer of the skin. However, if this pigmentation is not disposed off quickly, it becomes trapped between the different layers of the skin and becomes difficult to eliminate.
Hormone-induced pigmentation is difficult to reduce as it stays in the basal layer, the area between the epidermis and the dermis (second layer of the sin) and tends to be dark and stubborn.
Freckles are equally difficult to get rid off as they are caused by skin’s sensitive cell communication which keeps sending signals to the melanocytes to produce melanin.
But the hardest to deal with are age spots as the skin’s circulation is not fast enough for new cells to replace old cells causing pigmentation to be pushed further down towards the dermis layer.

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