5 ways to tackling skin pigmentation

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When we talk about treating skin pigmentation, what we really mean is treating skin pigmentation problems. And there are a few of those…

At the rarer end of the spectrum, there’s vitiligo (patches of light skin), and albinism (skin with virtually no pigment). But the most common complaint by far is hyperpigmentation.

Often just called ‘pigmentation‘, hyperpigmentation means your skin produces too much pigment. It creates patches of discoloured brown skin, usually on small areas but occasionally spread over the whole body.

What causes it?

Normal healthy skin produces melanin to protect it against UV radiation, as you’ll know if you’ve ever had a tan.

But if the cells that produce the pigment are damaged, melanin production goes haywire – creating areas that appear darker than the surrounding skin.

It can happen in response to a few different things:

  • Pregnancy and other hormonal changes.
  • Sun damage.
  • Genetic predisposition.
  • Acne.
  • Certain medications, including some contraceptive pills.

No two cases of hyperpigmentation are the same, and they can show up in different ways. Age spots, freckles, sun spots, liver spots, and pregnancy mask are all types of hyperpigmentation.

The great news is there are several treatments available to help lighten or remove the darker skin.

Treatment options – how to get rid of skin pigmentation

Aurora Skin Clinics: Photo showing skin pigmentation

Generally, there are 5 ways to tackle it. You can give all of these a try if you need to, and find out what works best for you.

1. Prevention 

The best treatment is always prevention. Though it won’t correct hyperpigmentation you already have, using a high SPF sun protection cream every day will help prevent further discolouration.

2. Pigment suppressing products 

Several topical treatments are available, both over the counter and on prescription, that may help lighten discoloured skin. These should only be used under medical supervision after a correct diagnosis. So make your GP your first port of call.

3. Skin peels & Microdermabrasion

If topical treatments don’t work or are only partially successful, you can try a course of Chemical Skin Peels to even out your skin. These can also be combined with Medical Microdermabrasion. Results can be maintained with regular top-up treatments.

4. IPL

Intense Pulsed Light treatment targets selective dark spots only. It treats the skin with bursts of light, which penetrate the skin’s surface to reach the melanin below. The heat breaks the pigment down into particles, which either rise to the surface as scabs, or are cleared away by the lymphatic system.

5. Laser skin resurfacing

Laser resurfacing can help – CO2 and fractional lasers being popular choices. But it’s vital your practitioner has experience treating hyperpigmentation. If not carefully controlled, laser treatment can make skin produce more pigment to protect itself. As always, research your practitioner thoroughly before committing to any treatment.

See us about skin pigmentation

At Aurora Skin Clinics, we’ve a team of expert nurses and aestheticians who will be happy to advise on skin pigmentation issues. To book a free consultation to discuss your skin pigmentation, please give the team a call on 01844 318825 or fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch.