What Is the Cause of Pigmentations?
The main component responsible for the colour of the skin is a pigment known as melanin. It is produced by special skin cells, whose function can get disturbed by genetics, hormonal imbalance and sun exposure. As a result, the pigmentations begin to cluster in patches in different areas of the face, causing what we call dark spots. This can be further aggravated by excessive sun exposure, especially if no proper protection is used.
To clarify – what we know as pigmentation is actually hyperpigmentation, which can be a little long to pronounce.
There are different types:
3.Solar lentigines (sun spots)
6.Post-acne skin pigmentation
How to Remove Pigmentation from face permanently– What are My Options?
Let’s look into the various treatments for permanent pigmentation removal.
Anti-pigmentation Creams from Doctors
These medical products contain active ingredients that lower the levels of melanin in the skin. A short-term application might be able to improve the appearance of dark spots and even treat conditions like melasma. However, don’t forget that pigmentation removal creams may cause skin irritation in some minority individuals, especially with intense sun exposure. For this reason, make sure to keep your skincare routine in check with the doctor. And, always use sunscreen before you leave the house. This will protect the skin from the ultraviolet rays.
One of the main advantages of creams is that they are more affordable than lasers. The downside is they can’t treat deep forms of pigmentations eg Hori’s naevus.
Chemical Peels for pigmentation treatment
These are treatments that to help remove the outermost layer of the skin. The cells are then stimulated to recover and come back healthier, making the complexion appear younger, fresher, and brighter. However, if the intensity is lower, the results are likely to be mediocre.
Depending on whether a mild, medium or deep peel is required, a different chemical solution will be used. For instance, those willing to do a less intense treatment can use alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like fruit, lactic, and glycolic acids. They can certainly help with pigmentation but because of the low intensity, they need to be done over and over again to maintain results. They also offer a short recovery period.
Common side effects include swelling, redness, and stinging. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t expose your bare skin to the sun after the treatment.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) to reduce pigmentation
Another way to treat hyperpigmentation is by undergoing IPL. It uses broad-spectrum light, coming from a handheld flashgun, to target melanin. Multiple wavelengths are involved in the process. The light energy travels directly into the superficial and dermis layer of the skin where it breaks up the melanin particles.
Before the procedure begins, the doctor will clean your skin and apply a cool gel to get it ready. You’ll have to put on protective glasses. A session normally lasts 20-30 minutes and during the treatment, you may feel as if rubber bands are being “snapped” into your face, but generally tolerable.