Tackling The Pigmentation Pest!
Living in a sunny climate, it’s all too common to have small patches of discolouration and darkening that persist on your face, neck, shoulders and hands. Pigmentation – or brown spots as it is also known – occurs due to an increase in the number of pigment-producing cells in the skin, or the pigmented substance they produce (melanin).
The most common form of facial pigmentation is melasma and it strikes between the ages of 20 and 40. The common misconception is that it is as a result of prolonged sun exposure but given that the overwhelming majority of sufferers are female it is believed by experts that melasma is triggered by pregnancy and hormonal imbalances too.
Post-inflammatory pigmentation happens after inflammation of the skin and while it is a temporary phenomenon, it can be more intense and longer lasting in darker skin types. Freckles are more common in fair-skinned individuals and although they can be an inherited characteristic, they can get darker in the sun.
In many instances, pigmentation is a condition that needs careful management with a dermatologist-recommended skincare routine that includes products and in-clinic treatments. One effective treatment can be chemical peels, another one is laser treatment, but these are best performed during autumn and winter as they can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
Unsurprisingly, the most effective way to prevent pigmentation is to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, and between noon and 2pm, you should take further measures to protect the skin (wear a hat with a wide brim) if you are planning to be outdoors.