Pigmentation & Melasma
In the few past years I started to notice slight uneven tones and patchiness on my face in some spots. This is called Pigmentation, which is from sun exposure and a Melasma, which is also from sun exposure and possibly from taking the pill for so many years. After experiencing slight pigmentation and Melasma I saw a dermal clinician, Derya from the Victorian Dermal Group, who has helped me decrease the problem and educated me on how to avoid it. So I have asked Derya a few questions to share with you what she taught me.
What is pigmentation, and the cause of it?
Pigmentation, which can result in darker patches on the skin, is caused by UV exposure, thermal injury or inflammation.
Melanocytes are specialised cells within the epidermis which produce a pigment called melanin. This is distributed throughout the epidermis in small bundles called melanosomes which protect the DNA of skin cells from UV damage. It is why sun exposure darkens our skin – the more melanocytes in our skin, the easier we tan.
Damage to these cells caused by excessive UV exposure, thermal injury or inflammation can result in darker patches on the skin. The Victorian Dermal Group Melbourne offers a variety of pigmentation treatment methods in Melbourne to deal with varying types of pigmentation.
And what is exactly is Melasma ? Who can get it? Does the pill cause it?
Melasma, chloasma or dermal pigmentation is a form of pigmentation that is stimulated by oestrogen (either from pregnancy, the pill, or normal circulating oestrogens). It appears as brown-grey patches on the face, usually on the cheeks, between the brows and on the upper lip. One of the most important factors of pigment overproduction is prolonged UV exposure, therefore when treating pigmentation disorders it is very important to keep sun exposure to a minimum and daily use of sunscreen.
What can one do to reduce/improve these situations?
To avoid these conditions, it is most important to always wear SPF on your face. Even on cloudy days, we should always protect our facial skin from the sun. To reduce or improve these conditions there are a variety of treatments to deal with pigmentation, a consultation and accurate diagnosis from a specialist is essential to achieve successful results. Sun damage such as freckles, age spots and sun spots are treated with laser technology. Pigmentation in the form of Melasma is a more resistant type of pigmentation with no cure to date, although there are treatments available to significantly reduce and manage the condition including; deeper chemical peels, q-switch lasers and ongoing lightening agents with the daily use of SPF.