Skin Brightening: Pigment Issues & How To Combat Them

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We all want glowing and even toned skin. There are a lot of things that can come between us and this goal from Melasma and Chloasma to post inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne or simply sun exposure. Thankfully there are products and procedures that can help treat and diminish dark spots and help us achieve that complexion we’re all looking for. 

One of the most common concerns we see are clients with post inflammatory hyperpigmentation or PIH. PIH is the result of trauma or irritation to the skin. Acne is a common culprit. After a breakout, your skin works to repair itself but the inflammation in the epidermis stimulates the cells that are responsible for producing color in the skin. This type of hyperpigmentation can be treated with the right products and a strict at-home regimen. MD Boutiques carries ZO Skin Health by world famous Dermatologist Zein Obagi. This line of products is medically focused and can tackle PIH. Doctor Marsala or one of her estheticians can create a customized solution for you through an in-person consultation. 

Melasma (“pregnancy mask”) or Chloasma (same condition but in someone not pregnant) is a little harder to treat. At times, this kind of pigmentation is found in the dermis, or second and deeper layer of the skin. It presents itself in dense patches on the cheeks, forehead, upper lip and chin. Hormonal activity seems to be the main culprit of this still mysterious condition. Higher Fitzpatrick types, those of Asian and Hispanic descent, are more susceptible to Melasma. It affects more than 5 million people in the U.S. alone. More aggressive treatment is needed for this condition. A mixture of at-home skin care with the right products and professional treatments can provide a more beneficial outcome. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is a great option for some people. IPL is slightly different from traditional laser treatments that focus a single wavelength of light on the troubled areas. Instead, IPL releases multiple different wavelengths that scatter and penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin without harming the epidermis or top layer of the skin. However, it is not for everyone and can actually make the condition worse in some skin types. It is important that we see you for an in-person consultation before considering this treatment.

Another option is ResurFX. This laser does not destroy the top layer of the skin and allows for rapid healing in the targeted area. The microscopic wounds break up abnormal pigment and destroy over-producing melanocytes (the cells that produce pigment). With 3-4 treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart, maybe more maybe less, and a strict routine using a brightening protocol we can see improvement. 

A chemical peel is a procedure that removes the epidermis, or the outermost layer of the skin, through a controlled destruction of the skin. This process leads to a formation of a new epidermis without the excess pigmentation from Melasma. Chemical peels have many different types of solutions and vary in strength. Variables to consider will be skin color, the skin layer in which the hyperpigmentation is present and more. For several days after the treatment, you can expect to have symptoms similar to a sunburn. The skin will be red and inflamed indicating that the epidermis has been removed successfully. The stronger the solution, the longer the peeling period takes. 

Sun spots, “solar lentigines” or “age spots” occur when we are exposed to the sun’s UV rays. They are clusters of pigment that can vary in size, shape or color. They often appear in areas most exposed to the sun like the face, back of the neck or the tops of your hands and forearms. Once one of these spots develop, they don’t usually continue to grow or change. However, if you do notice a change, it’s important to notify your dermatologist. Treatment for sun spots can be a procedure or a topical. Topical creams work by decreasing the production of pigment, promoting new skin cell growth and lightening the dark areas. Without a plan and careful administration, these topical products can actually work against you. It is important to consult a professional. A series of laser treatments, like ResurFX and IPL, can also help with sun spots. 

Melasma is difficult to treat and inexperience may only make the situation worse. There are a variety of options but many variables to consider when choosing the most effective treatment for our clients. This particular skin condition will need maintenance treatment for continued results. Whether your concern is post inflammatory hyperpigmentation or sun spots or Melasma, Doctor Marsala would be happy to meet and create a personalized skin brightening plan for you. 

Please call MD Boutiques Med Spa at 719 282 7782 or email [email protected] to schedule an appointment. 

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.