Thursday, 15 May 2014

**Removal of Unwanted Pigmentation**

Skin Deep – May 2014

Welcome to ‘Skin Deep’ – This month’s feature looks at our ‘Removal of Unwanted Pigmentation and Age Spots’.
Any questions, just ask Dr. Angie Winnington-Sharp or 01925 263660 & 07967 481594. 
Next month – ‘Staying safe in the sun, which SPF is right for you’.

Unwanted pigmentation and age spots are some of the most visibly ageing signs on the skin. In particular, the neck, decollate and hands can give away our age, no matter how much care and attention has been spent on our face. Most people forget to apply SPFs to these three areas so how can we reverse the damage caused.
To achieve the best results, typically a clinic treatment should be accompanied by pre- and post-care home use products as this will speed up the response and maximise the results. The pigmentation is caused by a combination of melanin forming cells ‘behaving badly’ and an inflammation in the skin via a compromised skin barrier. If we actively target the inflammation and repair the neglected skin barrier, then the effects of the damage can be reversed.
A combination of treatments can be tailored to the individual’s needs and typically tend to incorporate light with a specific peel system. The latter will maximise cell turnover with minimal irritation and peeling, thus providing long term results with virtually no downtime. Hyperpigmentation is the main sign of ageing on the decollate, whilst the neck tends to require additional tightening, toning and firming as well as wrinkle reduction.
By using clinically proven inhibitors that stop tyrosinase (an enzyme responsible for melanin/pigment production) from reaching the required pathways that lead to the formation in irregular pigment, the effects can truly be undone. Botanically based products that don’t contain hydroquinone (which has to be prescribed in the UK) are the most effective and are none irritating.
Most professional brands come in a range of strengths that can be used on a vast array of skin types. A combination of intensive nourishment, barrier repair and light diffusing particles to give an overall rejuvenation effect is the most common. There is a skin condition called poikiloderma of civatte, which can also be caused by sun damage in earlier years. It tends to look like red/brown pigment spots in exposed areas, this can also be successfully treated with simple light treatments and products.

Some experts have suggested that the skin on the neck can age up to 7 times faster than that on our face, so it requires a different treatment regime with more focus on elastin and collagen. Hence always highlight to your practitioner which areas are your primary concerns and exactly what goals you would like to achieve.