Pigmentation, brown spots and an uneven skin tone really wasn’t anything I thought about much until recent years when I noticed light freckling appearing on the top of my cheeks. I ignored it; it wasn’t that noticeable, but in recent months, with getting older and pregnancy, the pigmentation areas are gradually getting bigger and more bothersome.
I admit, I have not always been the biggest sunscreen user – my make up always contained it, but in terms of using a separate SPF, it just wasn’t something I though I needed in the cloudy North of England, but the sun can be a big factor in getting brown spots. Hormones (such as in pregnancy) or from taking the Pill can also be causes.
Pigmentation is an area or areas on the skin with increased pigment compared to its ‘natural colour’. It can be a small area and quite light or large and relatively dark. It can be caused by sun exposure, hormones or post inflammation (ie. after ‘trauma’ like acne or a cut or bite). They are common on the hands, face and chest area because they are most frequently exposed to the sun.
Let’s say for whatever reason, you end up with pigmentation. There are topical treatments you can use to lighten and fade marks, all have varied levels of success, and you have to go through a number of products to find one that may work for you.
If you have stubborn and concerning pigmentation however there is always the option for laser treatment. Different kinds of pigmentation can be reduced with laser and they include;
Freckles – these are the kind of small brown marks I have on my cheek and are often inherited or triggered by sun exposure.
Sun/Age Spots – Darkened patches on the face, hands etc – once again, from frequent sun exposure.
Melasma/Chloasma - Similar to Sun and Age spots, but the area is larger and results from hormonal changes. My mother got this whilst she was pregnant with my on her cheek.
Post-Inflammatory Pigmentation – Marks and scarring from conditions, such as acne – after the spot has gone a darker area is left on the skin. Surgery, bites, cuts, wounds etc. can also leave this kind of pigmentation (something which also affects me – I mark easily).
If in doubt about the kind of pigmentation you have, a clinic like Proskin Clinic can diagnose it for you and tell you whether it can be treated by laser.
Having laser treatment isn’t for everyone, of course, but it is a way to effectively and quickly treat any pigmented areas you aren’t happy with. Marks can be removed over a short space of time, which is obviously much quicker than using a topical treatment, so in the long term, can be more cost effective.
There are two pigmentation treatments available at Proskin Clinics; Cynosure Picosure and Elite Pigmentation.
Elite Pigmentation is available at all Proskin Clinics and Picosure is a newer laser technology which works faster than Elite, and is available at the Liverpool Street Clinic (London).
Picosure can remove hormonal melanoma and treatments take just 20 minutes. There is a price difference between the two (detailed at the end of this post) so you can fit it into your budget.
Regardless of where you decide to have the treatment make sure you use a fully licensed clinic (remember they are using lasers on your face!) with fully trained and qualified staff. Also make sure you are offered a free consultation beforehand to discuss your options – any decent salon will offer you this with no pressure.
You can read more about the Pigmentation & Sun Damage treatment at Pro Skin clinics here. Visit the link to see other examples of the kind of results you can get (they’re pretty impressive). Prices are £79 (Elite Laser) or £199 (Picosure). You will usually need around 3 treatments with the Elite Laser or 1-2 with the Picosure. You can book a FREE consultation before hand to make sure the treatment is for you, and Proskin clinics are fully licensed with NVQ Level 3 trained beauty therapists and doctors.
Would you consider having laser treatment for pigmentation?