There are so many different types of pigmentation and some can be treated more easily than others. People with darker skin tones such as Asian, Mediterranean or African are more prone to pigmentation problems, especially if they have excess sun exposure.
How to treat pigmentation?
How we treat pigmentation is based on its cause, your skin type and your preferences. We have many different treatments some work better than others, some cause more down time and are more aggressive. The gentler treatments tend to take much longer to work. Where as the more aggressive treatments may work faster but can cause more side effects.
Pigmentation treatments are provided by:
Priyanka provides a holistic approach to improving skin pigmentation. She uses a combination of treatments such as peels such as the perfect peel, hyalual rederm , microneedling with skin lightening agents, mesotherapy with skin lightening products and finishes off with ZO skin health at home.
Rachael Charnley level 4 laser / IPL Technician.
Rachael uses IPL and sometimes the ND Yag to treat pigmentation with our Lynton Lumina ASQ system.
We recommend an initial consultation with one of our specialists for pigmentation problems before starting any treatment. She will examine your skin, take a medical history and will help you decide on the most suitable treatment for you. She will also discuss the risks, costs and recovery period associated with the procedures you are considering.
Some birth marks are easy to treat, others are much more difficult. At Cheshire Lasers we are able to successfully treat vascular birthmarks such as port wine stains with our advanced IPL Lumina system.
Brown birth marks are much harder to treat, and do not always respond to treatment, an ND Yag laser would be used to treat this type of pigmentation. If the brown birth mark does respond and go, there is a 50% risk it will recur over a 2 year period.
Age spots and Freckles
IPL and Laser
Age spots most commonly present themselves on the face and hands, they appear over time and are a result of sun damage. Age spots, pigmentation caused by sun damage and freckles respond nicely to our advanced IPL Lumina system. Our IPL treatment is fantastic for small spots and patches of pigment. If the response is poor we can use the ND Yag laser instead. Before starting treatment it may recommended that you use a lightening skin product from one of our skin care product ranges 2- 6 weeks before starting an IPL or Laser treatment. This is often required for skins that are darker or are more prone to pigmentation.
Before starting treatment it is recommended that a consultation takes place with our laser technician they can advise how to proceed and if you are ready to go ahead with treatment our laser technician can do a test patch at the time of the consultation.
Prescription Lightening Products
We can also treat these lesions with prescription lightening creams, the results are optimised if you a prescription regime of products such as the Obagi NuDerm system which gives fantastic results, or the ZO Medical System.
Some people prefer to treat their pigmentation with a peel, this is usually recommended by us for people with a large areas of pigmentation. The advantages of the perfect peel is the minimal down time compared to IPL and lasers and the process is pain free. After one application the age spots are remarkably lighter and many people are happy. However a course of 2-3 peels may be required for them to be unnoticeable. The ingredients not only improve pigmentation but also increase collagen and elastin production, resulting in skin that is brighter and tighter. Find out more about the perfect peel here.
Melasma presents as dark irregular patches on the face that develop over time. The dark patches are commonly found on sun exposed areas such as the upper cheeks, nose, upper lip and forehead. Melasma is most common in women and is often triggered by pregnancy and or the contraceptive pill. Melasma gets worse when the skin is exposed to direct sunlight, especially over the summer months.
The treatment of melasma can be tricky with some people with superficial (epidermal) type melasma showing excellent response to therapy while patients with deeper melasma (dermal melasma) having a suboptimal effect. This is why the very first step involves a detailed consultation with one of our health care professionals so the cause and type of melasma can be established and treatment can be individualised and tailored to each patient’s needs.
There are a number of treatments available at Cheshire Lasers to treat Melasma.
The Obagi NuDerm system gives fantastic results with melasma, even after a few weeks use, the pigment usually looks so much better. You need to continue on the system for 18 weeks to avoid rebound pigmentation. After 18 weeks your skin usually looks great and it is at this stage you need to go on to a maintenance regime with the products to maintain results. If you suddenly stop the treatment the pigment can slowly come back. Occasionally stubborn Melasma may need a peel to complete the treatment on this system.
The Perfect Peel can be used on its own for melasma in fair-skinned patients. Peels should be used very carefully for darker skin types and often a combination of treatments are required as they are associated with a risk of post‑inflammatory hyperpigmenation after any skin injury. Hence a consultation is required prior to having this peel.
At Cheshire Lasers we do not like to use Intense Pulsed Light or an ND Yag Laser to treat Melasma as there is a higher risk of side effects and the response rate is poor.
Novel techniques for treating hyperpigmentation and melasma
A study in Korea has shown that Melasma sufferers respond well to Mesotherapy with the appearance of their skin improving by up to 43 percent after a course of 6 treatments.
How does Mesotherapy treatment work for Melasma?
Mesotherapy treatment for Melasma and other skin pigmentation disorders is delivered by micro-injection directly into the affected areas of the skin. This is the most effective way of targeting the problem, and shows the quickest results. It is most effective when used in conjunction with a peel, but both treatments can be used separately.
The solution is a mixture of Glutathione and Vitamin C, which reduces damage to the epidermal cells and promotes the production of collagen, making the skin appear brighter.
Find out more about mesotherapy.
The combination of hyaluronic and succinic acids in the form of hyalual rederm injection is a well-established solution used for anti-ageing skin injections.
The outcome of the procedures using this combination of HA and succinic acid are rather significant, including skin lifting, deep moisturising, and smoothing, but studies have recently shown their ability to cause a significant improvement of the colour of the skin and reduction of pigmentation. The effects on the skin for this treatment have been so good it has been named Redermalization.
A course of 3-4 sessions are required to treat pigmentation problems.
Find out more about Redermalization here.
3. Nutritional Programme
At Cheshire lasers Dr Vaidya provides tailor made nutrition plans which entail an anti-inflammatory diet, combined with supplements to bolster the skin healing capacity and enhance the effects of treatment. Please contact Dr Vaidya for further information.
Preventing Melasma and Pigmentation
The challenge with treating melasma and some pigmentation is that it commonly relapses after treatment.
The most important way of preventing pigmentation is to wear a good sun protection all year round and a sun block in the Summer.
To try and prevent melasma and stubborn pigmentation maintenance therapy is required. This can be performed using similar skin care to what is used for its treatment but on a maintenance regime. We recommend the skin care is started immediately after treatment with regular reviews at the clinic in case your regime needs changing.
For a more holistic approach there is increasing evidence that diet has a significant impact on skin inflammation, post inflammatory acne, and melasma.