pigmentation and sun spotsYour skin challenge: Sun Damage, Age Spots and Pigmentation

Sun damage on your skin can become visible from as early as your twenties and this can become more pronounced as your become older. Fine and coarse wrinkles, an irregular pigmentation, deteriorating skin texture, the loss of elasticity, sagging, an uneven skin tone, and a dull colour are all signs of sun damage on your skin. Skin damaged by the sun often experiences a loss in volume and suppleness, and blood vessels become more enlarged and visible on your skin’s surface. The appearance of blood vessels on your skin can lead to a read, blotchy, uneven complexion. Just a few minutes of regular, unprotected exposure to the harsh sun can, over a period of time, lead to noticeable changes to the skin. Some changes you may notice, as a result of sun damage are freckles, age spots, broken veins, and a weathered, leathery appearance.

Age spots, also known as liver spots or sun spot,s are those unwelcome patches of discoloured, darkened skin that appear on your skin. These unsightly age spots can occur on your face, hands, back, legs, and arms. Age spots range from light brown to dark brown and even black. You can develop age spots at any age, however they are more common in people who are over 40, have fair skin and have a history of frequent sun exposure.

Melasma or chloasma, also known as hormonal pigmentation, is a skin condition characterized by a brown or blue-gray skin discoloration. This skin condition usually affects women, but some men have been known to suffer from the condition. The exact cause of melasma is uncertain, but it typically develops in women during their reproductive years.

Causes of age spots and pigmentation

Age spots are caused by inflammation in response to excessive sun exposure. Melasma, which is caused by an overproduction of pigmentation on the skin may be triggered by various factors. These include sun exposure, contraception pills and hormone treatment pills, certain medications or hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy. Darker skinned people are more prone to developing melasma. The pigmentation caused by this condition usually appears on the cheeks, chin, forehead and upper lip. It is a chronic condition that requires treatment and management.

Prevention

Prevention is the best way to address sun spots and other types of sun damage. Awareness of the damaging effect of UV radiation on the facial appearance and sun avoidance and protection before the age of twenty will help reduce the risks for developing age spots later in life. Using a sunscreen lotion or cream daily, especially on the face and hands, is a good way to avoid sun damage. Anyone who enjoys outdoor activities such as swimming, hiking, or skiing should always be sure to use sunscreen that protects against UV-A and UV-B rays, and to reapply it as necessary according to the product’s instructions. Swimming and any prolonged contact with water can wash off conventional sunscreen products, so anyone planning to be in the water should be sure to use a waterproof sunscreen lotion or cream.

Avoiding excessive exposure to the sun is also a good way to avoid sun damage. Too much exposure to the sun and other sources of UV radiation elevates the risk of contracting skin cancer. UV exposure can also accelerate the natural aging of the skin by damaging collagen fibers, and it is associated with the formation of sun spots and other types of sun damage. Indoor and outdoor tanning both contribute to this process. It is important to limit exposure to UV radiation from any source. If any age spots appear abnormal, get it checked out by a dermatologist.

Treatment

At Beauty and Curves we treat all our patients holistically. Your Beauty and Curves doctor will do a thorough assessment to rule out the possibility of an underlying systemic health disorder that requires medical treatment. Your doctor will also evaluate whether external factors, such as hormones, medications, chemical exposure, or other environmental influences could have contributed to pigmentation, as well as noting any prior history of pigmentation disorder and its treatment. As each patient’s case is different, we will tailor a treatment program specifically for you and your circumstances. Some of the treatments we offer for sun damage, spots and pigmentation are:

mesotherapy

Mesotherapy is a soothing cocktail of potent vitamins and anti-oxidants delivered directly into the mesoderm (the middle layer of the skin) via a painless radio frequency procedure. This technology transports the molecules straight into the skin. The treatment has been shown to rejuvenate the skin, reduce fat and help improve skin tone and appearance. Find out more >>

Chemical Peels

Treatment consists of the layered application of the peel product. After the peel is removed, a soothing moisturizer as well as a sunscreen will be applied. In some cases, slight swelling, redness, mild itching or stinging can occur, depending on the strength of the peel, but usually ends between three to seven days after the procedure. Find out more >>

Carboxy therapy

Therapy involves injecting tiny amounts of Carbon dioxide (CO2) beneath the skin to break down fatty deposits and stimulate collagen production. After a treatment the gas is totally reabsorbed within 5 minutes and the treated area will raise, turn slightly red as oxygen perfused into the area which undergoes an inflammatory response which stimulates collagen production. Find out more >>

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