Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition plaguing many of our patients today. It is often described as “sun spots.” There are various contributing factors for this condition, as well as areas of the body where skin discoloration can be found.
The first step in truly evening the complexion is understanding the mechanism whereby excess melanin is deposited on the surface of the skin. Our melanin response is a function of our immune system, similar to that of a histamine response. When the body detects cutaneous trauma (heat from the sun, a cat scratch, an acne breakout, a curling iron burn) it instigates an inflammatory response. This inflammatory response then triggers a long chemical reaction that ends in the deposit of melanin granules at the site of the trauma in an attempt to protect the affected area. A very simplified version of this chemical reaction is as follows:
Inflammation->Tyrosinase->Tyrosine->Melanocyte Activity->Melanosome Formation->Melanin Granule Deposit
In an attempt to halt this process, ingredients in products and treatments with tyrosinase inhibitors are extremely beneficial. This family of ingredients helps to stop this chain reaction. They are especially important for those who are genetically predisposed to hyperpigmentation. It is wise for these patients to use a product daily that contains gentle tyrosinase inhibitors to prevent future discoloration, even after success has been achieved with their treatment.
The second step in the complexion evening process is gentle exfoliation. The closer the pigment lies to the surface of the skin, the darker it appears to the naked eye. Many are fooled into thinking that the problem has been corrected after one treatment of microdermabrasion or one superficial peel, because pigment will appear lighter to the naked eye. With natural cell turnover, it is only a matter of time that this pigment will rise to the surface and redeposit making the area dark once again. Using gentle peeling agents that do not cause undue trauma in the skin in conjunction with tyrosinase inhibitors is a more effective combination than simple exfoliation.
Last, and most certainly not least, is sun protection. Everyone should be using an SPF of 30 or greater everyday. This is particularly important for those trying to rid themselves of hyperpigmentation.
I recommend our pHaze 13 Pigment Gel. It is the Gold Standard spot treatment for lightening skin discoloration. It contains a highly effective blend of the tyrosinase inhibitors such as hydroquinone, kojic acid, and azelaic acid. It simultaneously helps to exfoliate, bleach, and inhibit hyperpigmentation.
Through the month of March, purchase any microdermabrasion or peel treatment and receive 25% off pHaze 13 Pigment Gel.