The effects of sun damage may take years to appear, or they can crop up in an afternoon. Hyperpigmentation is the term that refers to dark patches on the skin. This condition can include age spots, freckles, liver spots, and pregnancy masks. While it’s generally harmless, it can cause discomfort and embarrassment for those who suffer from it.
Hyperpigmentation can stem from several issues. The three main types of hyperpigmentation are:
- PIH, or Post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation. This refers to skin that darkens unevenly when exposed to the sun due to old lesions including acne scars and psoriasis.
- Lentigines are more commonly known as age spots. While these darker patches of pigment are more common in older people, they are caused by sun exposure, not aging. These spots can creep up on even the most diligent sunscreen wearers; for example, drivers often develop them on the left side of their faces.
- Melasma patches are caused by sun exposure during times of hormonal flux, including during pregnancy, while using birth control or hormone replacement therapy, and in cases of thyroid dysfunction.
There are several treatments available for the correction of hyper-pigmentation. Depending on the source of the discoloration, different methods offer varying results. Careful review of your condition with a qualified professional can help you design and implement the best course of treatment.
CO2 Laser Resurfacing offers a detailed treatment of the outermost layer of the skin. During laser resurfacing, the outer layer of skin is vaporized. This treatment lessens the look of acne scars, stimulates collagen production, and removes the dark patches known as hyperpigmentation. This treatment is done under a local anesthetic and will result in some redness of the skin, similar to sunburn. However, this redness can be camouflaged with makeup after three to five days.
Using the CO2 Laser Resurfacing procedure as a treatment for age spots, followed by a careful skin care regimen, can lead to several years of smooth, even skin tone.
ZO® Melamin™ Skin Bleaching & Correcting Creme works by inhibiting melanin production. This prescription only treatment offered by Dr. Boggess results in a gradual bleaching of hyperpigmented areas of skin. The active ingredient in this product is hydroquinone. Hydroquinone should only be used while the patient is under the care of a skilled physician. This product must be applied in combination with an extremely strong sunscreen.
Melamin™ offers a combination of pigment suppression, hydration and inflammation reduction. Follow all instructions with great care, particularly those referring to sunscreen.
ZO® 3 – Step Peel™ offers a reduction in melasma by effectively peeling skin to remove the top layer of dermis and any uneven pigmentation while providing antioxidant protection and reducing skin irritation. This treatment brightens the skin, shrinks the look of pores, and reduces fine lines around the mouth and eyes. This treatment is safe and suitable for all skin types. In addition to the in-office treatment, patients will be trained on an at home treatment to extend the life of the peel.
ZO® Non-Hydroquinone Hyperpigmentation System For Skin Brightening is a less invasive treatment, ideal for freckles and liver spots. This treatment offers a non-retinol skin brightener, a Vitamin C serum for a healthy glow, and an SPF 50 broad-spectrum sunscreen. For clients who are not good candidates for hydroquinone treatments, the Skin Brightening treatment system is an ideal maintenance system to reduce the look of nonspecific hyperpigmentation.
Every face is unique. Contact us at (615) 942-8016 for a detailed review of your concerns and particular hyperpigmentation issue. We’ll build a program to help you face the world with confidence. Click here to learn more about ZO® products offered by Dr. Boggess.