Do you have sun spots, melasma or other patches of uneven skin tone that you would like to improve?
You are probably a pigmented skin type, which means that your skin produces more of the pigment melanin than is needed. Luckily, the proper skincare regimen, combined with professional treatments, can help you achieve the smooth and glowing complexion you’ve always wanted.
Topical treatment products
The first step in treating any skin condition is to start with the right skincare regimen. Pigmented skin types can benefit from skin-lightening ingredients such as hydroquinone, vitamin C, kojic acid and niacinamide. These ingredients can be used as spot treatments to lighten the dark areas of your skin to match the surrounding areas.
I recommend that my patients take a one-month break from skin-lightening ingredients every several months. It is best to work with a board-certified dermatologist before starting this regimen to avoid skin irritation and unwanted side effects.
Sun protection is also a must for all skin types, but especially pigmented skin types. Pigmented skin will worsen with sun exposure, even if you are using the proper skincare ingredients and getting in-office treatments. Wear at least SPF 15 every day, and use a higher SPF when outside for extended periods of time. Reapply sunscreen every hour or after swimming or sweating.
Laser skin treatments
When dealing with difficult hyperpigmentation, laser skin treatments can be an effective option. Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments are commonly used to gently remove brown spots on the skin. Customizable wavelengths of light target pigmented areas deep within the skin, breaking up the melanin and restoring an even skin tone.
CO2RE Resurfacing is another option for treating dark spots, sun damage and discoloration. It works by safely removing the outer layer of skin to reveal the fresh layer of skin underneath.
When getting any type of laser skin treatment, it is crucial that you stay out of the sun to avoid worsening hyperpigmentation.
Many in-office chemical peels are available for a wide range of skin problems, including hyperpigmentation. The PCA Peel with Hydroquinone, for example, can be an effective treatment for melasma and discoloration caused by the sun. If you have sensitive skin, inquire about peels designed specifically for your skin type to minimize the risk of irritation, dryness and other side effects.
Getting a bright, uniform skin tone is possible, even for pigmented skin types who struggle with dark spots and discoloration. The key is to combine the proper skincare regimen for your skin type with appropriate office treatments and lifestyle habits to get and maintain a clear, beautiful complexion.