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Dark Spots AKA Hyperpigmentation
Summer is right around the corner and in the society we live in, tan is considered to be beautiful. “Bronze Beauty” some say, and we have to admit it’s awesome! As a Floridian, I know firsthand how wonderful it feels to lay out and sunbathe in our perfect beach weather.
Unfortunately if you do the crime, honey you will do the time and boy do we pay! The most common cause of these “sun spots” is, well, the sun. Sun is not the only problem though; here are the three most common causes I would like to go over.
1. Overexposure to the sun light is at the top of my list due to the fact that hyperpigmentation caused by other factors can worsen with sun exposure.
When we get a tan, it’s actually a defense mechanism our body uses to protect us from the sun’s harmful rays. Melanocytes are cells that are important for the production of the pigment of our skin called melanin, in other words, it’s what provides the color of our skin. Black, Asian and Hispanic individuals have more melanin; therefore, are inclined to tan rather than burn, while Caucasian skin has less melanin, making it prone to a sun burn.Melanin protects us from the ultraviolet rays of the sun that damage our cells, inducing aging, discoloration of the skin and even skin cancer.
Let me just emphasize on that last part. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, continues to increase at a rate of three percent a year. This research highlights the necessity of limiting UVA radiation by avoiding excessive sunlight, tanning and sunbeds.
So please play it safe and protect that skin! Fortunately, the answer is very simple, just wear sunblock. I recommend using an SPF of at least 40 and broad-spectrum, which it protects from both UVA and UVB rays.
2. Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) is discoloration on the skin caused by inflammation. Any trauma your skin might go through such as waxing, shaving, tweezing, picking at blemishes and even harsh treatments can all cause PIH. It is important to really baby your skin after it has undergone any trauma. Use soothing/calming cleansers for sensitive skin to help minimize the chances of any discoloration to appear. Avoid any exfoliates for a few days to allow the skin to heal properly and of course, use sunblock.
Oh and another thing, STOP PICKING YOUR BLEMISHES! PIH is very common among acne sufferers. It can occur in all skin types, although it is more common in darker skin tones. It affects both men and women equally. Luckily, PIH is not a true scar, so it is easier to treat.
3. Melasma or the “pregnancy mask” is a form of hyperpigmentation that is thought to be the stimulation of melanocytes by the female sex hormone estrogen and progesterone to produce more melanin pigments when the skin is exposed to sun. Melasma is usually diagnosed visually by a skin care professional or with assistance of a Wood’s lamp.
Treating this is an ongoing process that will require a lifetime of treatment…I know it sounds harsh huh… It’s ok though; there are very effective treatments out there that are great for keeping it to a minimal. For example, here at The Aesthetic & Wellness Center we offer a variety of treatments from the Intense Pulse Light/IPL, Chemical Peels, MDA and skin brighteners to treat this issue.
Below is an image of one of our clients who has been treated for Melasma and began to see results in just 8 weeks.
If you haven’t noticed already, I mentioned using sunblock quite a bit of times in this short article. Why? Because it’s extremely important! This is your number one anti-aging, anti-spotting, anti-acne product.
So take action and start protecting and preventing your skin from future damage. If you would like to set up a consultation to treat any hyperpigmentation you may be dealing with, please give us a call at 941-749-0741. We look forward to hearing from you.
The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The Aesthetic & Wellness Center is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or products that you obtain through this site. After reading articles, watching videos or reading other content from this website, you are encouraged to review the information carefully with your professional healthcare provider or skin care specialist