It goes by many names: age spots, dark spots, liver spots, melasma and skin discolouration. These are all types of hyperpigmentation, a condition that affects millions of people every year. The biggest culprit is sun exposure and sun damage. There seems to be a hormonal component as well, particularly in women.
Fall is the perfect time to start hyperpigmentation treatment, Toronto. Firstly, you may notice more pigmented lesions and skin discolouration after spending the summer months outside. Especially if you weren’t diligent in wearing sun protection. Now you’re noticing a collection of new sun spots and even possibly melasma – larger patches that have intensified over the summer.
Another great reason to start addressing pigmentation changes in the fall is because the sun’s rays are less intense, getting even less so as the weather gets colder. Chances are you’ll be spending less time outside, which means a more successful treatment and less chances of developing any additional UV damage.
So if you find yourself with unwanted pigment on your face, chest or other parts of the body, the good news is that you don’t have to live with it. Below are three highly effective ways to regain the flawless, even complexion you once had and desire.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
Intense Pulsed Light is the number one treatment for hyperpigmentation because it works extremely well to target most type of dark spots and discolouration. The IPL device emits broad spectrum light which is attracted by pigment located at various depths of skin.
Depending on the wavelength, light energy is absorbed by different coloured pigment. Some of the light is absorbed by dark pigment (melanin) and some by red pigment (hemoglobin). In both cases, the intense energy vaporizes the pigmented lesions, which are then naturally sloughed away and removed by the body.
Number of treatments recommended: 3-5
There are some drawbacks with IPL, however. It may not be suitable for some types of melasma or darker skin types due to the danger of burning or inflicting even further damage. Patients with skin types that fall under the Fitzpatrick scale IV or higher may benefit from microneedling or skin peels which will be discussed below:
Microneedling for Hyperpigmentation
Most people are familiar with microneedling for treating acne scars, enlarged pores, fine lines and to improve overall skin texture. But did you know that this popular cosmetic procedure also helps with fading pigmentation? It’s particularly effective when combined with exfoliating and skin-brightening medical-grade home care products.
How does microneedling help to reduce pigment? During treatment, an automated device glides across the skin deploying tiny needles into the epidermis and dermis. In response to these micro-injuries, the body elicits a healing response that stimulates fibroblasts and healthy new cells to be produced in the deep dermis. As these new cells travel towards the skin’s surface, they replace old, damaged ones, making the skin look smoother and brighter.
The biggest advantage with microneedling is that it can be performed on any skin type or ethnic background. This means the procedure is extremely safe even for darker complexions. Furthermore, there is less risk of developing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation issues that can sometimes occur with energy devices.
Number of treatments recommended: 3-5
Skin Peels Brighten Skin and Reduce Dark Spots
Tried, tested and true, chemical peels have been the gold standard for treating hyperpigmentation for many decades. Today’s chemical peels are much more sophisticated, gentler and with less downtime than their predecessors, yet they deliver outstanding skin rejuvenating benefits.
Professional skin peels blend together ingredients such as glycolic, lactic and other skin acids in combination with retinol to exfoliate on a deeper level. Old, damaged skin layers are removed, encouraging a healthy new complexion to take its place. As with IPL and microneedling, a series of 3-5 peels is recommended to see a noticeable reduction in pigmentation.
Keep in mind that for more advanced cases of hyperpigmentation and/or melasma, your skin therapist may recommend a combination of modalities to properly address your aesthetic concerns. View our monthly promotion here.
Curious about hyperpigmentation solutions or any other rejuvenating skin treatment at Therapeutic Aesthetics? Contact us as 416-705-8672 or visit our website.