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How Does Pigmentation Occur and How To Treat It?

Posted on 28. Apr, 2009 by in Educate

Pigment melanin gives our skin protection against harmful ultraviolet rays. Melanin production can increase or decrease beyond normal, creating a change in the skin color.  The overproduction of melanin, or hyperpigmentation (dark spots), is related to sun exposure (direct sunlight and artificial sunlight), acne scarring, hormonal changes, nutritional deficiency or prescription drugs. The problem with hypopigmentation (white spots) is often associated with the disease known as vitiligo but can also occur as a result of injury.

Hyperpigmentation results from the increased deposition of melanin, which causes the skin to become darker in patches. Melanin is part of skin barrier defence system in that it protects against exposure to UVR and pigmented blemishes are almost always the result of excessisve stimulation by sunlight. The pigmentation should be considered to be a warning sign from the body that the affected area has received too much sun damage. DNA damage by UVR is the major aggravating factor of excessive pigmentation. Although sunlight is essential for human life, daily exposure to the sun over a lifetime is a major cause of skin damage, including pigmentation, wrinkling and skin cancer. Sun exposure causes free radical damage to the cells, forcing the aging process into an accelerated pace. Simply by exposing skin to the sun, the level of vitamin C in the skin drops by 30%, and subsequently free radicals are formed. In addition, UVR inactivates the vitamin A receptors. Vitamin A is required for cell replication. Free radicals cause abnormal melanin production and impaired DNA/cell replication.

How to Treat Hyperpigmantation:

  • A conscious effort must be made to avoid all natural and artificial UVA & UVB, and a broad-spectum sunscreen including anti-oxidants, must be worn at all times (no exceptions).
  • Topical antioxidants like vitamin A & C  are essential to use on daily basis to protect and rebuild the cells. Vitamin C and A is a power-house in treating pigmentation. Antioxidants couple with free radicals to neutralize free radicals; and boost collagen and elastin production. Vitamin C is recognized for its strong antioxidant and photo-protective properties, although vitamin C is never recommended as a substitute for sunscreen. Please contact Unique Verve about your skin analysis and product consultation.
  • Use of  AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid) products help to exfoliate dead and and hyperpigmented cells, and stimulate the production of new cell growth. AHAs accelerate cell turnover, thus increasing the production of collagen. Remember that each one of us has different skin type and skin condition, hence each treatment requires an appropriate treatment plan and an individual approach. Please contact Unique Verve about your skin analysis and product consultation.
  • Regular professional facial treatments that are based on antioxidants like vitamin C and A will help to improve skin color and texture, fine lines and boost elastin and collagen production. Active Vitamin Penetration with Ionzyme DF Machine ensures deep penetration of antioxidants/serums; Advanced LED Photopulsation light also helps to diminish hyperpigmenation. Such facials are available at Unique Verve in Boston.

Appropriate homecare products, professional facial treatments and nutrition work in synergy to treat any skin condition, including hyperpigmentation.

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