How to treat sunspots and pigmentation
Sunspots and pigmentation are very common conditions which appear on the skin due to excessive sun exposure. The face, hands, arms, neck and shoulders are the most exposed areas to all weather conditions, leaving them prone to further damage. Red heads or fair skins are most prone to sun damage as they tend to burn much easier. Sunspots are similar to freckles only much bigger and can vary in colour. They mainly appear as brown patches which look like freckles that have joined together. It can take a number of years for sunspots to appear and if not protected with a high SPF, they will continue to darken. It is believed to be sun damage from as long as 10-12 years ago so it is vital from a young age to be protected. Prevention is always better than cure and the most effective way to do this is wear a high SPF daily, sunglasses and a hat. Research suggests at least an SPF30 will give you sufficient UVA and UVB protection.
Human skin cells contain Melanocyte which provides us with Melanin which is a pigment found in skin, hair and eyes. Too much Melanin leads to Hyperpigmented skin which can appear due to excessive sun exposure. Pigmentation comes in two forms, Hyperpigmentation and Hypopigmentation. The difference between the two depends on your skin tone. Darker patches on the skin is Hyperpigmentation and appears as sun spots, and freckles. Not a serious medical condition, but you may for cosmetic reasons want this removed through time. There are different kinds of Hyperpigmentation and knowing which type you have will assist on which treatment will work best. Melasma is the most recognisable type of pigmentation and is caused by hormonal changes or excessive sun exposure. It can appear during pregnancy and is sometimes known as the pregnancy mask. Some medications may also cause this as a side effect. Unfortunately this type of Hyperpigmentation can be difficult to treat but the good news is it often fades in the winter months. Hypopigmentation is the opposite to Hyperpigmentation as areas of the skin become lighter in colour with occasionally white dots appearing. This can sometimes be a result of sun damage or the skin disease, Vitiligo.
Lentigines, more commonly known as liver spots or age spots, are caused by exposure of UV rays. Over 80% of people aged 60 or over will have Lentigines on areas which are often exposed to all weather. These tend to only appear in later years and continue to darken through time. Solar Keratosis is another common condition which appears as a small, rough, raised area. Some Keratosis may develop into a type of skin cancer so if there are any changes to yours, it is recommended to get checked by your GP. Also known as age spots, these look like oversized freckles usually appearing on the face, chest and hands. Anything that’s changed in size, shape or colour should be checked out by a dermatologist or GP.
Sunspots and pigmentation tend to affect people who have fair skin, fair hair, are on medication or spend a lot of time outdoors. If any of the following applies to you, it is vital you take all necessary precautions to keep yourself sun safe to ensure the condition does not get worse. If you are reading this and think it is too late, it is never too late. Applying an SPF daily will prevent further darkening of the pigmentation which is already present, resulting in future treatments being more effective.
At Beauty Haven we offer treatments which are effective in the minimising of sun damage and sometimes even complete removal of damage. Mesoestetic Peels, Microdermabrasion and Skin Rejuvenation are all effective on improving the texture and tone of the skin. Mesoestetic peels provide a deep exfoliation to brighten the skin lightening any present sun damage. These are £65 per peel and a minimum of 4 are recommended as we increase the strength gradually to provide a stronger treatment each time. Microdermabrasion is a superficial resurfacing treatment which exfoliates the top layer of the skin leaving it cleaner, brighter and smoother. These are £60 per session and a minimum of 3 are recommended for maximum results. Skin Rejuvenation is a laser treatment which reverses the signs of damage on the skin. This is great for the darkest of sun damage as the light is attracted to the Melanin which appears much darker and deeper on those badly sun damaged areas. A full face can be treated if needed or just individual areas of pigmentation. A full face treatment is £95 or individual areas start from £60 per session. 3 sessions are recommended for best results. It is vital if having any of the above that a SPF 30 is applied daily as these treatments are exposing the top layer of the skin which if exposed and not protected, could cause further or worse damage.
If you would like any further information on pigmentation or which treatment would work best for you, give us a call or come into the salon for a consultation with one of our experienced skincare therapists.