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HOW TO PREVENT & TREAT PIGMENTATION

25 Jan 2022

Read on for your go-to guide for every type of pigment problem. From sun spots, to post-acne red marks and scarring, and the ‘mask of pregnancy’, hyperpigmentation – a condition where certain areas of the skin exhibit an excess of pigment – is a common complaint.

 

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HOW TO PREVENT & TREAT PIGMENTATION 

From sun spots, to post-acne red marks and scarring, and the ‘mask of pregnancy’, hyperpigmentation – a condition where certain areas of the skin exhibit an excess of pigment – is a common complaint.

Experienced by over 200 million1 women worldwide, UV exposure, intrinsic ageing, inflammation and hormones all play a part in this complex condition. While difficult to treat, there are simple and effective steps you can take to promote an even looking complexion, and help prevent hyperpigmentation from taking hold. Read on for your go-to guide for every type of pigment problem.

 

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PIGMENTATION EXPLAINED

Hyperpigmentation occurs when the body produces an excess of melanin – the pigment that gives skin its colour – and it is unevenly dispersed on the surface of the skin, resulting in darkened spots or patches. This may occur for a number of reasons, outlined below.

 

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SUN SPOTS

UV exposure is a leading cause of pigmentation in both sexes, resulting in telltale sun spots. Scientifically known as a solar lentigo, these flat, brown spots resemble large freckles and are a sign of sun damage.   Vigilant about sunscreen but still have darkened spots? Think back to your youth, as sun spots may appear decades after the sun exposure occurs. These patches will also darken with increased UV exposure, commonly during the summer months, so daily sun protection is essential.

 

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AGE SPOTS

It’s not only wrinkles that signify ageing – hyperpigmentation is often part of the natural ageing process. From age 30, the sun, skin ageing and genetics can cause disruption to the production and distribution mechanism of melanin, resulting in uneven pigment and age spots.

 

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SUN SPOTS

UV exposure is a leading cause of pigmentation in both sexes, resulting in telltale sun spots. Scientifically known as a solar lentigo, these flat, brown spots resemble large freckles and are a sign of sun damage.   Vigilant about sunscreen but still have darkened spots? Think back to your youth, as sun spots may appear decades after the sun exposure occurs. These patches will also darken with increased UV exposure, commonly during the summer months, so daily sun protection is essential.

 

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MELASMA

Hormones are a central part of the pigmentation puzzle, particularly for women. Melasma – typically characterised by blotchy brown patches on the forehead, cheeks and upper lip – often occurs as a result of a combination of UV exposure and hormonal changes brought about by the contraceptive pill, HRT, fertility treatment, or pregnancy. Hence the reason it is often referred to as ‘the mask of pregnancy’.   Melasma is more common in women with darker skin tones, and its hormonal nature makes it the most difficult to treat.

 

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POST-INFLAMMATORY PIGMENTATION

When inflammation or injury occurs to the skin, it can trigger excess melanin production, resulting in a localised dark mark that remains after the skin has healed. Psoriasis, burns, eczema or injury can cause post-inflammatory pigmentation, but acne is the most common cause.

To avoid unwanted skin discolouration, it’s important to target inflammation while treating the root causes of acne (such as with La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+)), always maintain good hygiene, and resist the urge to pick at the skin and cause further trauma.

 

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PREVENTING PIGMENTATION

Without argument, daily application of a high-level, broad spectrum sunscreen is the most beneficial step you can take to help prevent most forms of pigmentation. With a light, non-greasy texture that’s perfect for everyday wear, Anthelios Invisible Fluid Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+  is specially formulated for sensitive skin prone to sun intolerance. Non-comedogenic, fragrance- and paraben-free, it offers the highest level of protection from UVA and UVB rays to help minimise the occurrence of sun-induced hyperpigmentation.

 

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