Dealing with Pigmentation
I have been living with the problem of skin pigmentation for many years, and now, after extensive research and different treatments, I feel I should share what I have learnt over the years, with you. I will start by explaining the condition first.
After all my research into the causes, effects and treatments of pigmentation, I have accepted the fact that I cannot cure this condition. This is an important point that I would like you to note. Any dermatologist or therapist or product that claims to cure pigmentation is not to be trusted, because this is one condition that can only be reduced. The only way to treat pigmentation so that the spots fade, is through processes like chemical peels, or laser treatment or even high quality home care products. The key to successfully dealing with pigmentation is continuous treatment, because the moment you stop, the spots come back.
You can, however, make sure the spots fade significantly. Pigmentation is a harmless condition that is usually caused by the production of too much melanin. A number of factors might contribute to pigmentation, the biggest being sun exposure. Other reasons include hormonal changes due to puberty, pregnancy, birth control pills, menopause or a sluggish liver. The last is one of the main reasons why I keep recommending super green powders like moringa. These powders flush out excess hormones from the liver to keep it healthy and functioning at optimum capacity, which in turn leads to clear and glowing skin.
There are three kinds of pigmentation conditions:
FRECKLES- I know Enid Blyton made freckles sound like a very attractive feature to have, but these really don’t look very nice once you grow older. Freckles are small dark hyper pigmented spots that tend to flare up during summers and fade away during winter. These can be caused by sun exposure or could even be genetic in nature. If you are prone to freckles, then you must take care to stay out of the sun and always use sunblock. It is easily treated and sometimes even fades on its own. But please consult a dermatologist regularly because sometimes more serious skin problems may appear as freckles to a lay person.
HYPER PIGMENTATION -Excessive melanin production causes hyper pigmentation. You can call them brown spots, age spots, or sun spots, though only sun exposure cannot be blamed for this. Pregnancy, hormonal changes, liver problems can also cause hyper pigmentation.
HYPO PIGMENTATION -Too little melanin production causes hypo pigmentation or white spots. The most common cause of hypopigmentation is trauma to the skin such as pimples, blisters, burns, and infections. Excessive sun exposure can also cause hypo pigmentation. This condition is more difficult to treat than hyper pigmentation. I have one tiny white spot on my cheek. I think it was caused by picking at a pimple in my late twenties, and now it is a permanent feature on my face. Please don’t pick at your pimples or scratch any allergies or rashes you may have. Consult a dermatologist and follow his instructions to avoid scars and white spots.
As with any other health condition, please refrain from self-diagnoses, or, even worse, Google diagnoses. If you see any pigmentation on your face, then please consult a dermatologist who will recommend the best course of action. Keep in mind that results will not be immediate and give yourself at least 3-6 months to see visible improvement. Don’t lose patience and change the treatment, it might do more harm than good. There are a number of ways to treat pigmentation and I will talk about each at length in subsequent posts:
- Retinol based products.
- Vitamin C based products
- Home peels-glycolic, salicylic, lactic, kojic and mandelic acid depending on your skin type
- Chemical peels-to be done professionally under medical supervision
- Lasers- fractional, YAG for tough pigmentation
- Bleach-hydroquinone bleach by prescription only
- Microdermabrasion- excellent topical treatment to be done professionally
- l-glutathione supplement along with vitamin C supplement
Regardless of the type of treatment you choose, remember that adequate and consistent care at home is extremely important before and after treatment. Remember to use sun block all day, every day, even on cloudy days and even when sitting indoors.
Try out some of the pigmentation treatments mentioned here and let me know what you think. Write to me below or using #stayrealstayyou on Instagram @shagunkhanna