Hyper pigmentation is when the skin appears dark, blotchy, and uneven in colour. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin colour, forms excess deposits in the skin as a form of protection. There are different forms of hyper pigmentation which differ in their depth and cause for the darkening. Hyper pigmentation can affect the skin colour of people of any race, although darker skin types tend to struggle more. Hyper pigmentation is a very difficult condition to treat depending on the different depths that it may occur.
- Epidermal (superficial) hyper pigmentation – this hyper pigmentation can be treated effectively with cosmeceutical products containing active de-pigmenting ingredients as it sits in the epidermis.
- Dermal (deeper) hyper pigmentation – this hyper pigmentation cannot be treated effectively with any cosmeceutical de-pigmenting ingredient as it lies in the dermal layer. The only effective treatments are specific pigment lasers.
- A mixture of epidermal and dermal hyper pigmentation – Certain cosmeceuticals containing active de-pigmenting ingredients will be effective in reducing the epidermal hyper pigmentation; however the dermal pigmentation will remain unaffected.
There are a number of different factors that can trigger hyper pigmentation and these are as follows:
- Sun damage is a very common trigger of hyper pigmentation, especially in hotter climates such as Africa’s. Freckles, age spots, and other darkened skin patches can become darker or more pronounced when skin is exposed to the sun. This happens because melanin absorbs the energy of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays in order to protect the skin from damage.
- Melasma or Chloasma is hyper pigmentation triggered by hormonal changes/influences. Pregnancy, for example, can trigger overproduction of melanin that causes hyper pigmentation on the face. Melasma frequently reduces after pregnancy. Women who take birth control pills may also develop hyper pigmentation because their bodies undergo similar kinds of hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.
- Post inflammatory hyper pigmentation is another form of hyper pigmentation that is caused by any sort of trauma to the skin. (e.g. Acne) Post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation (PIH) causes skin darkening and discoloration that show up as spots, or as large patches on a person’s skin. This is because cells that normally produce brown pigment evenly across your skin produce too much melanin. This happens because of an inflammatory reaction in the skin, or injury to the skin.
Limelight is an Award Winning light technology that harnesses the pigment destroying powers of multiple wavelengths to combat the visible signs of Sun Damage, Solar Lentiginous (Brown Spots), Telangiectasia (Broken Capillaries), Uneven Skin Texture and Laxity.
Limelight treatment is offered by our Aesthetic Doctors.