Pigmentation refers to the coloring of the skin, whereas a Pigmentation Disorder is where the skin, or areas of the skin changes colour unevenly in contrast to the surrounding skin tone.
Pigmentation Disorders can present in two variations, namely: Hyperpigmentation (irregular dark patches of skin) and Hypopigmentation (irregular light patches of skin). Some people are more prone to pigmentation disorders and this is very often genetic.
For the purposes of this article, the focus shall be placed on targeting Hyperpigmentation. Click here to see the Dermaceutic 21 Day Expert Care Kit for Pigmentation Spots.
Pigmentation is caused by a variety of factors including intrinsic and extrinsic. Some intrinsic factors to consider are hormonal imbalances and medication. Whereas extrinsic factors include sun exposure, heat and chemicals.
Before treating pigmentation, it is vital that your Skin Therapist firstly establishes what the cause of your pigmentation is. The contraceptive pill and pregnancy hormones can be a cause. When it comes to intrinsic factors such as these, it is virtually impossible to treat pigmentation if the cause remains constant. It is advised that hyperpigmentation is only treated once hormones are balanced.
The extent and depth of pigmentation must be identified by your Skin Therapist before selecting and initiating treatment.
• If your pigmentation is hormonal, then it is classified as Melasma, or else very commonly known as the mask of pregnancy. This type of pigmentation is challenging to treat, because it is caused by internal factors and it usually presents within very deep layers of the skin.
• Hyperpigmentation due to excessive sun exposure, although not necessarily any less troubling than Melasma, is generally far easier to treat. It tends to respond to treatment quicker and is more superficial than Hormonal Pigmentation.
Your Skin Therapist can do a stretch test; whereby the skin is stretched between the thumb and forefinger. If the pigmentation breaks up, then it can be classified as superficial and lying in the epidermis.
If the pigmentation does not break up, and remains solid, then it is much deeper into the dermis. The treatment of this pigmentation will take longer and very often a gentler and slower approach needs to be taken in order to avoid an inflammatory response, which could otherwise make the pigmentation worse.