Hyperpigmentation and Aging
Fixing Sun Spots, Age Spots and Melasma
Wrinkles and lines aren’t the only tell-tale signs of aging. If you suffer from hyperpigmentation, it’s just as likely to be giving away your age (they are called “age spots” after all!) Here’s what causes pigment changes to the skin and how to get back the brighter, youthful complexion you desire:
What Causes Hyperpigmentation
Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its color. With age, our skin starts losing its ability to properly distribute it. Excess melanin then gets deposited in little spots on the face and areas of the body like our hands (think liver spots). The result is blotchy, dark patches on the skin and an uneven skin tone, which is generally the result of one of three things:
Age spots and dark spots are most often caused by years of sun exposure or use of tanning beds.
Melasma is a face condition that often occurs during pregnancy or as the result of taking birth control pills. Dark spots typically appear on the chin, cheeks and forehead.
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)
This is a fancy term for acne scarring, as well as any skin darkening that occurs once a trauma to the skin has healed.
How To Treat Hyperpigmentation
It’s a common myth that hyperpigmentation will fade on its own. This simply is not true, which means that, the sooner you treat skin darkening, the better. Here’s how:
Of course, it’s a no-brainer that prevention is the best anti-aging treatment of all. By applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen, you can stop the UV damage that causes age spots from happening in the first place.
Topical Skincare Products
Add a skin-brightening product to your skincare regime to combat pigment changes to the skin. Look for a serum or moisturizer with Vitamin C. It’s a classic ingredient that delivers antioxidant power to the skin, which is known to lighten hyperpigmentation and prevent further darkening.
The uppermost layer of skin contains the most pigment-packed skin cells. Microdermabrasion is a noninvasive skincare procedure that gently removes this layer to get rid of dead skin cells and brighten skin tone.
Another treatment that gently resurfaces the skin is a chemical peel. Ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid and TCA exfoliate the outer layer of dead skin to correct skin discoloration and improve skin texture.
Photo Facial (IPL)
IPL harnesses the power of intense pulsed light to penetrate the skin and reach unwanted melanin. The pigment is broken down into small particles by the heat of the treatment. Following the procedure, the pigment either darkens and flakes off or is absorbed by the lymphatic system. With as little as one to two treatments, sun damage can be reversed, resulting in an even skin tone.
A focused, single wavelength of light can target a particular area of skin. As a result, lasers are best for more quickly and effectively treating a small area of hyperpigmentation on the skin.
Microneedling creates controlled, micro-injuries to the skin, stimulating the body’s own power to heal itself. With the skin in repair mode, collagen production and cellular turnover are promoted. Within a week of a treatment, most people report that their skin looks less blotchy and feels smoother. Collagen production continues to develop for up to 6 months after treatment with many people opting for a series of treatments to maximize the brightening benefit to the skin.
At Smooth Synergy, we know that no one treatment is best for everybody. Please call us at 212-397-0111 to speak with one of our experts in beauty, who can provide you with a customized treatment plan that takes your individual skincare needs into consideration.