Pigmentation, Sun damage & Melasma
Sun Damage can be treated at The Face and Body Place we can evaluate your skin condition and how significant your sun exposure has been. While the sun is beneficial to your body it is harmful to your skin!
The skin uses sunlight to help manufacture Vitamin D, which is important for normal bone formation. With over exposure to the sun, it’s ultraviolet rays can be harmful to your skin.
The outer layer or epidermis of the skin contains pigment housed in cells known as melanocytes. Melanin protects skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which can burn the skin, and over time, can reduce the elasticity of the skin, causing the skin to age prematurely. This is known as photo-aging.
Sun tanning occurs because exposure to sunlight causes the skin to produce more melanin and to darken. The tan fades as these cells move toward the surface and are sloughed off. Too much exposure to ultraviolet or UV rays can cause sunburn.
UV rays penetrate the outer skin layers and pass into the deeper layers, where they can damage or kill skin cells. The lighter your skin colour, the less melanin there is in your skin and the greater the risk for sun damage. Frequent and prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays over many years is the chief cause of skin cancer.
The signs of sun damage on the skin become visible from as early as the twenties. With the passing of time, these changes become more evident even if sun exposure is reduced or eliminated. That is to say, there can be a delayed appearance effect from sun exposure in earlier years.
Sun damaged skin is characterized by both fine and course wrinkle formation, irregular pigmentation, deterioration or unevenness of skin texture (especially drying of the skin), loss of elasticity and skin tone, sagging, and a sallow colour.
These skin changes are often accompanied by a loss of facial volume due to other ageing effects and enlarged capillaries which leads to redness and uneven complexion. Just a few minutes of regular, unprotected exposure to the harsh African sun can, over time, lead to noticeable changes in the skin.
Freckles, age spots, broken veins and a leathery appearance are but a few. This will progress to lose, wrinkled skin, uneven complexion and the development of solar keratoses (patches of rough wart-like skin – the precursor to certain types of skin cancer) or skin cancers like basal cell carcinoma or malignant melanomas.
At The Face and Body Place we can evaluate your skin condition and how significant your sun exposure has been. We can then give you recommendations on how to improve the condition of your skin, avoid further damage and slow down the aging effects of sun exposure.
Treatment options include:
- Guidance on lifestyle changes that will reduce the existing inflammation and damage on the skin
- Skincare products and supplements to restore and revitalize the health of your skin
- Laser and peeling treatments to remove the unwanted pigmentation and uneven skin texture
- Laser Resurfacing and Fractional Laser treatments
- Laser treatments to remove broken capillaries and spider veins
Age Spots and Sunspots
Age spots, sunspots or “liver spots” are unwelcome patches of darkened skin and are a result of photodamage, or simply put, inflammation caused by excessive sun exposure to the skin. They are also known as solar lentigines and when the skin is rough and thickened, as solar keratoses.
These spots can occur on the face, hands, the back, legs, arms and décolletage. The more exposure to sunlight the more prone you are to these discolorations.
Melasma, also known as hormonal pigmentation, is a skin condition characterized by asymmetrically shaped patches of brown or blue-grey skin discolouration. When it occurs in pregnancy it is known as chloasma. Melasma most commonly affects women, but the condition can also be seen in men.
The exact cause of Melasma is uncertain, but typically it develops in women during their reproductive years and is thought to be triggered by factors such as sun exposure, contraceptive medication or hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy. Anecdotally the most common factor amongst all woman who have melasma are hormonal fluctuations.
Hormonal fluctuations are seen in regular menses, pregnancy, lactation, infertility treatments, oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy.
The female hormone oestrogen is vital for skin vitality and softness. Excess amounts or even regular cyclical variation of oestrogen may stimulate pigment production in the skin. The condition may be further influenced by exposure to sunlight and irritants, as well as may have a basis in genetic inheritance.
The changes in the skin are entirely of a pigmentary nature and no other effects occur.
The location of the pigmentation is central, cheeks, forehead and around the chin and mouth. Patients who have a darker skin tones are more prone to developing Melasma, and it usually appears on the cheeks, chin, forehead and upper lip. Melasma is a chronic condition which requires treatment and maintenance. There are two kinds of melasma based on if the pigment is collected in the epidermis or dermis.
At The Face and Body Place we can evaluate the condition of your skin and make recommendations to assist you with your Melasma. A range of treatments include
- Medicinal treatments to control hormone fluctuations
- Dietary supplements that reduce the influence of hormone fluctuations on your skin
- Dietary supplements and IV therapy to reduce the inflammation in your skin and remove unwanted pigmentation
- Chemical Peels to remove unwanted pigmentation
- Depigmenting treatment
- Skin care products to reduce pigmentation and enhance your skin condition
Enquire about this condition
The information and advice published or made available through the website is not intended to replace the services of a physician or health care professional acting under a physician’s supervision, nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Each individual’s treatment and/or results may vary based upon the circumstances, the patient’s specific situation, as well as the health care provider’s medical judgement and only after further discussion of the patient’s specific situation, goals, risks and benefits and other relevant medical discussion. Testimonials made by any person(s) on this site are not intended to substitute for this discussion or evaluation or as a guarantee as to outcomes. Examples of treatment outcomes in this website are not intended to convey any warranty, either express or implied, as to outcomes, promises or benefits from treatment. Whether to accept any treatment of a patient should be assessed by the patient as to the risks and benefits of such procedures and only after consultation with a health care professional.