Pigmentation, Sun damage & Melasma
The sun is harmful to your skin!
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 loose, 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.
Age or Sun Spots
These unwelcome patches of darkened skin are a result of photodamage, or simply put, inflammation caused by excessive sun exposure. Age Spots are sometimes also referred to as ‘liver spots’ or ‘sun spots’. These spots can occur on the face, hands, the back, legs, arms and décolletage. The more exposure to sunlight without liberal application of sunscreen with high SPF factors above 15, the more prone you are to these discolourations.
Melasma, also known as hormonal pigmentation, is a skin condition characterized by asymmetrically shaped patches of brown or blue-grey skin discolouration. It affects mostly women, but some men have been known to develop the condition. 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. People with 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.
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