If you’ve ever wondered about what exactly a skin pigmentation disorder is and how they are treated then you’re in the right place. Many people have a pigmentation disorder, they aren’t harmful but they can leave people feeling insecure in their skin. In this blog post we will be discussing what a skin pigmentation disorder is, the many different types and causes, and how skin care professionals can treat them.
What is a skin pigmentation disorder?
Skin pigmentation disorders are characterised by a change in your skin’s colour. Melanin is a pigment that is responsible for the colour of your skin, if there is an increase in your melanin production, it causes patches of your skin to change colour. This uneven pigmentation is called hyperpigmentation. There are many kinds of hyperpigmentation, these include: melasma, age spots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
What causes hyperpigmentation?
Several things can trigger an increase in melanin and cause hyperpigmentation. The main causes are sun exposure, ageing skin, hormonal influences, and inflammation.
The main cause behind hyperpigmentation is sun exposure. This is because the production of melanin is triggered when sunlight touches the skin, meaning it’s more likely to increase the production of melanin after spending long periods of time in the sun.
Many changes happen within the body as we age, how our melanin works is one of them. As we get older, melanin producing cells dwindle down, however the ones that are left increase in size. This disruption often results in age spots.
Did you know that your hormones can affect your skin’s melanin production? Melasma is a common form of hyperpigmentation that occurs in women. Sometimes, when oestrogen and progesterone are released in the body, it can trigger an overproduction in melanin. This is thought to be why many pregnant women have this kind of hyperpigmentation.
Post-inflammatory inflammation occurs after damage to the skin has healed. For example, skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis damage the skin and cause inflammation. This can result in dark areas of the skin after the skin has healed.
Laser treatment for skin pigmentation
Now you know exactly what skin pigmentation is and how it’s caused, we can now discuss one of the best treatment options available. The most common and effective form of skin pigmentation treatment is laser treatment. So how does laser therapy work?
Laser treatment for skin pigmentations works by stimulating the production of collagen in your skin. Collagen is a protein that tightens the skin, giving a youthful and healthy appearance. Collagen production decreases in most people around the late teens/ early 20s period. By stimulating collagen, you’re encouraging new skin cells to grow and in turn, produce more even and healthy looking skin.
There are two kinds of laser treatment to consider. These are ablative and non-ablative. Ablative is when the top layer of the skin is removed, this is often used for more severe hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. Non-ablative lasers do not remove any skin, but instead heat up the skin which stimulates it to produce new collagen.