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Are Stubborn brown marks and an uneven skin tone ageing you?

Gemma Montgomery Skin Care Specialist

Discover what’s gone wrong and how to rectify it.

CheekPart 1

Often the first images that spring to mind in an aged skin are wrinkles and sagging, but when the colour and evenness of our skin’s disrupted, it can actually be just,  if not more ageing.

Healthy skin should appear even in tone and colour, feeling strong and plump to the touch. This luxury isn’t just confined to our youth. If we care for ourselves properly, healthy looking skin can be attainable through to advanced age.

I’ve developed brown marks on my skin, what’s happening?

To understand the answer it’s important to understand the vital role pigmentation plays in our skin.

Very briefly, the skin cell responsible for pigment is called the Melanocyte. Under a microscope it looks like very much like an octopus.

The pigment granule is known as melanin, which is partially responsible for determining our skin colour, whilst serving as a vital part of our skin barrier defence.

ForeheadMelanin production is ENTIRELY dependent on UVR exposure. UV Exposure sets off a chain reaction, stimulating the pituitary gland in our brain to produce a hormone that stimulates melanin.

UV Light is energy and melanin in the skin either absorbs or neutralises it to reduce damage.

Brown spots basically show us the response UVR exposure is creating on our skin and their appearance can mean too much damage too late.

Once the damage is done disorganised chaos begins within the skin cells and normal melanin control is lost. The melanocyte begins to deposit more and more melanin, often passing pigment on to the wrong cells, cells which are unable to shed like normal. The pigment therefore builds up, staying stubbornly present on the skin.

So surely the solutions to protect my skin from UVR?

Protection is an obvious key element in preventing hyper pigmentation, but frustratingly there are MANY other factors at play. These include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Hormone treatment
  • Medications such as, anti epileptic, anti depressants, antibiotics, anti inflammatory painkillers, plus many more
  • Skin trauma such as acne, burns and allergies
  • Deficiencies
  • Skin diseases
  • Fragrances in skin creams, body washes, perfumes and household cleaning products.

This is why resolution of the problem can be so frustrating and lengthy!

NeoRetin Good Surgeon Guide before

Before Treatment

NeoRetin Good Surgeon Guide After

After Treatment

So what’s my options?

The first step is an in-depth consultation, where all the above risk factors are checked. Ideally clients should bring all their cosmetic products to consultation, including makeup. The aims being, to ensure maximum benefit’s gained from any treatments undertaken and that nothing is undoing good work.

So lets start with treatments

Here’s a quick overview of some clinic treatment options along with the pros and cons of each:

 

Obagi Nuderm

Known as a gold standard treatment, specific for banishing pigmentation. Nuderm involves an intricate 6-step process, performed at home, twice daily for a total of 18 weeks. The regime’s a combination of medical exfoliants, high strength prescription vitamin A and skin lightening products.

Pro’s
It really does get rid of pigmentation fantastically, along with improving the signs of ageing.

Cons
The first 6-10 weeks can be tough going. During this time you can be extremely dry, flaky and red.  This can often interfere with social engagements, for those who are self-conscious. If this phase is pushed through its worth it, but understandably it can be hard.

Medium Depth Medical Skin Peels

Get to work deeper into the skin than the more superficial layers, removing pigmentary deposits.

Pro’s
Some medium peels can be used on all skin tones, from light to dark.
A great option for fighting the signs of ageing, as the skin cells responsible for collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid production are stimulated.
Can be used on the face, neck and back of hands.

Cons
Expect some downtime. Day 2 and 3 after the peel is applied the skin sheds considerably. It’s advisable to lay low for these 2 days. This will mean scheduling your peel around work or social commitments.

Microneedling

A procedure that involves using very fine needles to create controlled injury to the skin. This encourages the pigment causing cells to reorganise and act the way they should, along with many anti ageing and scar reducing benefits.

Pro’s

One of the best procedures in terms of respecting and caring for the health of the skin.
The procedure enables pigmentation skincare products to penetrate deeper into the skin.  it’s also fabulous for anti ageing due to the stimulation of collagen and elastin producing cells.

Helps the skin become more plump and firm, evening out the skin tone.

Great for helping with all forms of acne scarring including pitted and redness where acne has been.

Cons

Downtime, but this will be the case with all medical procedures that give results.
The first 2-3 days the skin will resemble sunburn, appearing pink and red. Following this, the skin becomes dry and dark and around day 6 the skin returns to normal.
It’s not for those looking for a quick fix. It’s an investment that yields results long term.

Following all these procedures, long term medical skin care must be maintained afterwards, along with the optimal nutrition and supplements.

In part 2 I go into skincare and nutrition in more depth, so don’t miss it.