Pigmentation, what is pigmentation? treatments available

Pigmentation, what is pigmentation? treatments available

What is pigmentation ?

Pigmentation, what is pigmentation ? treatments available Pigmentation is the colouration in the skin; it’s determined by the amount of melanin (the colour) which the body produces from its melanocyte cells. The amount  produced depends  on skin type and exposure to sunlight.

Lighter skin is the result of a lower melanin production, while darker tones are the result of higher production. Other than being responsible for colouring the skin, melanin provides protection by absorbing UVB radiation from the sun. A sun tan is the result of higher melanin production; the body’s own defences against damaging UVB. Hormonal and environmental factors can also have an impact on melanin production, resulting in pigmentation disorders.

What causes Pigmentation ?

Melanin deposits – also known as solar lentigines and commonly referred to as age spots – are small darkened patches of skin. They are usually found on the face, hands or other areas frequently exposed to the sun. Pigmentation can also be connected to genetics, hormonal changes, medical conditions, burns or spots. With age, the visible effects of pigmentation can become more obvious; therefore, earlier treatment will both help your present skin condition and prevent further damage. There are two main types of pigmentation: Hyperpigmentation and Hypopigmentation. HYPERPIGMENTATION This is the darkening of the skin in patches or localised areas due to the over-production of melanin:

  • Moles: a form of pigmented growth on the skin.
  • Freckles: a cluster of cells which have produced more melanin. They’re prominent on people with fair skin and most common in children. They’re caused by exposure to the sun.
  • Birthmarks: caused by the over-production of melanin in localised areas from birth.
  • Sun spots/age spots: a result of exposure to the sun over a long period of time.
  • Melasma: also known as pregnancy mask. This is the darkening of the skin on the face and body – commonly the linea nigra on the stomach.
  • Post-inflammatory marks: any dark mark which is left on the skin after a burn, spot, cut or other injury has healed due to the trauma the skin has endured. Acne scars also come under this category.

HYPOPIGMENTATION, this is a reduction in the production of pigments, characterised by white or pink patches:

  • Vitiligo: patches of white skin that appear on the face and body caused by an autoimmune reduction of melanin production. It can be hereditary or spontaneous.
  • Post-inflammatory marks: any injury to the skin which has left a pale mark behind.
  • Tinea versicolor: an outbreak of pale marks of the skin, usually treatable with creams.
  • Achromia: more commonly known as Albinism. This occurs when there is no pigmentation. It’s very rare. It affects skin, hair and eyes (colour and vision).

Hormonal changes can also impact pigmentation. Other than pregnancy, women on the contraceptive pill or with thyroid conditions can exhibit patches.

Things you can do to help ?

Pigmentation, what is pigmentation? treatments available

Always wear a high SPF particularly on your face and all year round.

In high temperatures wear a hat to protect your face even more.

Use a medical grade skin care at home specifically for pigmented skin.

Invest in treatments to help.

What can we do to help ?

Pigmentation, what is pigmentation? treatments available

Treatments vary depending on the type of pigmentation problem and the individual’s skin. For hyperpigmentation, there are several options. The first would be to speak to a one of our qualified skincare experts for advice on the specific issue.

A topical skincare system

The award winning Obagi Nu-Derm System professional skincare range (prescription only) is an 18-week programme which resurfaces and regenerates the skin. It can visibly reduce the appearance of dark spots.

Skin Peels

An effective option. Many forms of hyperpigmentation exist on the upper layers of the epidermis, hence a skin peel – which removes blemishes and dull cells from the surface – can prove successful. It also improves the visible texture and smoothness of the skin, so is an ideal all-round, low-maintenance treatment.

Laser or IPL 

Is  a more permanent and visible solution. The Grove Skin & Laser Clinic uses Intense Pulsed Light treatment, which targets, breaks-up and lightens deep sun damage and hormonal melasma to create a more even skin tone. If we need to be a little more aggressive then we have a laser.

Although a single session can show notable improvements, a course of three or four treatments is usually recommended. If a topical treatment is preferred, the Obagi Nu-Derm System professional skincare range (prescription only) is an 18-week programme which resurfaces and regenerates the skin. It can visibly reduce the appearance of dark spots.


Hypopigmentation can be more difficult to treat. While a skin peel or laser treatment can help reduce post-inflammatory cases, and there is medication for tinea, vitiligo has no cure. Some people opt for total depigmentation, which can be extreme.

Others may find that light treatment helps, stimulating the cells to produce melanin. More often than not, camouflage creams and good foundations can be used to disguise the white patches, especially on the face. Again, talk to an expert to determine the right course of action for you.

Pigmentation, what is pigmentation ? treatments available

Please if we can help with any of the above then call:  01792 202022 or email: thegroveskinandlaserclinic@gmail.com