Your skin color is determined by how much of the pigment melanin the skin cells contain; the more concentrated and widespread the pigment, the darker the color. Sometimes, though, the pigment isn’t spread evenly but clumps together, forming darker spots. But while a light spray of freckles may make you look and feel perky, most people aren’t pleased to notice pigmentation issues, especially on their face.
Oculofacial plastic surgeon Dr. Dustin Heringer of Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery sees a lot of patients unhappy with their pigmentation issues. That’s why he offers a full range of skin rejuvenation treatments to rid yourself of these skin blemishes. Here, he describes the top reasons you have pigmentation issues to begin with, as well as the options available to you to banish them for good.
3 reasons why you have pigmentation issues
There are many issues that can give rise to pigmentation problems, but here are three of the most common.
1. Sun damage
The sun gives us warmth, and light, and keeps us alive. Its ultraviolet (UV) rays, though, can seriously damage your skin if you get too much. If nothing else, you develop age spots (aka liver spots or solar lentigines), primarily on the face and hands. These brown, tan, or black spots are your skin’s attempt to prevent damage by increasing melanin production, but they can be a bit of an eyesore.
Also known as chloasma or “the mask of pregnancy,” these large patches of darkened skin often appear on the forehead, face, and stomach, and they’re caused either by UV, visible, or infrared (heat) light or changes in hormone levels. The latter is why women who are pregnant or taking birth control pills are most often affected.
3. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
These darkened spots or patches of skin appear after an inflammatory skin condition, such as acne or eczema, or an injury that causes inflammation, and they usually appear on the face or neck. Picking at blemishes only makes the situation worse.
How do I get rid of my pigmentation issues?
Dr. Heringer offers several different treatment options for pigmentation issues at our Scottsdale, Arizona, office.
Laser skin resurfacing
At Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery, we use a specialized CO2 fractional laser for our laser skin resurfacing treatments. It not only dissolves the bonds between damaged skin cells, but it also stimulates collagen production, a structural protein that gives your skin strength and elasticity.
The laser eliminates, or at least diminishes, fine lines and wrinkles, most types of scars, age spots and other skin damage, and uneven skin pigmentation. It’s even been used to successfully treat early-stage skin cancer.
Chemical peels come in superficial (light), medium, and deep forms, depending on the extent of damage you want to address. Dr. Heringer applies an acid solution to your face or other treatment area, which peels off outer, damaged skin layers. Medium and deep peels can also help trigger collagen production, but they come with more downtime than a superficial peel.
By removing damaged skin layers, chemical peels also remove the imperfections that reside within them. They can reduce areas of rough skin, acne, wrinkles, age spots and other sun damage, and uneven skin pigmentation.
Microdermabrasion uses a gentle spray of microcrystals to remove the outermost layer of dry, dead skin cells and reveal new skin cells that contain higher levels of collagen and elastin. It’s a less-intensive skin rejuvenation treatment than dermabrasion, but it can treat acne and other minor scars, age spots and sun damage, and rosacea, chronic inflammation of facial skin. Results are immediate, and there’s no downtime involved.
If you’re unhappy with pigmentation issues, Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery can help. Give our Scottsdale office a call at 480-448-0367 to set up a consultation with Dr. Heringer, or book your appointment online.