Pigmentation is an incredibly common skin concern that can be caused by a variety of reasons. Melanin is the natural skin pigment found within our bodies that determines the colour of our skin. The more melanin that is found within the skin, the darker your skin will be and vice versa. When there are imbalances of this melanin, spots or patches of pigmentation can occur. There are a variety of reasons why your melanin can be affected and pigmentation occurs.
The amount of melanin your skin produces increases when you expose your skin to the sun. This is why pigmentation can often be a common occurrence when your skin has been sun-damaged, such as over exposure to the sun via sun-tanning or sun-beds, or even when your skin has been sun-burnt. Pigmentation from sun-damage most commonly appears on the face and neck due to the fact it’s the area most exposed to the sun, however many people also suffer from pigmentation on the body.
Hormone changes are also a common catalyst of pigmentation. Melasma, a form of pigmentation, occurs due to hormone changes as the sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone cause an overproduction of melanin, encouraging patches of pigmentation in some areas. These hormonal changes often occur during pregnancy or during certain hormone treatments.
Age Spots are another form of pigmentation. As we get older, the number of melanin producing cells decrease, however the surrounding cells increase in focus, leaving small, dark patches of skin in their place. Age spots usually occur when you’re over the age of 40 and if you’ve had a history of sun damage, or exposure to the sun through excessive tanning or sun beds.
Pigmentation in all its forms can be improved through skincare treatments and at home, topical skincare products. Treatments such as our Obagi Chemical Peel or Microneedling can help combat pigmentation, as they remove the top layer of the skin’s epidermis, leaving new skin as its replacement. Our at home skincare ranges can also help to eliminate pigmentation, such as our Obagi Nuderm System.