Sunshine: great for the spirit – less so for the skin, as ever. This is especially true for one of the most common skin problems: pigmentation. Notice brown spots on your face post-holiday? Probably pigmentation.
Sunlight – or UV light to be precise – causes the skin to create melanin. Melanin gives skin its colour, but too much leads to pigmentation. The surprising thing is that pigmentation in itself isn’t necessarily bad. The dark patches you see are actually your skin’s natural defence system kicking into gear to protect it. But they can be unsightly.
…sunspots or melasma. Sunspots (or “age spots”) affect the top layer of the skin, and can appear all over the body. Melasma is deeper in the skin, and shows more on the face. UV light triggers both, but genetics and hormones are also factors with melasma.
Pigmentation can clear on its own, thanks to the skin’s ability to remove excess melanin. But this becomes less effective the older we get, particularly if skin has been exposed to sunlight from a young age, as the cells that regulate melanin are damaged over time.
Prevention by wearing SPF daily is key. If it’s a cure you’re after, Sciton Broadband Light (BBL) and microneedling are two of the best. Prescription lightening creams with hydroquinone and chemical peels are also options. If you want to discuss your needs further, we’ll be happy help on 020 3941 1815 or contact here.
Good skin days, always.
Helen and Dr Cherry
No. 23 Skin