Your skin gets its colour from a pigment called “melanin” produced by special cells in the skin. When these cells become unhealthy or damaged, it affects melanin production.
Pigmentation means colouring. Abnormal pigmentation can be classed as any discolouration of the skin. If your body makes too much melanin, your skin gets darker, hyperpigmentation. On the contrary if your body makes too little melanin, your skin gets lighter, hypopigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in colour than the normal surrounding skin. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin deposits in the skin. Types of hyperpigmentation include age spots, sunspots, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Other conditions such as birthmarks, macular stains, haemangiomas and port wine stains. We can get rid of them using removal techniques such as cosmetic treatments, creams, and laser treatments.
There are several types of hyperpigmentation, the common ones being melasma, sunspots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Melasma. Melasma is common skin disease. The cause of melasma is complex; it has been proposed to be a photoaging disorder in genetically predisposed people. Apart from sun-induced, it is also caused by hormonal changes and may develop during pregnancy. Some medications such as oral contraceptive pills are known to cause melasma. Areas of hyperpigmentation can appear on any area of the body, but they appear most commonly on the stomach and face.
Sunspots. Also called liver spots or solar lentigines, sunspots are common. They are related to excess sun exposure over time. Generally, they appear as spots on areas exposed to the sun, like the hands and face.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is a temporary result of injury or inflammation to the skin such as is acne, eczema, infection and burn. More severe injury results in postinflammatory hypopigmentation, which can be permanent.
At The London Cosmetic Clinic in Harley Street, we specialise in the reduction and removal of abnormal pigmentation within the skin and use clinically-proven, effective and safe methods. We offer variety of treatments available range from topical medication, at-home-use skincare or clinical treatments such as dermal peels, microdermabrasion and lasers.
Hypopigmentation is the loss of skin colour due to a disease or trauma. It can affect people from birth or develop later in life. It may occur all over the body or be localized. Hypopigmentation can occur in people of all races, but it may be more noticeable in people with darker skin because of the contrast between the natural skin colour and the white patches.
There are several different causes of hypopigmentation. The condition most commonly develops as a result of injury or trauma to the skin. Certain chronic conditions can also cause hypopigmentation.
Does Skin Discoloration Go Away?
It is possible for skin discoloration to go away on its own as long as the damage is shallow. A light sunburn will often fade away within a few weeks or months. However, deeper hyperpigmentation takes years to go away if it dissipates at all.
Can abnormal skin pigmentation be treated?
There are a number of different treatments used to treat abnormal pigmentation from topical agents, tablets, skin peels and lasers. It is important to consult an experienced practitioner to ensure you are getting the right treatment for your condition for optimal safety and effectiveness.
How do you keep pigmentation from returning?
After the successful treatments, it is advised to continue some maintenance routines to ensure the result is sustainable and minimize the possibility of recurrence. There are four main considerations when it comes to managing pigmentation: UV protection, exfoliation, pigment inhibiting agents and vitamins/antioxidants. Our doctors will discuss with you and recommend the methods that suit your condition.
In cases where the skin has been darkened in areas, due to an over-production of melanin within the skin, a variety of topical treatments have been used to hyperpigmentation, with varying degrees of success. we can offer topical treatments, either in the forms of topical medication, include hydroquinone, prescription retinol (vitamin A) cream, corticosteroids, glycolic acid, and azelaic acid.
Additionally, at-home-use skincare or clinical treatments such as dermal peels have been used successfully to enhance the result of the treatments are also available. All of which are of the highest quality and cannot be bought over the counter in shops, chemists, or supermarkets.
For hypopigmentation, treatment depends on the severity of the condition. Our doctor will make a diagnosis and evaluate the severity of the conditions. They may recommend topical creams, ultraviolet light therapy, or oral medication to help restore skin colour and stop the spread of white patches.
At The London Cosmetic Clinic, we offer a range of systemic therapies for abnormal pigmentation which include oral carotenoids, glutathione, melatonin, polypodium leucotomos, tranexamic acid, hydrophilic extract and procyanidin, which have all been proven to appear safe for oral use.
Yes, tranexamic acid can treat existing pigmentation effectively and are recommended for preventing post-inflammatory pigmentation. It is a safe and efficacious treatment for melasma refractory to topical skin-lightening agents. It has been found to lighten hyperpigmentation by inhibiting the synthesis of melanin (skin pigment) and the transfer of pigment to the topmost layer of the skin. It also mitigates the UV radiation–induced pigmentation response.
Overall, the patients tolerated adjuvant oral tranexamic acid therapy well, and improvement occurred, typically, after two months. Nearly 90 percent–89.7 percent of patients–documented melasma improvement.
Laser devices have long been revered for their skin repairing and restoring properties. A laser treatment utilises a device which emits targeted beams of light to reduce abnormal pigmentation and hyperpigmentation. It is a fast, effective, and relatively comfortable treatment which can be performed within your lunch break to enhance and speed up the desired results in addition to other traditional treatments.
At The London Cosmetic Clinic, we offer melanin-specific, high energy, laser systems that can successfully lighten or eradicate a variety of pigmented lesions.
A variety of laser treatments have been shown to reduce hyperpigmentation. Most do so by targeting beams of light on to the affected area of skin. The results depend on the depth of the melanin and the colour of the lesion and are to some degree unpredictable. Ablative laser treatments are more intensive whereas non-ablative lasers offer a gentler treatment, but which may require more treatment sessions for effective results.
Laser pigmentation removal works by eliminating pigment in the surface of the skin through the body’s lymphatic system. This can target the specific area of pigmentation because the laser is absorbed only by cells containing an excessive concentration of pigmentation. This causes efficient destruction while leaving the surrounding tissue undamaged.
It is recommended that an active skincare regime is adopted a minimum of two weeks prior to treatment. Our doctor will recommend on the suitable standard topical treatment to ensure you get the most effective results from lasers treatment.
Most patients experience warm and little discomfort while receiving this laser treatment. The level of discomfort can vary depending on a person’s sensitivity, but most people tolerate the treatment very well with little discomfort. Following treatment you may feel a little discomfort, but generally people experience mild redness in treatment area that will resolve in a quick manner.
Immediately post treatment you can expect to see some mild redness. You may also see some of your pigmentation spots or areas turn slightly darker. This is normal and the pigment naturally start to fade away within 2-4 weeks after your body naturally get rid of the residual pigment.
One hour after
The redness can be still present however will be greatly reduced. Mineral makeup can be applied to the treated area 24 hours post treatment to cover this.
The next day
Most of the cases, the skin will return to it’s normal within a couple hours. In some sensitive patients, mild redness can remain for up to 24 hours and gradually subside.
What should happen to skin?
The laser will cause the pigmentation to break down and the residual pigments will be eliminated by your body, and this will result in the reduction of the appearance of the pigmentation.
Your pigmentation may darken, lighten, fade, or even appear to have no change immediately post treatment. On average, it takes 4-6 weeks for your body to process the pigment.
Laser for pigmentation will require more than one treatment to achieve the desired results. In combination with other standard treatments, we recommend a minimum of three treatments. However, our expertise doctor will discuss with you after skin evaluation and recommend the treatment that suit your conditions.
In most hyperpigmented conditions, pigmented lesions that have been removed will not return after your laser treatments. However, some conditions especially melasma, it can be stubborn to treat and can recur after successful treatments. Various factors such as aging, changes in hormone levels or UV exposure can stimulate new hyperpigmentation. Unfortunately, laser pigmentation removal treatments do not prevent new hyperpigmentation from occurring.
Before any treatment for abnormal pigmentation can commence, here at The London Cosmetic Clinic, we will request that you attend a no obligation consultation, skin analysis and medical history check, so that we can determine which treatments will be both suitable and safe for your individual skin concerns, lifestyle and general health.
Incredibly happy with my gummy smile fix. It was my first time getting a cosmetic procedure and the LCC made me feel incredibly comfortable. Thank-you to Dr Johnson who walked me through the procedure ( which was incredibly fast and pain free!) and a massive thank you to Rahena! Your customer service was exceptional and made me feel really assured and comfortable. Will definitely be recommending the LCC to everyone. Incredibly professional and well priced clinic. I can already see a difference in my smile!
I'm so pleased I found The London Cosmetic Clinic. Dr Johnson was incredibly informative and professional and I've seen a difference after only one treatment! Big thank you to Rahena too who was super helpful and helped put my fears to ease!
I came in to enquire about Botox, I spoke to Rahena who gave me so much information.
Dr. Salinda Johnson and her team are excellent and highly accomplished. She maintains the highest standards in aesthetic treatments and techniques, and consequently I trust her completely and know that she will always offer the best advice, and provide the most appropriate treatments. Her expertise is admirable.
The team are friendly, efficient and helpful and always put patients at ease
Practitioners of Aesthetic Dermatology In London abound , but The London Cosmetic Clinic has the expertise and patient care which puts it top of the list
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