Say Goodbye to Pigmentation Marks!
Autumn is that time of the year when we start noticing the damage done to our skin by the sun exposure during last summer holidays: skin discolouration, pigmentation marks, dark spots, blemishes. Find out what they are, why they appear and how to get back that smooth healthy-looking skin.
If we talk about skin pigmentation problems, melanin is the culprit here. Melanin is a pigment which determines the colour of our hair, eyes and skin and acts as a natural filter protecting skin cells from UVB radiation damage. It is thanks to melanin that after exposure to sun rays our skin becomes nicely brown and tanned. If the melanin production goes awry, the skin becomes blotchy or discoloured. Removing dark spots takes some time, even a few months, so you need to be very patient.
Why do I get dark spots?
Skin discolouration comes in all shapes and colours. The stats show that mostly women in their thirties suffer from hyperpigmentation. Pigmentation problems can also be a result of pregnancy, menopause, long-term oral contraceptive use or liver or thyroid disorders. If you are at risk, make sure you always use face cream with an UV filter or apply a thin layer of sunblock under your makeup. And by always we mean ALWAYS, even in the winter. Avoid ingredients causing photosensitivity – they can be found in certain cosmetics or perfume. Steer clear of fruit facials and chemical peels in the summer as fruit acid increases skin’s photosensitivity and might irritate your skin causing dark spots to break out.
Types of pigmentation marks
Skin discolouration can appear on the skin or on the epidermis. They can take the form of freckles, acne scars, melasma or lentigo.
Freckles are small irregular flat brown marks arising predominantly on the face and neckline, but they also appear on arms and sometimes even on the shoulders and the back. They are most common in fair skinned people and redheads, but they can also affect dark haired and tanned people. The interesting thing is that the average age to develop first freckles as early as at the age of two. Freckles can fade away with age as the melanin level decreases in the body.
Acne scars are the result of inflamed breakouts or using inappropriate acne cosmetics. When the healing process is disturbed and before the tissue regenerates itself, tiny scars are formed.
Melasma takes a form of irregular grey-brown patches on the forehead, cheeks and chin. It is most common in women after the age of 30, expecting mothers or women using hormonal therapy.
Lentigines are dark brown marks which appear on the face, hands, forearms and neck. They become more visible with age and are typical in elderly people that is why they are usually called age spots.
If the discolouration sits in deep skin, it might be very hard to remove it. If you notice such changes on your skin, consult your dermatologist. A specialist might use a Wood lamp to identify the extent of pigmented patches and suggest a safe removal method. However, some of the pigmentation can be removed at a beauty salon using a laser, whitening treatments, trichloroacetic acid peel, glycolic peel, azelaic acid, microdermabrasion or cryotherapy. Consult the cosmetologist to choose the best option for you.
Home remedies for dark spots
Your dark spots are not that deep and numerous? Try some simple methods to lighten your skin. Start with enzymatic peel which will remove dead skin cells from your face and neckline. Apply nourishing face serum or a face mask with vitamin A. Retinol contained in this vitamin smoothes and lightens the skin. Try to establish a daily care routine as regular applications are the key thing here. Drink lots of fruit juices and eat fruit and veg rich in vitamin C which is a natural anti-oxidant.
Face masks and toners
If you want to go more natural, start your day with the amazing power of lemon and cucumber juice. Apply the juice to dark spots and freckles. Let it sit for 15 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water. For your night time routine use DIY parsley toner. How to make it? It is very easy. Add a bunch of parsley to a cup of hot water. Strain and let it cool for a while. Dab parsley juice onto the skin. Simple. The huge benefit of these natural methods is that you can find all the needed ingredients in your kitchen. Other natural options include horseradish, sour milk and potato flour mask and aloe vera face mask (you will need an aloe vera plant). The succulent aloe vera gel stimulates the growth of new skin cells and helps heal scars and blemishes. Bear in mind that all methods are only effective if used regularly. You will need to wait for the results a few months – but, in the end, it is worth it.
Remember that every discolouration on your face or body which changes shape, colour, hurts or itches needs to be consulted with a dermatologist.