* Individual results may vary.
Irregular skin tone and dissatisfaction with skin pigmentation problems are two common reasons men and women visit Platinum Dermatology. We understand! Hyperpigmentation, or dark spots on the skin, can add years to your appearance. Hyperpigmentation is associated with the ageing process and is a natural, though treatable, result of ageing.
Like many of the skin conditions we treat at Platinum Dermatology, pigmentation problems vary dramatically from person to person. Thanks to their skill and training, our dermatologists can effectively diagnose problems and pinpoint the best possible treatments based on each patient’s unique circumstances.
Platinum Dermatology Looks at Types of Skin Pigmentation
The skincare aisles at pharmacies and department stores don’t offer much help when it comes to pigmentation problems. Most of the available products focus on moisturising or plumping up the skin. They don’t address abnormal or excessive areas of unsightly, uneven skin tone.
With the help of scientifically proven treatments and tools, Platinum Dermatology’s skin specialists treat a wide range of skin pigmentation problems. Our goal is to help our patients achieve even skin tone and a more pleasing, youthful appearance
3 Main Causes of Sun Spots & Age Spots on Australians’ Skin
There are three main types of hyperpigmentation, each of which is categorised by its cause.
- Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) – occurs following skin injury from acne lesions, psoriasis, burns, friction and even certain professional skin care treatments.
- Lentigines (Sun spots) – sometimes referred to as age spots and found on 90% of light-skinned individuals over the age of 60. They are not directly caused by the ageing process, but rather by long-term exposure to the sun, damaging UV rays, and the body’s production of melanin.
Melanin is a natural body protein that is responsible for giving skin its colour. It is produced by the body to protect itself from the damaging rays of the sun. Nearly all types of hyperpigmentation are the result of excess melanin production. When over-exposure to the sun overwhelms the skin’s ability to protect itself, the result is the appearance of sun spots.
- Melasma – caused by pregnancy-related hormonal fluctuations, thyroid dysfunction, and the use of birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy.
Though they are not considered a primary cause, the use of certain prescription medications can also lead to hyperpigmentation.
Correcting Skin Pigmentation Problems
Although the process can be maddeningly slow, most inflammatory hyperpigmentation spots related to acne will eventually fade. It typically takes from three months to as long as two years for them to disappear.
Sun spots and age spots, however, do not resolve on their own. At Platinum Dermatology we offer a range of effective treatments* that work to resolve excess skin pigmentation by
- Removing layers of old, superficial skin to reduce existing hyperpigmentation
- Decreasing new pigmentation production
- Reducing new pigmentation distribution
- Minimising the triggers of new pigment production, including free-radical damage and inflammation
Assessing Skin Pigmentation Problems
To increase the likelihood of successful treatment, the skin experts at Platinum Dermatology know that a detailed skin analysis is crucial. They will take your medical history and then “go deeper,” collecting information that can pinpoint a lifestyle, medical or genetic cause of hyperpigmentation.
During your consultation, our dermatologists will
- Investigate the severity of the condition
- Look for clues as to the origin of the problem, to determine if a separate issue must first be treated
- Recommend an individualised treatment plan
Topical Agents for Skin Pigmentation Problems, Age Spots & Sun Spots
The menu of tools, formulations, and treatments effective in reducing hyperpigmentation has expanded significantly during the past decade. This wide range of options improves the likelihood that even patients with difficult-to-treat skin pigmentation can achieve improvement with the help of Platinum Dermatology.*
There are two categories of treatment. While good results can be achieved using either approach, the experts at Platinum Dermatology can accomplish dramatic results with a combination approach. The first category involves the use of topical formulations.
The active ingredients in topical skin agents affect the enzyme that stimulates the production of melanin. These topical agents are beneficial when melanin production must be regulated continuously, as in melasma, in which the ongoing use of a skin lightener is necessary.
When excess pigment production is no longer an ongoing issue, Platinum Dermatology offers professional treatments using medical acids (chemical peels) or treatments with retinoids to exfoliate the skin and rejuvenate the facial appearance.*
- Chemical Peels – Peels exfoliate the outer layers of dead skin, revealing a new skin layer with improved tone, texture, and colour. They enhance and smooth facial skin texture and are effective in the treatment of wrinkles, blemishes, and uneven skin pigmentation. Certain types of chemical peels are effective as a way to remove stretch marks or rejuvenate skin elsewhere on the body.*
- BroadBand Light (BBL) Therapy – BBL therapy targets the pigment in your skin to lighten or erase areas of discolouration. BBL treatments also generate collagen remodelling. This helps improve overall skin tone and texture, renewing your youthful glow.*
- Sciton ProFractional Laser – Laser facial resurfacing treatments at our practice rely on a variety of lasers and light-based modalities. Platinum Dermatology’s ProFractional Laser, created by industry leader Sciton, makes use of tiny light beams to target brown, sun-damaged skin. Your body heals the pinpoint injuries by producing normal-coloured skin cells, erasing the brown spot forever.*
- Ablative Lasers to Treat Sun Spots & Age Spots – Ablative lasers used for skin resurfacing at our practice include an Erbium: YAG laser which enables us to remove skin very precisely, layer by layer, resulting in fewer problems with hypopigmentation (lightening of skin). The Sciton Erbium laser also makes it possible for us to remove the top layers of facial skin, which, in turn, exposes the lower layers, and encourage new, healthy, beautiful skin growth.*
Click here for more information about our Sciton laser.
Who Can Benefit from Skin Pigmentation Treatments?
Hyperpigmentation is an equal opportunity problem in Australia. Uneven skin tone and dark spots affect women and men of all ethnic groups. Although hyperpigmentation tends to be most problematic in middle age and beyond, the skin experts at Platinum Dermatology have treated many young Australians with skin pigmentation issues.
People with darker skin tend to have darker areas of pigmentation than people with lighter skin, but pigmentation spots tend to be more obvious on fair-skinned people due to the contrast in colours.
Platinum Dermatology Warns About Changes in Moles & Freckles
Sun-loving Australians suffer from a wide range of skin pigment problems. Happily, hyperpigmentation alone presents no medical threat, though it should be monitored.
Pigmentation changes in moles or freckles and/or a change in their size can be symptoms of an underlying disease or illness. They may also be a warning sign of cancer. See a dermatologist right away if you notice changes in moles or freckles such as:
- Growth in size
- Change of shape
- Change in colour, from solid to mottled
- Irregular outline
- A flat mole that becomes lumpy or bleeds
- New lumps or red areas on the skin that bleed easily
It is important not to ignore skin pigmentation problems. Seek the advice of expert skincare professionals such as those you’ll find at Platinum Dermatology.
Get Help for Pigmentation at Platinum Dermatology
If you or someone you know is troubled by freckles, brown spots, and other problems related to skin pigmentation, the experts at Platinum Dermatology want to help. You can reach our practice in Ultimo by phone during business hours on (02) 8014 6500 or use the contact form on this page to learn how we can help you can correct skin pigment problems.
* Individual results may vary.