So how do you get rid of stubborn dark spots for good?
Hyperpigmentation is the presence of excess and uneven melanin in the skin. It occurs when cells known as melanocytes become damaged due to sun exposure, free radicals such as smoke and pollution, inflammation, or hormones. This can result in dark spots, skin discolouration, blotchy patches, ephelides (freckles) and melasma, which is also known as chloasma and often referred to as the ‘mask of pregnancy’ because many women develop the brown patches on their faces when expecting a baby.
If you have more severe hyperpigmentation, you might consider booking in to see a dermatologist or skin therapist.
A peel involves a professional applyinga solution (usually containing glycolic acid or lactic acid) to remove a layer or layers of the skin. The strength and type of peel chosen should be tailored to your type of hyperpigmentation, as excessive skin irritation can make the problem worse. Salicylic acid peels are better for hormonal-related spots.
IPL is the use of intense pulses of non-coherent light and is one of the most popular treatments for hyperpigmentation. The procedure, which involves short bursts of light, is like being flicked with an elastic band, but is tolerable.
The buzz around fractional laser is largely due to A-list celebrities singing its praises, but this type of laser is a more intense treatment for hyperpigmentation.
During a microdermabrasion treatment, a machine for exfoliation gently removes the outermost layer of dead skin cells from the epidermis.
- Stop smoking.
- Protect yourself from the sun.
- Include antioxidants in your diet.
Photos: Catherne Wessel/Folio-ID.com, Getty Images and Thinkstock by Getty Images
Still Life photographs by: Chris Jansen