Pigmentation, or hyperpigmentation, is when the body produces too much melanin, causing discolouration in certain parts of the skin. This can be localised or diffuse (ie all over). The causes can be varied and include UVA damage from the sun, hormonal changes (as a result of pregnancy) or from other skin conditions such as acne or rosacea.
Individuals in hotter climes and with darker skin tend to have more hyperpigmentation than here in the UK. Examples of hyperpigmentation include age spots, sun spots and freckles.
There are various methods available to help reduce pigmentation. These include skin peels, microneedling, laser treatment and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections. With a chemical peel the skin’s outer layers are removed. This can encourage new cell and collagen growth in a more ‘organised’ fashion.
Ablative laser resurfacing uses heat to stimulate collagen production. Short pulses of light can shatter the melanin in dark patches, making them less obvious. Microneedling, together with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) can also be effective for getting rid of unwanted areas of hyperpigmentation. The heat from needles, together with the healing help from PRP stimulates collagen and elastin production. The form of treatment earned the nickname Vampire Facial several years ago when it grew in popularity.