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What is the skin pigmentation and how we can make it less visible?

Pigmentation or brown spots on the skin is a very common issue for a lot of people. This is a sign that your melanin is hyper- and unevenly produced, which might happen due to a very broad range of reasons such as:

  • Sun damage (damage of the basal layer of epidermis where melanin is produced);
  • Aging (due to hormonal fluctuations);
  • Emotional stress, which also creates the hormonal fluctuations.
  • Pregnancy (increased level of progesterone, estrogen, and malanocyte-stimulating hormone very often lead to developing the dark spots on the certain area of the face called chloasma);
  • Vitamins deficiency (usually B12 deficiency);
  • Inflammation (such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne).
  • Wound healing (dark spots usually develop on the wound place and may fade with time);
  • Genetics;
  • Some diseases (diabetes and liver distinction, for instance);
  • Certain medical treatments such as radiation or chemo therapy, or taking the medication such as oral contraceptives, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), psychotropic drugs, and others.
So, if we see the brown spots on the face, should we worry about it?
First of all, hyperpigmentation is absolutely harmless and does not require any treatment. However, some people may decide to remove them as their locations are usually on the open areas of the skin (face, back of the hands, and shoulders).
So how to lighten them? What options do we have? Oh, plenty! That is a good news. But keep in mind that all of these options have their pros and cons, hence, don’t rush, take your time and come to your decision being well informed!
Usually, the dermatologists recommend one of the following treatments to remove or lighen the pigmentation:
  • Laser treatment (intense pulse laser). It usually gives a quick result, but the spots may come back with darker color.
  • Chemical peeling. May not work for sensitive skin.
  • Microdermabrasion. It’s a fast working abrasive technique, which doesn’t work for many skin conditions such as sensitive skin. And the brown spots may come back.
  • Cryotherapy (applying liquid nitrogen on the brown spots). The skin is often heals lighter afterwards, but in some cases with sensitive white skin may heal darker.
  • Prescription skin-lightening emulsions. These products usually contain 3-4% of hydroquinon, which usually gives a good, stable, and relatively quick  result. However, sometimes the skin on the affected area may become more rough. Just try to use it no longer than for a month or two. 
  • Over-the-counter creams. These products are not so strong as the prescription ones and need more time for the result. Depending on the skin complexion, nature of pigmentation, and a person’s ethnicity, it may take 2-6 months. The good side of this treatment that it usually doesn’t have side effects and rarely cause the allergic reaction.
For instance, you may find a great product for the dark spots/uneven skin complexion treatment in Luksha Cosmetics line - Intensive Brightening Serum with Vitamins C&E and Hyaluronic Acid:
  • Home remedies. There are a lot of home-made recipes in the Internet, but, please, be aware that most of them are not scientifically based and may bring more harm than good. Thus, we should be very careful choosing this approach to treat our hyperpigmentation. There is a strong evidence that, for example, lemon juice or abrasive scrubs may worsen the skin condition.
And last but not least. If you know that you are prone to pigmentation, always apply a broad spectrum sunscreen and reapply it every 2 hours being outside, especially during summer time; avoide waxing.
And don’t forget your and a wide brimmed hat!

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