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Blog | The Sun Damage Chronicles

Do you suffer with brown spots on your face or body?

Did you know there are a few different causes for pigmentation problems in our skin?

You may have heard of the term Hyperpigmentation.

This is a term that refers to skin discolouration or darkening on the skin. It can happen at any age, and to any skin type.

Hyperpigmentation can be caused by a few factors such as sun damage, acne scarring, hormonal pigment and post inflammatory responses to cause your skin to over produce melanin.

So what is melanin? Melanin is what protects our skin from UV exposure. Melanin comes from specialised skin cells called Melanocytes which protect our cells DNA when skin has been exposed to UV or trauma. Melanin also exists in our eyes, hair colour and skin, this is what gives us our colour characteristics.

Sun damage or age spots?

Sun damage happens when the UV rays stimulate the production of melanin. These spots are usually not visible to the naked eye when first created. However, over time, these darkened spots become more visible. 

Anyone can get sun spots, but they are most common in lighter skin tones as they tend to have less melanin naturally occurring in their skin. Even if you aren’t “burning” as such in the sun, you can still be overstimulating the melanin cells and damaging your skin, this is why it is so important to wear sun protection regardless of your age or skin colour!

There are a few different treatments to help with pigmentation. If you’re looking to treat individual small or large age spots, freckles or patches of pigment on the face or body then lasers are usually the most effective.

If you’re looking to give the skin a refresh all over, and there are some light freckles, smaller sun damage or sun spots all over the face, then ‘the perfect peel’ and Obagi Blue Peel Radiance are some of the best to treat pigmentation! You will usually need a course of treatments with laser or peels, or sometimes combined to achieve best results. Due to constant unavoidable UV exposure (as we don’t all live under rocks!) maintenance treatments will be required to keep old and new pigmentation at bay once or twice a year, depending on how much time you spend in the sun. And as always, apply your SPF every day, rain or shine, and don’t forget to reapply every 2-3 hours in the summer months.

Are there any products that can help?

There are a few products which are beneficial when you’re suffering with pigmentation problems. SPF is one of the best products to help with pigmentation. It will protect your cells from UV exposure thus helping stop or slow down the production of melanin which is what causes pigmentation.

Another product to help with sun damage is retinol! It causes the skin to create a new layer of skin and speeds up your cell turnover and skin renewal. It will help lighten existing pigment, and it will also help with skin texture and ageing. Win win!

If you're suffering from excess pigmentation, we also offer a full skin care system from Obagi called Nu-Derm System - please note that this is prescription only and will require a consultation with the Nurse Roisin.

So in conclusion, preventing age spots and sun damage is easier than removing them, but hindsight is a wonderful thing!

If you think you're skin has sun damage or you have any questions you’d like to ask, please let us know

| Allure Aesthetics


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