Treating the skin is a delicate process that should not be taken lightly. Breaking up patches of melanin must be done gently, and the skin should be sufficiently supported with the proper products and correct processes. Any foreign substance introduced to the body is at risk of being treated as antigen and trigger an immune response. This is why it is so necessary to use a skincare solution that the body expects and does not consider threat. The skincare community has been supportive of topical growth factors such as stem-cytokines derived from human bone marrow; and hyaluronic acid. These key ingredients, when combined with microneedling, are among the most effective skincare treatments that help lighten the skin and resolve dark patches.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Skin cells called melanocytes, have internal pigment producing mechanisms. When our skin is exposed to harmful damage sources like the sun’s UV rays, our melanocytes produce a chemical called melanin. Melanin is supposed to protect our skin, and it is the reason why our skin appears darker. Usually this colour change fades, however in some cases it may not, and instead may build up in certain areas, causing dark patches. This is referred to as hyperpigmentation or age spots (melasma).
What causes dark patches of skin?
In many cases dark skin patches are related to genetics. If someone in your family has hyperpigmentation then there is a good chance that you too may experience this skin condition. Women are more susceptible to hyperpigmentation due to hormonal changes related to menstruation, birth control medications or pregnancy. Hyperpigmentation can affect anyone and at any age, however those from the following ethnic groups are more likely to encounter this condition: African, Mediterranean, Asian or Hispanic. Our face is typically the most common area that develops hyperpigmentation, though you may also have darker spots on your knees, hands, neck or other areas regularly exposed to UV rays.
How is hyperpigmentation treated?
Avoid exposure to the sun. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect the skin and stop hyperpigmentation from becoming darker. Also, avoid picking at the skin. To prevent hyperpigmentation from forming after an injury, avoid picking at spots, scabs, and acne. There has been some interest in treating hyperpigmentation with topical creams, some of which include ingredients to also lighten the skin. Such creams include azelaic acid, corticosteroids, hydroquinone, kojic acid, retinoids and vitamin C. Some procedures may even call for laser therapy, pulsed light, chemical peels or microdermabrasion. The skincare community is growing increasingly cautious about treatments and routines that are too rigorous, cause too much damage, or contain heat. Laser therapy, for example, can in fact inspire hyperpigmentation instead of resolving it. Increasingly popular is a decades old process in microneedling. Using disposable 12pt cartridges at a shallow depth the skin is gently massaged, encouraging the creation of collagen and elastin. To support this effective process cytokines (growth factors) are one of the most effective combinations used in conjunction with microneedling to bring out the best results.