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FACIAL HYPERPIGMENTATION DISORDERS

As we age, we seem to develop brown spots on our face. Do you wonder what these brown spots are, how they can be treated, and which ones you need to be concerned about? Here’s a list of common pigment disorders to help answer those questions.

SOLAR LENTIGO

These brown spots seem to develop on the face in isolated areas, most often on the cheek areas. They are also called age spots and sometimes liver spots. These brown spots are harmless patches of darkened skin resulting from exposure to UV radiation. They often also occur on the hands. These spots are more common in fair-skinned individuals. Your physician can treat solar lentigo with cryotherapy, but treatment may leave a white mark. This is preferable to the brown spot for many people as it is easier to camouflage with makeup. Prevention includes minimizing sun exposure and using mineral sunscreens. This prevention needs to start early in life.

SEBORRHEIC KERATOSES

These are harmless warty spots, usually of a brown or dark color. Often there is a genetic predisposition to these spots. They can occur on the face, neck, and torso. Your physician can also treat these with cryotherapy if they are cosmetically undesirable.

MELANOMA

These spots are the ones to be careful not to miss. They can appear as a darker patch on the skin or arise from within a mole or freckle. Melanomas can occur anywhere on the body, not only in areas that get a lot of sun. The first sign of melanoma is usually an unusual-looking freckle or mole. Physicians often use the ‘Ugly Duckling’ sign when checking moles on your body. They check for moles that stand out and look different. If you are unsure about a change in a mole or the appearance of a new lesion that ‘looks different’, please schedule an in-person appointment with your family physician.

MELASMA

Melasma is a common skin disorder that presents as a bilateral blotchy brownish facial pigmentation. Melasma is more common in women and is most common in people who tan easily or have naturally brown skin (Fitzpatrick skin prototypes 11, 1V). Factors involved in the development of melasma include family history, sun exposure, and hormones (including the use of oral contraceptive pills and IUDs). Some cosmetics may also trigger this condition. It is ESSENTIAL to diagnose melasma accurately as the treatment for other pigment disorders may make melasma worse. Because melasma can be triggered by light, it is IMPORTANT not to have brown spots treated with a light-based device (IPL or intense pulsed light) as this will worsen your brown spots. To reduce brown spots caused by melasma, the year-round use of mineral-based sun protection (zinc, titanium dioxide, or ferric oxide) is essential. Discontinuing hormonal contraception is helpful if possible. Many topical products can be used, including hydroquinone, retin, kojic acid, tranexamic acid, and other plant-based products. Your physician should supervise the use of these products. Hydroquinone and retin can, for example, cause skin irritation and need to be added to your skincare regime slowly and carefully. There are few laser treatments that are truly effective. Microneedling may be helpful when combined with effective topical products. Q switched lasers may have some benefits also. The good news is that treatments can be very effective, but the condition is permanent and needs to be managed. The use of daily mineral sunscreen is imperative.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Not all pigment disorders are the same, and diagnosis by your physician is essential before embarking on a treatment regime.

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Posted in: General, Skin Conditions

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Exciting Changes Coming Soon!

Our clinic will be undergoing renovations from Saturday, April 20th until Tuesday, May 7th to enhance your experience.

However, we are committed to continuing to provide you with exceptional care and service during this period. Here’s how we’ll be available to assist you:


1. Virtual Consultations: Our team are available for virtual consultations to discuss your skincare needs, answer questions, and provide guidance on treatments.

2. Curb-Side Pick Ups: If you need to replenish your skincare products or have products waiting for you, we will offer curb-side pick-up services. Please contact us in advance to arrange a convenient pick-up time.

3. Online Resources: Explore our website and social media channels for helpful skincare tips, product recommendations, and updates on our renovation progress.

 

Should you have any questions or need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 250.746.6512 or by email infocowichan@dermapure.com 

 

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work to improve your experience at Viva Medical Aesthetics!

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