Pigmentation is a broad term to explain the red, blue, yellow and brown tones seen in the skin.
What actually is seen depends on how much or little light is reflected or absorbed by the skin. This is an important concept to keep in mind when examining an individual. Understanding pigmentation will help you to anticipate the reactions of the skin to professional services ranging from lasers, chemical peels and facials to makeup applications.
Facial hyperpigmentation is one of the most common signs of photoaging. Many different patterns can be seen. Focal hyperpigmentation in the form of small lentigines across the lateral cheeks usually begins about age 25–30, depending on cumulative sun exposure, with continued accumulation of lesions throughout life. Pigmentation can also present in the form of melasma with reticulated pigment over the sides of the forehead lateral jawline and upper lip. Lastly, hyperpigmentation can present as overall darkening of the skin from a combination of melanin pigment, fragmented elastin fibers and residual hemosiderin.
Topical treatments for hyperpigmentation are problematic. A successful treatment must remove existing pigment from the skin using acids such as Mandelic Acid and Lactic Acid. We also need to focus on shutting down the manufacture of melanin with Tyrosinase inhibiting ingredients and newer peptide technology with Alpha MSH inhibiting properties. Lastly, we need to prevent the transfer of existing melanin to the melanosomes with melanosome transfer inhibiting ingredients like Niacinamide.
By Dr. Peter Pugliese
Founder of Circadia