Discoloration is a reality of life. Early brown patches and dark spots, could be as a result of lifestyle or heredity, but at a particular age, we all get some of it. Several uncontrollable factors cause the skin to become darker (hyperpigmentation), starting with the increase in melanin, the substance responsible for the regulation of pigment. Primarily, hyperpigmentation is caused by over-exposure to the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. But dark spots can also be seen due to melasma which causes them to generate over time into acne or other skin trauma. Of course, the worst culprit is the increase in sun exposure, says a Beverly Hills Dermatologist, Dr. Zein Obagi.
The Causes of Melasma
Hormonal changes during pregnancy
Also called “the mask of pregnancy,” hormonal changes during pregnancy causes melasma. About 70% of women that are pregnant develop some brown patches on their cheeks, bellies, upper lips, and forehead, as well as their faces. Melasma usually clears up after giving birth, but sometimes, this is not always the case. Unfortunately, you are advised not to use potent topical formulations that contain retinoids or beta hydroxy acids while you are pregnant or when breastfeeding. NOTE: Ask your dermatologist or obstetrician what ingredients or products are safe during pregnancy.
Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH).
Black spots from acne can often occur in areas where blemishes have been. The same goes for bruises, insect stings, kitchen burns, cuts and other skin problems. These marks often take months to clear off, and some do not fade much at all. And Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) is more prevalent in darker skin types. The first course of action is avoiding direct sunlight during the healing process. Zein Obagi, MD, Beverly Hills Dermatology, specially produced the ZO Non-Hydroquinone Hyperpigmentation System in treating skin discoloration while leaving out the potential risks and side effects of using hydroquinone. This potent system has five effective products that work together to rejuvenate the skin, smoothen skin tone, and improve texture.
Active Vitamin A Micro Emulsion.
• Ossential® Daily Power Defense
Time-released retinol, antioxidants and specialized DNA-repairing enzymes.
Soothing Recovery Crème.
• Oclipse-C™ Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50.
Skin Brightener & Correcting Crème, Non-Hydroquinone.
Spotting Sun Damage.
Fortunately, early diagnosis and early treatment can help in preventing and reducing the occurrence of brown patches, dark spots and other signs of sun damage and pigment changes. Hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone will also make you look older than your real age. Apply sunscreen every two hours if you will be outdoors in direct sunlight as the first course of action.
Talk with your OC Facial Care Center skin care expert about your particular condition and concerns.