I have pigmentation on my cheeks is there any treatment for this?
Pigmentation is caused by increased levels of melanin, the pigment in skin that produces a tan. It can be the result of injury, inflammation (after a treatment, like laser), sun damage or hormonal changes during pregnancy (which can cause a condition called melasma). Birthmarks and freckles are a different type of pigmentation, which are genetically determined.
Pigmentaton is a complex clinical problem. Occasionally the appearance of patches can be the result of a disease, or pre-cancerous cells, so before embarking on a treatment regime get it checked over by a doctor.
If your pigmentation is not the result of a medical issue there are several treatment options that can help fade it.
ZO MEDICAL BRIGHTENEX AND MELAMIN
These are prescription face creams from the highly effective ZO medical range. ZO Brightenex contains 1% retinol and ZO Melamin 4% of the skin bleaching agent hydroquinone. For mild pigmentation I prescribe Brightenex and for medium level pigmentation Melamin, both inhibit melanin production and promote a more uniform skin tone by helping the skin shed pigmented cells.
Never buy skin lightening creams off the internet, some contain dangerously high concentrations of hydroquinone which can thin the skin and make pigmentation worse.
OBAGI BLUE PEEL RADIANCE
This peel contains a low level of salicylic acid in a blue base enabling the physician to monitor and control penetration for maximum results. Unlike more aggressive peels which can leave the face red, Blue Peel Radiance has virtually no downtime, so you can complete this treatment in your lunch hour. A course of 4-6 peels should improve the texture and tone of your skin and can help reduce pigmentation as well as wrinkles and acne and acne scarring. This peel can also be used on darker skin with pigment changes.
ZO OCLIPSE SUNSCREEN + PRIMER SPF30
The most important thing you can do to halt the development of pigmentation is to protect your skin from the sun. Wear a high factor sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection all year round as 80% of UV rays still hit the ground even on a cloudy day. Remember your skin is even more vulnerable to pigmentation if your treatment regime contains any of the ingredients listed above, so daily protection is critical. ZO is a sunscreen like no other because as well as the usual mineral filters it contains melanin, the future of sun protection! Melanin is the brown pigment our skin produces to protect itself from UV damage. In a nutshell the synthetic melanin in the block plays a trick on the sun sacrificing itself for oxidisation while your natural melanin is protected – and no tan means no sun damage. Like all ZO products it’s packed with additional anti-ageing ingredients including lipo peptides to promote collagen production and humectants for hydration whilst the tinted version mimimises imperfections including pigmentation and makes an excellent make-up primer too.