Achieving a porcelain-like complexion has long been a priority among Asian women. However patients in the U.S. are becoming increasingly aware of skin brightening products and services, and are also increasingly more interested in achieving luminous skin. While anti-aging treatments and products are still more popular, uneven pigmentation has joined the list of aging skin concerns. Treating hyperpigmentation properly begins with a consultation and digital skin analysis to determine the cause, and developing a treatment plan that will most effectively and safely give patients beautiful, luminous skin. Current skin brightening products and procedures allow treatment of all ethnic groups, as uneven pigmentation affects all skin types, tones, and colors, and is a top concern for women of color. As we diversify (half of the world and one-third of the U.S. population are people of color) skin brightening promises to continue to attract an increasing number of patients.
Inflammation of the skin can cause redness, swelling, pain and heat. This is the body’s normal response to injury or infection. Many everyday events and exposures can also lead to a low level of inflammation that is less obvious but can result in damage to the skin, including hyperpigmentation and melasma. In addition, skin cells are exposed to inflammatory agents like smoke, pollution, and chemicals, as well as other factors like sunlight and stress. All of these can contribute to inflammation, which leads to an overproduction of melanin, causing hyperpigmentation and uneven skintone. Dark spots on the skin can also arise due to age, sun exposure, pregnancy and other hormonal changes, or acne scarring.
In my practice I treat hyperpigmentation with a combination of non-invasive cosmetic procedures, such as laser treatments, peels and at-home skincare. Exfoliation plays a key role in creating a smooth and glowing complexion, as it prepares the skin to more readily absorb ingredients. Microdermabrasion, SilkPeel and chemical peels may be used to remove accumulated dead skin layers that cause a dull appearance. These skin resurfacing techniques improve overall skin radiance.
I perform microdermabrasion just prior to FotoFacialRF Skin Rejuvenation treatment to improve the penetration of this light based treatment, making it more effective in treating hyperpigmentation. FotoFacial RF is a non-ablative laser treatment which gently and effectively treats age spots, uneven skin tone, small broken blood vessels, and sun-damaged skin. FotoFacial also tightens pore and reduces fine lines since it combines light and radiofrequency in each pulse. FotoFacial is safe and effective for fair to medium skin types and can even be used safely on Latin-American, Middle Eastern, East Indian and Asian skin tones.
To achieve the best possible results when addressing any skin imperfection, the energy, whether it be laser or light, must be delivered below the skin without overheating the top layer of the skin. For many of my patients who need to address texture issues along with their hyperpigmentation, I use Matrix RF Fractional Skin Resurfacing. With this treatment I can give my patients superb results with virtually no downtime. The beauty of this treatment is that it can be safely used on all skin types including black skin.
For my patients with dark skin tones I often use the Melanage Skin Lightening Peel. Melanage is the most effective and safest treatment that I have found to address hyperpigmentation on all skin types, but especially for those patients with darker skin tones who cannot tolerate FotoFacial.
Home skincare is an essential part of effectively treating hyperpigmentation. I remind my patients that although they visit their dentist twice a year, they still brush their teeth twice a day! The same is true for aesthetic skin treatments. I insist that my patients partner with me to maintain and continue to improve their skin with a dedicated program of home skincare. I have even been able to achieve significant results on patients who only use a rigorous program of home skincare.
One of the most important components of their skincare regimen is the daily use of high quality sunscreen which protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. We want our patients to use sunscreen that contains Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide, to protect against sunburn, aging skin damage, brown spots, wrinkles and even skin cancer.
Medical science can help restore the radiance that we had in our youth. Skin brightening treatments are an excellent way for me to give my patients the younger, luminous complexion that they desire.