Melasma/Pigmentation In Dark Skin Types

People of color are a very large group, which in South Africa includes people of African and Asian descent.

It also includes patients of mixed backgrounds who have more darkly pigmented skin. Darker skin type people represent a significant and growing group of patients seeking aesthetic procedures. This is because of the increased awareness of safe, affordable aesthetic procedures. These procedures include amazing new lasers that are colour blind and are less invasive than previous generations of lasers. Yet special concerns have to be addressed when treating skin of color.

Melasma, also known as hormonal pigmentation, is a considerable problem for South African women especially in darker skin types. It is a chronic skin condition that occurs on the face in the form of brown patches and is a dynamic (active) condition that needs lifelong management.

Skin Renewal Tip

People of colour who are looking to treat hormonal Pigmentation / Melasma with lasers or lights would be well advised to consult with a medical doctor with experience in treating skin of colour to prevent unwanted effects such as full thickness burns, permanent scarring and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. At Skin Renewal hundreds of Patients with dark skin types have been treated for hormonal pigmentation . If the above recommendations and treatments are followed virtually any patient can be a candidate for a lightening of their pigmentation. However melasma is a dynamic condition and one day of unintentional sun burn can set you back.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1

    Is treatment for Melasma in Dark Skin Types available at all Skin Renewal branches ?

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    Treatment for melasma in black skin is available in Johannesburg, Sandton and Pretoria at the Rivonia, Morningside, Parkhurst, Bedfordview, Sandton, Fourways, Illovo, Irene, Brooklyn as well as in the Western Cape at Cape Quarter, Claremont, Constantia, Somerset West, Stellenbosch and Willowbridge branches and KwaZulu Natal in Hillcrest.

  • 2

    What causes Hormonal Pigmentation/Melasma in dark skin types?

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    • UVA rays are a stimulant for melanin (brown pigmentation) to develop on the skin, and unfortunately can even penetrate through car window glass.
    • Any change in hormonal status with higher levels of estrogen is thought to trigger and aggravate the condition (i.e. birth control pills and pregnancy).Discontinuing the use of contraceptives rarely clears the pigmentation and it may last for many years after discontinuation.
    • After pregnancy Melasma (chloasma) or pigmentation usually clears within a few months of delivery but may persist indefinitely
    • However many women without these risk factors also develop melasma
    • Any activities that cause Intense heat to the face( from steam showers, hot closed environments, sitting on the beach even under cover and with full sun protection, etc causes inflammation which is a powerful stimulator of melanin
    • It is more prevalent in darker-complexioned individuals though persons of any race can be affected due to the intense sun exposure in South Africa.
    • Melasma is seen most frequently in young women but can be seen in men
  • 3

    Where does Melasma appear on the face?

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    • Centro Facial (forehead),
    • Malar (cheekbones) and
    • Mandibular (jawline).
  • 4

    How can one prevent Melasma from forming in darker skin types ?

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    • Avoid sun exposure and wear a protective hat when outdoors for extended periods to further block these rays.
    • Use a a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30+ to block the UVA rays every day to help prevent melasma.
    • In addition your sunscreen should also contain an anti oxidant as this stops free radicals which cause pigmentation.
    • At least 10 mls of sunscreen should be applied daily to the face and neck twice a day to prevent melasma.
    • Taking an oral anti oxidant supplement such as Pycnogenol from the French Maritime Pinebark is clinically proven to raise one’s level of resistance to the sun and also helps to reduce the melanin content in the skin down the line.
    • As melasma is a dynamic condition and needs to be manage daily and indefinitely. One day of unintentional sun burn can set you back.
  • 5

    How can one prevent Melasma from forming in darker skin types?

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    Home therapies for Melasma in dark skin types:

    At Skin Renewal we offer the gold Standard for pigmentation, Hydroquinone which is available on prescription. The use of HQ is strictly controlled at Skin Renewal.

    To prevent sensitivity from Hydroquinone, we include products which prevent the irritation that occurs with HQ in our prescription pigmentation corrective creams.

    We offer the highly effective depigmentation topical creams: Dermamelan Maintenance Cream and Cosmelan 2

    We offer pigmentation serums with recent advances in pigmentation technology - pigmentation peptides in our home care products: This includes the Brighter Concentrate and Luminesce range by Lamelle. Brighter concentrate uses peptide technology to reduce melanin at eight points in its production, as opposed to just one point as with other traditional lightening treatments.

    Lumixyl, decapeptide pigmentation topical, developed at Stanford University is also available.

    Pigmentation ranges by top cosmeceuticals houses SkinMedica, Lytera and Neostrata are available at all Skin Renewal branches

    In House topical brightening agents have been specially developed for Skin Renewal. The Skin Renewal brand includes traditional brightening products such as Kojic, Arbutin, Nicotinamide amongst others. Topical anti oxidants that protect against infra red A, a newly discovered deep wavelength which causes accelerated ageing and pigmentation, is also available at Skin Renewal.

    In Office therapies for Melasma in dark skin types:

    At Skin Renewal it's is mandatory that one of the home brightening products mentioned above be used routinely for 2 weeks on the entire before any exfoliation treatment such as peels. A visit/consultation to one of our doctors who are experienced in treating skin of colour is mandatory before any procedure. The cost of the consultation will be redeemed after your first peel/ treatment at Skin Renewal.

    In Office Treatments available at Skin Renewal include Superficial peels.such as the Yellow peel, which is a full epidermal peel for PIH that is resistant to treatment with normal superficial AHA and BHA peels. Transdermal Mesotherapy with prescription Brightening products done straight after our peels improves the final result by removing deep dermal pigment. Cosmelan and Dermamelan mask treatments together with the home maintenance products offer superior results for resistant pigmentation.

    The epidermis renews itself every six weeks, by six months, any pigment from PIH is probably in the dermis. Traditional skin rejuvenation treatments such as peels, microdermabrasion and bleaching agents are not successful for pigment such as PIH that has leached into the dermis. That is when the use of certain lasers such as the long pulsed Nd Yag become effective to safely treat darker skin including skin type 6. The Laser Genesis procedure by Cutera gently heat the dermis, causing cavitation bubbles, which disrupt the unwanted dermal pigment, breaking it into smaller particles which are able to move upward to the epidermis where it can be easily removed with exfoliation. The PDT Red Light withpost peel reduces inflammation and evens out skin tone.

    We are excited to launch our Brightening Intravenous infusions with brightening anti oxidants such as glutathione which work intracellularly to remove resistant pigment. An overall lighter and even skin tone can be expected.

Treatment for melasma in black skin is available in Johannesburg, Sandton and Pretoria at the Rivonia, Morningside, Parkhurst, Bedfordview, Sandton, Fourways, Illovo, Irene, Brooklyn as well as in the Western Cape at Cape Quarter, Claremont, Constantia, Somerset West, Stellenbosch and Willowbridge branches and KwaZulu Natal in Hillcrest.

  • UVA rays are a stimulant for melanin (brown pigmentation) to develop on the skin, and unfortunately can even penetrate through car window glass.
  • Any change in hormonal status with higher levels of estrogen is thought to trigger and aggravate the condition (i.e. birth control pills and pregnancy).Discontinuing the use of contraceptives rarely clears the pigmentation and it may last for many years after discontinuation.
  • After pregnancy Melasma (chloasma) or pigmentation usually clears within a few months of delivery but may persist indefinitely
  • However many women without these risk factors also develop melasma
  • Any activities that cause Intense heat to the face( from steam showers, hot closed environments, sitting on the beach even under cover and with full sun protection, etc causes inflammation which is a powerful stimulator of melanin
  • It is more prevalent in darker-complexioned individuals though persons of any race can be affected due to the intense sun exposure in South Africa.
  • Melasma is seen most frequently in young women but can be seen in men
  • Centro Facial (forehead),
  • Malar (cheekbones) and
  • Mandibular (jawline).
  • Avoid sun exposure and wear a protective hat when outdoors for extended periods to further block these rays.
  • Use a a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30+ to block the UVA rays every day to help prevent melasma.
  • In addition your sunscreen should also contain an anti oxidant as this stops free radicals which cause pigmentation.
  • At least 10 mls of sunscreen should be applied daily to the face and neck twice a day to prevent melasma.
  • Taking an oral anti oxidant supplement such as Pycnogenol from the French Maritime Pinebark is clinically proven to raise one’s level of resistance to the sun and also helps to reduce the melanin content in the skin down the line.
  • As melasma is a dynamic condition and needs to be manage daily and indefinitely. One day of unintentional sun burn can set you back.

Home therapies for Melasma in dark skin types:

At Skin Renewal we offer the gold Standard for pigmentation, Hydroquinone which is available on prescription. The use of HQ is strictly controlled at Skin Renewal.

To prevent sensitivity from Hydroquinone, we include products which prevent the irritation that occurs with HQ in our prescription pigmentation corrective creams.

We offer the highly effective depigmentation topical creams: Dermamelan Maintenance Cream and Cosmelan 2

We offer pigmentation serums with recent advances in pigmentation technology - pigmentation peptides in our home care products: This includes the Brighter Concentrate and Luminesce range by Lamelle. Brighter concentrate uses peptide technology to reduce melanin at eight points in its production, as opposed to just one point as with other traditional lightening treatments.

Lumixyl, decapeptide pigmentation topical, developed at Stanford University is also available.

Pigmentation ranges by top cosmeceuticals houses SkinMedica, Lytera and Neostrata are available at all Skin Renewal branches

In House topical brightening agents have been specially developed for Skin Renewal. The Skin Renewal brand includes traditional brightening products such as Kojic, Arbutin, Nicotinamide amongst others. Topical anti oxidants that protect against infra red A, a newly discovered deep wavelength which causes accelerated ageing and pigmentation, is also available at Skin Renewal.

In Office therapies for Melasma in dark skin types:

At Skin Renewal it's is mandatory that one of the home brightening products mentioned above be used routinely for 2 weeks on the entire before any exfoliation treatment such as peels. A visit/consultation to one of our doctors who are experienced in treating skin of colour is mandatory before any procedure. The cost of the consultation will be redeemed after your first peel/ treatment at Skin Renewal.

In Office Treatments available at Skin Renewal include Superficial peels.such as the Yellow peel, which is a full epidermal peel for PIH that is resistant to treatment with normal superficial AHA and BHA peels. Transdermal Mesotherapy with prescription Brightening products done straight after our peels improves the final result by removing deep dermal pigment. Cosmelan and Dermamelan mask treatments together with the home maintenance products offer superior results for resistant pigmentation.

The epidermis renews itself every six weeks, by six months, any pigment from PIH is probably in the dermis. Traditional skin rejuvenation treatments such as peels, microdermabrasion and bleaching agents are not successful for pigment such as PIH that has leached into the dermis. That is when the use of certain lasers such as the long pulsed Nd Yag become effective to safely treat darker skin including skin type 6. The Laser Genesis procedure by Cutera gently heat the dermis, causing cavitation bubbles, which disrupt the unwanted dermal pigment, breaking it into smaller particles which are able to move upward to the epidermis where it can be easily removed with exfoliation. The PDT Red Light withpost peel reduces inflammation and evens out skin tone.

We are excited to launch our Brightening Intravenous infusions with brightening anti oxidants such as glutathione which work intracellularly to remove resistant pigment. An overall lighter and even skin tone can be expected.

Reviews

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Review -Feels like home everytime
Reviewed on 16 September 2014 by Mali Langa

The staff at Brooklyn are awesome, I feel like I'm at home every time I go there. Keep up the good spirit guys, you rock!!!

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Review -I love my therapist!
Reviewed on 5 September 2014 by Lebo Ndlovu

I have had a pleasant experience so far and I love my therapist, she's professional and knowledgeable as well as friendly.

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