The skin has two main layers – the epidermis (upper layer) and the dermis (lower layer). At the bottom of the epidermis, we have cells called melanocytes that control and create melanin (pigment) in response to both external and internal stimulus.
Changes in hormones, most noticeably in women, can cause conditions like melasma, also called chloasma. These changes can be brought on by pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and the oral contraceptive. It is thought that increased oestrogen and progesterone stimulate overproduction of melanin on the face, creating the mask-like appearance of melasma. Sun damage and overuse of tanning beds can worsen this.
One of the most obvious causes of pigmentation is overexposure to the sun’s rays. Melanocytes are the first line of defence in protecting skin from UV rays (UVA and UVB) by creating melanin (a tan), a highly effective absorber of light, to keep skin cells from being exposed to too much radiation. This protection, however, only goes so far, and sunburn happens when melanin is unable to help any further. After years of overexposure, sun damage becomes visible as age spots, sun spots, and areas of increased pigmentation due to overactive melanocytes creating deposits of pigmentation. UV rays can also exacerbate conditions like melasma. For this reason, it is always important that broad spectrum sunscreen is used daily to protect skin from exposure that can cause pigmentation issues.
Medications And Illnesses
Pigmentation problems can appear as symptoms of certain illnesses, like metabolic disorders or vitamin deficiencies, that affect hormones and increase melanocyte productivity. As well as this, oral contraceptives and some anti-inflammatory or anti-seizure drugs can create pigmentation problems.
Largest Variety Of Devices In The UK
At PHI Clinic, we have a range of treatments suited to pigmentation problems like age spots, melasma, and sun spots, housing the largest variety of devices in the UK. For more information about pigmentation and how it can be treated, or to book a no obligation consultation with one of our highly trained clinicians, call us today on 02070 345999 or log an enquiry through our website and our friendly team will get in touch.