Q: What is the best way to treat and prevent pigmentation? A: Pigmentation today is treatable, depending on the type of pigmentation and the cause. Sun, heat, disease, injury and medication are major causes. A professional viewing the pigmentation through a Wood’s lamp is advisable to determine the extent of the problem – the colour of the skin and medical history will be taken into consideration to advise on treatment. There are options available to lift topical pigmentation but efficacy depends on the quality of the product and its active ingredients. Prepare the skin with vitamin A daily for at least two weeks and use a good tyrosinase inhibitor. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) can be used (not in summer months) twice at the most, since long, ongoing treatments could have an adverse effect. One of the skin-clinic treatments that’s exceptionally effective is mesotherapy (needling) with home-skin rolling, as well as vitamin C (not absorbic-acid based), together with the use of a tyrosinase inhibitor and a water-resistant sun protection over it. Glycolic acid creams, topical alpha hydroxy acids and glycolic peels should be used under professional guidance. Keep sun exposure to a minimum, always use sun protection and take anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega-3s.
Helene Bramwell from The Mask answers your beauty questions. E-mail your query to marieclaire@ assocmedia.co.za