Pigmentation can occur as a process of ageing, sun exposure, hormonal issues, or response to injury. The key cell is a melanocyte that is responsible for giving colour to our skin. If the turnover of these cells increases or there is an impairment of surface cell turnover i.e. the old cells exfoliating and new cells forming, then pigmentation issues ensue causing unwanted dark patches.

People with darker skin tones are more prone to hyperpigmentation, especially with excess exposure to the sun. Many forms of hyperpigmentation are caused by an excess production of melanin.

Pigmentation, or hyperpigmentation, also known as dark spots, age spots, and sun spots, are uneven brown patches that occur on the face, hands, décolletage, and shoulders. Larger than freckles, these areas of discolouration age us considerably. Sun spots, can take anywhere between 10 and 20 years to develop, so even if you are trying your best to protect your skin now, you could start to notice those caused when you were a child.

In addition to sun exposure, the contraceptive pill and pregnancy can also trigger pigmentation in young women, resulting in further patchy dark spots.

How to prevent pigmentation

The best way to prevent future pigmentation is, of course, to wear a high factor UVA, UVB and HEV shielding sunscreen. Often, the sunscreen in a regular foundation isn’t high enough to effectively protect the skin, so adding a higher factor is advisable. As well as protecting your skin from sun exposure with sunscreen, limiting the time that you spend in the sun is a necessary step to prevent further skin damage.

The best treatments available

There are a range of treatments that can be helpful, which include prescription skincare to start with. Only then should other modalities as specific laser treatments therapy chemical peels be done. The best treatment for your pigmentation will depend on a number of factors including your age, lifestyle and the nature and extent of your pigmentation. Expert assessment, diagnosis and advice are vital if the treatment is going to be successful for you.

For most, whilst treatments can deliver good results its important to note that they do not provide a cure for the underlying cause and will require you to continue to protect your skin from the sun and use maintenance products to keep further pigmentation at bay.

Please ensure that you have a consultation with a medical skin expert who can analyse and prescribe a treatment that is for you and your skin condition, call us on 01932 706402 to arrange a consultation.

Read More


The Consultation

However you feel and whatever you believe the consultation is a key stage for you to share what is going on and have an open yet confidential discussion with a professional

Find Out More