Did you know there are actually various types of pigmentation? Freckles, Solar Lentigines, Melasma, Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation and Hypopigmentation are not all synonymous with each other. We break down and explain the different pigmentation types, so you can have a better understanding of what’s going on with your skin.
Freckles are the most common type of pigmentation. Though your genetics can influence whether you get freckles, these little dots are often the very first signs of sun damage. They develop after repeated sun exposure and are particularly prevalent on those with a fairer complexion. They tend to become more prominent and appear darker during the sunnier months.
Solar Lentigines are the pigmentation types also known as liver spots, sun spots, brown spots or age spots. They are pigmented spots which vary in colour from light brown to black. They can appear anywhere on the body and are caused by UV rays from the sun exposure. These types of pigmentation must be monitored as they have the potential to develop into skin cancer and melanoma.
Melasma (or chloasma) is more common in women. It appears on the face as larger tan or brown patches with an indistinct border. Though causes are unknown, they are often triggered by hormonal changes but the condition can be made worse by excessive sun exposure, certain medications, stress and pregnancy (which is why it’s sometimes referred to as the ‘pregnancy mask’).
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)
PIH is often the result of acne, burns, friction or aggressive clinical treatments such as chemical peels, dermabrasion, laser and IPL. This type of pigmentation can improve with time and is treatable with topical products.
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