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Hyperpigmentation 101 – Your Treatment Options

Hyperpigmentation is one of the 5 most common skin concerns for women and men in the UK and affects over 30 million people worldwide. The condition is caused by an increase of melanin and characterised by dark patches, spots and uneven skin tone.

hyperpigmentation causes

What Causes Hyperpigmentation?

The worst culprit of pigmentation disorders is cumulative sun exposure. UV exposure triggers the production of melanin – the pigment responsible for protecting skin from injury. Melanin works hard to keep UV rays from deposing energy onto and into the skin. Repeated, unprotected exposure disrupts the production of melanin and leads to a build-up of darker cells in the exposed skin areas.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy often lead to melasma, which is another form of hyperpigmentation also known as the “the mask of pregnancy.” About 70% of pregnant women develop brown patches or spots on their face, upper lips, cheeks and forehead, as well as their bellies. In most cases, melasma clears up on its own after birth; however some patients, especially those with darker skin tones, may experience long-term discoloration.

Dark marks from acne can often develop in areas where blemishes have been. The same is true for insect stings, cuts, bruises, kitchen burns, and other skin traumas. These marks often take months to fade and some never fade much at all. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is also more common in darker skin types.

Containing Hyperpigmentation Through Treatment

 

ZO Skin Health 3-Step Peel™

Designed to address melasma, post-inflammatory pigmentation and sun-induced discoloration, this potent stimulating peel provides longer lasting benefits beyond the temporary superficial improvements seen with ordinary peels. Post-procedure peeling is mild, with minimal downtime.

ZO Skin Health Controlled Depth Peel™

Designed to target the most persistent forms of hyperpigmenattion, this peel offers controlled absorption and penetration of treatment and excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Peeling, irritation and darkening of pigmentation is expected for a few days after treatment.

Intense Pulsed Light

IPL therapy uses a beam of light to bring spots to the skin’s surface and gently sloughs them off. It’s a great option for persistent discoloration, however patients should be prepared to experience some redness, minor swelling and a darkening of the pigmentation a few days after the treatment.

Fractional Laser Treatment

This is the bridge between an ablative and non-ablative procedure in which a laser beam is used to minimize the appearance of pigmentation. Mild redness and swelling can be expected for a few days after treatment.

Micro-needling

It’s a device with tiny needles that prick the skin to improve the appearance from acne scars and pigmentation. Most patients experience mild redness for up to 48 hours post-treatment.

An Acne Case Study

See how Ella Harvey from Harvey’s Skin and Beauty managed to beat her battle with acne. See the acne case study below where she used ZO Skin Health products and the ZO Medical 3-Step Peel™ to achieve the clear skin she’s always wanted.

acne case study

Acne Case Study Participant Profile

Name: Ella Harvey

Age: 21

Location: Guernsey and London

Employment: Founder of Harvey’s Skin and Beauty

Bio: Ella suffered from acne for 3 years and was unsure of the cause of it. She used a number of different skincare ranges but none alleviated the symptoms of her acne. Following a consultation with a ZO Skin Health specialist, Ella was given a regime of ZO Skin Health products and a ZO Medical peel.

Below was the ZO regime she had to carry out every day for 4-6 weeks prior to the peel, to enhance results and prep the skin.

ZO At-Home Skincare Regime

Oilacleanse

AM + PM

Vitascrub

AM

Cebatrol Pads

AM + PM

Daily Power Defense

AM + PM

Tretinoin

AM + PM

Melamin

AM + PM

Melamix

AM

Glycogent

AM

Restoracalm

PM

Smart Tone SPF50

AM

ZO Medical 3-Step Peel™

For this particular acne case, Ella was recommended the 3-Step Peel™.

This peel is a solution of 17% salicylic acid, 10% trichloracetic and 5% lactic acids to remove the outer layers of the skin. A 6% retinol crème is then applied following the peel solution to stimulate deeper layers of the skin maximising collagen production, cellular renewal, anti-oxidant benefits and DNA protection. The retinol stimulation is continued with an at-home application at least 5 hours after the peel solution is applied in the clinic. A calming crème, which is hydrating and anti-inflammatory, is also given for at home application 3 times daily.

Find out more about the 3-Step Peel™.

Ella’s peel story

Ella experienced redness and peeling skin for 8 days following the peel, hear about her experience of the peel and the amazing results:

“After suffering from acne for the last three years, in November 2015 I had finally had enough. I had tried to clear up my skin with every method you could imagine, I even found out what my blood type was and kept to a very strict diet. So I turned to ZO for help. I was advised to have the 3-Step Peel™ and told I would have to prepare.

I was advised to have the 3 Step Peel and told I would have to prepare my skin before treatment, so Dr Shirin Lakhani prescribed Tretinoin and Melamix and told me to use this every day.  On the 20th of January, I had my 3-Step Peel™ at Wigmore Medical.

I arrived at Wigmore Medical and had a numbing cream applied for twenty minutes. The doctor then talked me through the treatment and asked me some questions to ensure that I had been using my products correctly. There was only a slight bit of discomfort when the 3-Step Peel™ was applied but I found on the second and third day the skin very tight and uncomfortable. The results are worth everything I went through with the preparation and the peel. I am very happy with the results and would definitely recommend this peel and I cannot wait to have my next one!”

acne case study


Ella Harvey is founder of Harvey’s Skin and Beauty.

Harvey’s Skin and Beauty offer the ZO Medical 3-Step Peel™.

For other stockists of ZO products and peels visit: https://zo-skinhealth.co.uk/find-zo-2/

Hyperpigmentation treatment advice

Hyperpigmentation is when an area of the skin darkens due to the overproduction of the skin pigment; melanin. Some examples of hyperpigmentation are freckles, sun spots, age spots, under-eye dark circles and melasma. It is relatively common and usually a harmless condition. However, for some, it may be an aesthetic annoyance as it can affect any part of the body including the face, neck and hands.

hyerpigmentation before and after

What Causes Hyperpigmentation?

There are various causes of hyperpigmentation from overexposure to the sun, picking at the skin and certain medications such as antibiotics, hormone treatments, and anti-seizure drugs. Although, for some, it could simply be a hereditary condition.

How Do You Treat It?

Dr Zein Obagi has created innovative programmes to improve the appearance of pigmentation on the skin.

Programme
Benefits
Products
ZO® Multi-Therapy Hydroquinone System
  • Recommended as a starting point for treating melasma. Ideal for moderate to severe hyperpigmentation, especially melasma.
  • Treats severely dry, dull, rough and leathery textured skin to help soften skin and restore a smooth, healthy glow.
  • Improves skin with visible sun spots and sun damage.
  • Using this system 4-6 weeks before office procedures, and for 12 weeks afterwards will improve and deliver longer lasting results.
  • Can use this system to improve the overall quality, health, and appearance of the skin.
ZO® Non-Hydroquinone Hyperpigmentation System
  • Ideal for the treatment of skin conditions either when hydroquinone treatment is completed or not advised.
  • Can also use this as a healthy maintenance system.
  • Use after completing a course of hydroquinone for 4-5 months to prolong results.
  • Ideal for when skin bleaching is not desired.
  • Treats uneven skin colours and tones.
  • Tackles skin texture and provides anti-ageing benefits to restore skin.
3-Step Peel™
For Professional Use Only
  • This potent stimulating peel provides longer lasting benefits beyond the temporary superficial improvements seen with ordinary peels.
  • Peeling is mild, with minimal downtime.
  • Designed for acne, melasma, sun damage, fine lines, texture roughness, large pores and dullness.
  • Promotes softer, smoother skin.
ZO® Controlled Depth Peel™
For Professional Use Only
  • Used to medically treat various skin conditions including acne, wrinkles, fine lines, skin pigmentation disorders and sun damage.
  • Controlled absorption and penetration
  • Easily mixed with TCA
  • Excellent anti-inflammatory properties
  • ZO® Controlled Depth Peel™ Base
  • ZO® Controlled Depth Peel™ Cleanse

Incredible Results

Click through the images below to see just a few examples of the amazing results ZO protocols can give you.