Pigmentation

I remember when I was young being told: ‘You never stop learning from the day you’re born to the day you die’. I realised the truth of that recently when I attended a medical conference on laser, micro-dermabrasion, whiting mask and pigmentation.

Micro-dermabrasion has been performed now for more than 20 years, with the equipment always being upgraded. It was wonderful to see and work with doctors leaning how to achieve more with this treatment.

Dermabrasion treatment uses fine, diamond-shaped crystals to effectively sand-blast and refine the skin via a high-quality and unique patented system.  The equipment comprises a compressor and a suction pump connected to a disposable sterile handpiece.

When someone has this treatment there is no pain, no healing time required, no scabbing and no need to take time off work.

Enrico Berne, from Milan, said: ‘In my clinic we have seven lasers and four dermabrasion machines, but I find I can achieve far better results with the dermabrasion machine than the laser’.

After working with the doctor and seeing for myself what can be achieved, I understand why he prefers dermabrasion to laser – not only in the treatment but also with the healing and results.  But it didn’t stop there.

Next we covered pigmentation or skin discolouration.  Women taking oral contraceptive pills often develop brown, irregular pigmentation on certain parts of the body – generally the face, abdomen or areola (area surrounding the nipple).  Similar marks often occur in the early months of pregnancy. This is called chloasma.  In both instances, the body is subjected to similar hormonal alterations, and this is believed to be the cause.

If the pill is discontinued, as with post-pregnancy, the skin tends to return to its normal colour.  Sometimes, however, this doesn’t occur and help is needed.  The areola tends to retain a dark colour permanently.  As well, too much sun can cause pigmentation.

Whitening Masks

Another topic dealt with was whitening masks.  This mask is used to treat uneven toned skin or pigmented skin.  It has as active ingredients of specially selected extracts of grape, saxifrage, mulberry root and scutellaria, combined with other essential  ingredients such as marine collagen.

These jointly inhibit the tyrosinase enzyme which is responsible for melanin synthesis. This dermis treatment makes the skin much clearer and brighter.  The whiting mask, as its name suggests, is used to lighten skin colour, brighten the complexion, help reduce age spots, sun damage or chloasma, and to even out where possible, those patches that appear as people grow older.

How the treatment works

The skin is prepared with a very gently peel, then the mask is applied to the face and infused with a microcurrent.

This way the mask is being used to its fullest capacity and at the same time the skin is getting back its even tone and the muscles of the face are being lifted. With this ‘technique infusion’ method you get twice the penetration of the treatment product in half the time.  There is no pain involved, while at the same time you are having a collagen treatment.

The whitening mask can be used by itself with wonderful results but, as Dr Berne pointed out, ‘if the pigmentation is bad then start with micro-dermabrasion and then follow with the whitening mask – the results are wonderful!’   He was right.

Why whiten skin?

Many people throughout the world whiten their skin.  Why?

  • As a custom, in parts of Asia and some African countries such as Senegal.  These women consider the lightness of the skin a sign of beauty.
  • For anti-ageing, when a variety of products such as masks are used to lighten age spots and sun-danaged skin.
  • To remove the ‘pollution veil’.  Whitening products lighten skin drained of colour due to atmospheric pollution and for dull or matt complexion.

Tips of Success

  • To succeed with this type of treatment you must have patience and perseverance to achieve optimum results.  The whitening mask treatment gives superior results.
  • Direct exposure to the sun should be minimised or better avoided, while receiving the treatment. A sun or day cream which has a high sun protection factor SPF 15 should be applied.
  • Remember, skin colour changes, cracks in skin, a type of thickening, or any discoloration, ranging from shades of red to brown to purple and black, may be danger signals and should be seen by a doctor. Don’t always assume it is just old age or too much sun.

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