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What Causes Pigmentation & How To Get Rid of Them?


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Are you troubled with dark skin patches on your body or face? These could most commonly be known as pigmentation. People who suffer from pigmentation experience the occurrence of dark skin patches or spots on their face and bodies, usually due to sun exposure, aging or hormonal.


What Is Pigmentation?

Human skin consists of pigment known as melanin. This pigment is responsible for the coloring of the body including hair, skin and eyes. It is produced by the cells known as melanocytes. These are specialized cells that are patterned in a particular fashion according to the genes. For example, darker skin type people have more melanocytes compared to fairer skin type people.



Skin pigmentation condition can be of two types;

  • Hyperpigmentation: It is the condition in which too much melanin is produced by the cells. The skin tends to get darker due to the hyperactivity of melanocytes.
  • Hypopigmentation: In this condition, the melanin production gets too low. This causes the white spots on the skin.



What Are The Causes Of Pigmentation?

Pigmentation can be caused by many reasons depending upon the individual. The most common cause is extensive sun exposure. Let’s discuss all the possible reasons for pigmentation:


Sun Exposure

It is the most common reason for pigmentation in people. Melanin actually protects skin from getting sunburn and prevent skin cancer. As a result, sun exposure causes enhanced production of melanin and subsequently causes the skin to darken. However, extreme sun exposure can alter the balance chain of melanin production causing dark patches and pigmentation of the skin.



The hormonal imbalance in the human body can induce improper production of melanin, especially in women. The production of estrogen and progesterone in women causes the stimulation of melanin production. Example of hormonal induced pigmentation include pregnancy and oral contraceptive pill.



With increasing age, some melanocyte cells start reaching the senescence phase (stage by which a cell stop dividing and does not die). The pre-existing melanin tend to increase their size and become concentrated at different sites under the skin, resulting in pigmentation. It is mostly seen in people above the age of 40 years old.


Skin Injury, Allergy or Inflammation

Chronic inflammation, skin injury or allergic reaction can cause dark patches on the skin due to the accumulation of melanin pigment. These post-inflammatory reactions result in hyperpigmentation which is often called as ‘post inflammatory hyperpigmentation’(PIH). If left untreated, PIH may persist permanently.



What Is PICO Laser?

Pigmentation can be damaging to a person’s self-esteem and confidence. There are many treatments available to cure pigmentation but one of the most effective ways is to use PICO laser.


PICO second laser or normally known as PICO laser is a non-invasive skin treatment for treating skin issues like sunspots, freckles, melasma, acne scars, pores etc. It works on the principle of laser technique which aims at the epidermal cells. It is also useful in removing tattoo.


During the treatment, the machine delivers laser energy in pico-second frequency, which is how the name came about – PICO. The pulsation of these frequencies is so fast that they generate sound energy upon hitting the pigment particles (photoacoustic effect) and will not worsen the surrounding pigment. This makes it stand out from other treatments, as conventional nano-second laser (Nd-Yag or Q-switched) are performed using heat energy. Heat energy may worsen the surrounding pigment. This explains why pico laser is safer and more effective as compared to nano-second laser.


The superiority of PICO laser compared to Q-switched is especially obvious in tattoo removal, with much lesser sessions needed for PICO laser to achieve the treatment goal.



What Does PICO Laser Do?

The PICO laser uses high-frequency wavelengths to impart energy to the skin cells. The laser transfers the energy waves in the intervals of picoseconds. The laser energy destroys unwanted pigments and simultaneously boosting the collagen of the skin. This in turn makes pores smaller, skin firmer and an overall more youthful appearance.


PICO laser treatment is a fast and very effective way to control pigmentation. Each session only requires 5-10 min and usually after 5 sessions, result will be obvious. Interval between session is typically 2 to 4 weeks. There is no downtime after PICO laser, except for mild redness which will disappear within the day. Longer downtime may happen if your skin is sensitive or higher setting of skin resurfacing function is used for pores or acne scar removal.



If you are also suffering pigmentation which bothers you, it is always not too late to take action. The PICO laser offers an effective and easy way to cure the pigmentation without downtime. Treating pigmentation is a long journey, it is important to find the right machine, doctor and clinic. Post care such as sunscreen and skincare product are equally important to ensure the success of your pigmentation treatment journey.


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