Treating Brown Spots, Melasma, and Pigment Problems
Dermatologist Dr. Brandith Irwin:
Watching pigmentation really affects women worldwide because we see just constantly on television and magazines this beautiful, even glowing skin. And it’s frustrating to not be able to get that. And because pigment problems are some of the most difficult to solve, it’s very—it really does start to affect a woman’s self esteem. Skin type really matters for pigmentation because the darker our skin, and especially with dark hair or dark eyes, the more skin will pigment when it’s injured, inflamed or with hormonal stimulations. So it’s really key to stay out of the midday sun and wear a hat if you’re having pigment problems. The less light you get on your face, the better. It’s extremely important to wear a sunscreen every morning if you have pigment problems. Reapply often if you’re sweating or out swimming…and you really want to use a zinc or titanium containing sunscreen that has a 10% or more. Also, regarding sunscreens, if you can double or triple layer them, that will help as well. In other words, put one on as a base, and then put another over the top of it. Makeup is actually a pretty good way to address that as well because it adds an extra layer of protection on your skin. It’s fine to use a makeup with sunscreen, but you need to put that over an actual sunscreen, because the quality of sunscreen in most makeups is not good enough. Once you’ve done all the inexpensive options for improving your pigment, then it might be time to consider more expensive things like peels or microdermabrasion. But it’s important to get those done with someone who really knows what they’re doing because if they’re done badly or over done they can actually make the problem worse. It’s important to remember with pigment problems, there is not one true cure. There’s no magic bullet; there’s no magic wand. There’s slow improvement with hard work. There’s hope for everyone suffering from this because a huge amount of research is being done in this area.