Hyperpigmentation is Treatable
At the VIAA Vein Center in Issaquah, our highly trained and experienced staff have the knowledge and resources necessary to provide quality hyperpigmentation treatment for your needs. Led by Dr. Ramandeep Sidhu, our staff uses a state-of-the-art medical technology called IPL (intense pulsed laser) photofacials to help successfully treat hyperpigmentation and rid patients of the effects of this condition once and for all.
WHAT IS HYPERPIGMENTATION?
This common, usually harmless skin condition is the result of the human body’s production of a chemical called melanin. Although melanin production is an important part of the body’s normal daily process, sometimes too much melanin is produced for a variety of different reasons. When this happens, hyperpigmentation can occur.
Hyperpigmentation most commonly takes the form of things like age spots, freckles, liver spots and more--all of which are characterized by certain darker areas where excess melanin has formed. All areas of the body can show signs of hyperpigmentation. The three main types of hyperpigmentation are post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), melasma and sun damage. Our staff treats each type in a slightly different manner to achieve the results you desire.
Acne, eczema, allergic reactions or trauma to the skin from surgery can cause the release of inflammatory cells that cause melanocytes to produce more pigment in the skin. The most common cause is acne, but psoriasis, burns or injuries can often cause the skin to darken. Severe inflammation or trauma can disrupt the bottom layer of the epidermis, which is part of the top layer of the skin, causing the pigment to leak into and become trapped in the dermis, the second layer of the skin. This results in a deeper and more treatment-resistant pigmentation. Ultraviolet light exposure and medications such as tetracycline antibiotics, antimalarial drugs and chemotherapy agents can make the condition worse. Hyperpigmentation can be difficult to treat depending on its cause.
Melasma affects women’s skin in about 90% of cases. People with darker skin, especially those of Hispanic, North African, African-American, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern or Mediterranean descent are more likely to get it. Those who have a blood relative who had melasma are also much more prone to it as they have more active melanocytes than people with lighter skin.
What causes melasma is not clear, although common triggers include sun exposure, a change in hormones or irritation from skin-care products. Melasma is often worse in the summertime because of increased daylight. In fact, the condition is often called the mask of pregnancy as it often appears when women are pregnant. Birth control pills and hormone replacement therapies can also trigger it. Melasma generally appears as symmetric blotchy hyperpigmented patches on the cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose, chin and upper lip. Visible light and heat can also make it spread.
Melasma can be stubborn, however, under the care of our staff, most patients have a good outcome. It may take several months of treatment to see significant improvement. By following our advice, avoid skin irritations and wearing sunscreen, you’ll get the most benefits from treatment.
The main cause of dark spots in light-skinned individuals is sun damage. Years of sun exposure can result in spotted hyperpigmentation, marked by increased pigmentation that results in patchy skin color or a blotchy complexion. The extent of damage depends primarily on a person’s skin color and history of long-term or intense sun exposure.
Dark spots from early sun damage in light-skinned individuals tend to be more superficial, only affecting the top layer of skin. Topical therapy is usually the first line of treatment, but when these fail IPL devices may be used alone or in conjunction with topical therapies to improve skin appearance. Daily protection with a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays with a sun protection factor of SPF 30 or greater is essential to prevent further sun damage and resulting dark spots.
HOW TO TREAT HYPERPIGMENTATION
IPL light-based treatment targets different chromophores that contain excess pigment in the skin. These chromophores selectively absorb the laser energy as heat and then yield the desired response, causing the pigment to rise to the surface of the skin.
Optimal wavelengths of light clear the pigmented lesions by targeting melanin, which allows the body’s natural processes to clear the damaged, pigmented lesions. In just a few short days they slough off, removing the appearance of the lesions from the skin. Because excess pigment may be deposited at various levels in the skin, multiple treatments may be required to reach the deeper layers to obtain optimal results. Some individuals may also require occasional maintenance treatment to keep their hyperpigmentation problems from returning. By closely following our recommendations, you’ll lessen your chances of requiring additional treatments.
When you need hyperpigmentation treatment, get in touch us at VIVAA. We serve the communities of Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, Newcastle, North Bend, Seattle, Snoqualamie and Sammasish, WA.
"Very knowledgeable and professional staff. Procedure was exactly as described. Highly recommend."
For more information about hyperpigmentation or to make an appointment, call Vein Vascular, Primary care & Aesthetic Associates today at 425-250-9999. For your convenience, you can use our online Schedule a Consultation form.
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We Use Nitrox for Pain Relief
Nitronox is a proven safe and effective treatment for managing any pain and anxiety you might feel during treatments. The Nitronox system delivers a mix of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oxygen directly to you on an as-needed basis to provide comfort. This treatment enhancement is ideal for short, minimally-invasive treatments such as tattoo removal when pain is a concern.
You won't need this extra comfort for most of the services at VIVAA, but we want you to have it available for you should it be helpful.