Summer Skin and Brown Spots

By now everyone is well aware of the sun’s damaging effects, and you have had the “importance of sun protection” talk from your doctor, dermatologist and skin therapist, more times than you care to remember. Despite these efforts and the statistics on skin cancer that abound, many still seek the sun’s rays in an effort to achieve that bronzed glowing skin. Others will go out of their way to avoid the sun’s damaging rays, however UV related damage is virtually unavoidable in Australia.

While diagnosing and repairing sun damaged skin is not a one size fits all, there are a number of tools at our disposal to assist in achieving healthy, radiant, youthful skin. Last month we looked at the skin and the effects of burning from the sun. This month we will look at the effects of sun induced discolouraton – brown spots and red capillaries.

Excessive production of melanin (colour producing cells) can be brought on by a number of internal and external factors, but the primary extrinsic cause is the sun. During the warm summer months, excess heat can also over stimulate the skin. Keeping the skin protected and cool will help prevent both the red and brown discolouration. For some women, humidity is enough to stimulate their hormonally driven hyperpigmenation known as melasma. For others, the use of a protective hat can exacerbate the same type of pigmentation simply with the friction and sweating. If the damage is done, however, melanin suppressants, peels and certain home care correctives will work to brighten skin tone.

Treatment results will vary greatly depending on discolouration level (cellular or superficial), but through a combination of both professional treatments and cosmeceutical homecare products, there can be significant change and correction. Ingredients that help correct brown discolouration include daisy flower, arbutin (L), kojic acid, lactic acid, and azelaic acid. These will work to inhibit melanin synthesis, brighten and reduce hyperpigmentation.

In the treatment room there can be a combination of both machinery and ingredients to provide the optimum outcome. Using AHA/TCA blends, Vitamin A + Peptide Peels along with herbal exfoliation techniques which will both brighten and provide skin rebuilding abilities. The goal is to correct the issue and reset the skin on the right path. Laser treatments will vary from IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), to Fractional Laser and Q Switch Nd Yag. The best result I believe is to combine both types of skin treatments using products and lasers and then of course following up with an active home care system to support the clinic treatments.

As much as we would love to jump in a time machine to reverse the harmful effects of our Australian sun and outdoor life style, at this point it is not possible. While the best defence for sun related skin damage is prevention, the reality is that we live in Australia and we are an outdoor nation. It is good to know that while we continue to tan our hides, we have the ability to correct, rebuild and protect our skin from future and existing damage with the assistance of modalities such as IPL, Fractional Laser, Peels, Oxygen Therapy and active cosmeceutical home care products.

At Skin Inspiration, we can recommend the best treatment for your skin.