Pigmentation problems result from an uneven distribution of melanin over the skins surface. Pigmented lesions are caused by abnormal melanocyte production located in the basal layer of the epidermis. Melanocyte cells absorb ultraviolet radiation in order to protect cellular DNA. Over exposure to sun light, hormonal imbalance or an injury response can stimulate melanocyte cell production in order to protect our skin and this can cause discolored, pigmented lesions. The rate of melanin production varies from person to person. There is no cure for hyperpigmentation but is possible to improve the condition by fading the appearance of the discoloration.
The four major causes of hyperpigmentation are:
• sun exposure
The sun is most often to blame for skin discoloration and premature aging and the total effects of sun damage may not be realized for years. Suntans and sunburns from early years may have very negative consequences later in life. Skin cancer is the most serious effect of sun damage and the reason we highly recommend avoiding direct sun between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. and applying sunscreen 30 minutes prior to exposure for optimal anti-aging sun protection.
It’s difficult to avoid sun exposure in the summer months and the effects of it can be seen in hyperpigmentation. That's why it's a good idea to visit your professional skin care therapist as summer ends and fall begins to address reversing the signs of summer sun damage.
There are a number of topical solutions for treating hyper-pigmentation. Product ingredients that are Tyrosinase Inhibitors (Tyrosinase is a copper-containing enzyme present in plant and animal tissues that catalyzes the production of melanin. It is found inside melanosomes) assist in preventing an overproduction of pigment:
• Hydroquinone, dramatically diminishes the appearance of stubborn hyperpigmentation.
• Vitamin c (ascorbic acid) is a photo protecting agent.
• Chromanyl palmitate slows down melanocyte cell activity and prevents the over-production of pigment. Can be used as an alternative to hydroquinone.
• Licorice extract slows down melanocyte cell activity and improves the appearance of uneven skin tone.
"What You See In The Mirror Is In Your Control."
For home care Institut' DERMed has created a brightening product system with glycolic, lactic, salicylic, and ascorbic and kojic acids, licorice extract and a moisturizer that contains continuing sun protective ingredients: Micronized Titanium Dioxide and Oxybenzone.
PROFESSIONAL TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR TREATING HYPERPIGMENTATION
Exfoliating enzymes, acids, chemical peels, dermaplaning and microdermabrasion help to remove existing abnormal pigmented cells and lift and lighten darker lesions.
• Retinol or even Retinoids are a derivative of Vitamin A. They are a nutrient that feeds the reticulum skin cell and it signals that cell to divide. The greater number of new skin cells the more old skin cells are pushed off the surface of the skin. Retinol works as a powerful antioxidant for the skin as well as really revs up the rate of cell renewal. This is beneficial for aging skin and for photo-damaged skin. The Retinol+ peel is a deep cell exfoliation that will remove the dead skin cells that make the skin look dull, lift hyperpigmentation and soften and smooth fine lines and wrinkles.
• Glycolic acid works in the skin to dissolve the lipid glue between the cells to slough off dead cell matter at an accelerated rate. Glycolic Acid also lightens the skin and helps increase collagen production. The Glycolic+ peel is recommended to correct and prevent blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, pustules, control oil and is also a super star anti-aging ingredient that does the heavy lifting revealing smoother, brighter, younger looking skin.
Lactic+ Peel• This is a really good choice of peel for first-time Level 201 peel users or for those with sensitive skin. Formulated with Phenylethyl Resorcinol (Symwhite® 377) a natural skin-brightening compound, tyrosinase inhibitor and antioxidant. It is a highly efficient skin lightener that brightens the skin tone and treats uneven skin tone.
SKIN COLOR AND THE ROLE OF MELANIN
Human skin has red, yellow, brown and blue tones. What we actually perceive in skin color is the reflected light off the skin. The best way to see true skin color is in natural light.
Melanin is also known as pigment. Melanin production is essentially a protective mechanism to prevent ultra violet damage to the cell nucleus.The basic unit of melanin is tyrosine, an amino acid which goes through a variety of conversions before melanin starts to form. Melanin is then transferred to the keratin cells by melanosomes. These cells rise to the stratum corneum, and eventually are sloughed from the skin.
With the ever expanding option of skin care products and cosmetics comes an ever expanding list of ingredient do’s and do not’s. Things can get confusing when trying to decipher what ingredients you need to avoid when selecting the latest anti-aging cream or mineral foundation. Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and some ingredients you place on your skin can be absorbed directly into the body so it is extremely important to be aware of the products you’re using. To keep things simple here are three ingredients you can and should do without!
With spring break fast approaching, travel plans are coming together. While you’re packing your swimsuits or sunscreen for beach trips, or long johns and boots for your ski get away, keep these skin care tips in mind to reduce discomfort.
Before you fly cleanse your face with a soothing cleanser containing non-drying ingredients. Glycolic can have a tendency to dry skin so avoidusing your anti-aging cleansers right before your trip. A soothing toner will prep your skin for maximum benefits from your hydrating serum. The Anti-Oxidant Peptide Serum is formulated with apple stem cells and peptides and will increase epidermal hydration reducing the drying effect from the recycled air and elevation levels when flying. I know we all like to look our best when we land at our destination, but apply your makeup after you land to prevent it from further drying your skin during flight.
Chemical Peeling is exactly what it says - peeling of the skin using a chemical. A chemical peel removes the outer layers of the skin. This freshens the skin, removes some sunspots and rough scaly patches, and reduces freckles and irregular pigmentation.
It also reduces fine wrinkles. There is some evidence that it may reduce the risk of skin cancer. It is safest and most effective on the face. Hands can be peeled but the risk of scarring is higher and the results less predictable.
Acneic skin disorders occur as the result of excessive sebum or oil production that have mixed with keratinized dead skin cells inside the hair follicle. This can create a micro-plug, also known as a comedone. There are a variety of lesions that can appear as blackheads, pimples, pustules, papules, cysts, and nodules on the face, chest, and back.
The classification for lesions that helps us discern the severity of acneic skin conditions is called the Dr. Kligman’s acne grading scale. The "Acne grade" will determine the frequency and types of treatment needed and the duration as well as the intensity of the product needed both in-clinic and for home care to control the acne.
The Summer Season has arrived.
"The wild-rose briar is sweet in the spring, Its summer blossoms scent the air;
Yet wait till winter comes again, And who will call the wild-briar fair?" Emily Bronte
Institut’ DERMed welcomes the Summer with our Summer Essentials to help guide you through summer fun without the sun damage. None of us want to end up like a "wild-briar" come September and so we've come up with a few recommends designed with just that goal in mind.