The Truth About Pigmentation Part Two


Welcome back to the second part of The Truth About Pigmentation where we are covering the condition and how it can be treated. Dr. Askari Townshend, a renowned skincare expert and aesthetic doctor will be sharing his thoughts on the subject. He is the founder of ASKINOLOGY which is an award-winning concept offering a cosmeceutical boutique, facial bar plus laser and aesthetic clinic. How can pigmentation be treated? It’s important to look at addressing the causes such as sun exposure, however for existing pigmentation there are products and treatments to help. There are many over-the-counter products, so look out for those including ingredients such as arbutin, which helps to lighten dark spots. There are also prescription medicines to help, such as 4% hydroquinone and tretinoin.

On the treatment front, peels can be used with caution. It’s really important to see a professional as if not prescribed properly they can make matters worse. At ASKINOLOGY we offer a variety of peels from the gentler versions available in our Facial Bar for which there is one dedicated to pigmentation, increasing to higher strength medical peels that take place in our aesthetic clinic. Then there is IPL or laser, again this should be undertaken with expert advice. ASKINOLOGY uses sone of the UK’s first Lumenis ResurFX fractional lasers which provides extra control and cooling, making treating darker skins easier and safer than ever.

Are there any restrictions or complications when it comes to treatment? Darker skins need to be treated with care and expertise to avoid making things worse. Being too aggressive with the skin can lead to more post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

What should you ask your practitioner/expert in consultation? I would recommend asking your practitioner/expert if they have experience treating darker skin. It’s also important that you are informed of all your options as there are so many available and each has its different pros and cons. By the end of the consultation, you should feel equipped to make an informed decision.

What are the important things to consider when it comes to pigmentation? Pigmentation is never going to be a quick fix, it takes time to treat, we are talking months, not days, so you have to be patient and persevere with your products and treatments. Treatments often control rather than cure the product, especially as we will continue to be exposed to sunlight which will drive further pigmentation. Hydroquinone is a very effective and safe treatment when used correctly; consult an expert to discuss how it could work for your individual skin concerns.

There are lots of common myths about pigmentation but what is the truth? A huge myth is that tanned skin is more healthy! It’s actually a sign that your skin has been damaged to some degree and is trying to protect itself.

Another one is that Hydroquinone is a bleach – when used in this context the term bleach simply refers to the lightening of the skin which of course is what we are aiming for if treating skin that has been darkened. It has nothing to do with domestic bleach.

Also that Hydroquinone makes pigmentation worse – there is a very rare complication called exogenous ochronosis which causes further darkening. The US reported 14 cases in 160 million units sold. Hydroquinone / tretinoin / Retin A thins the skin.

For more information about treatments for pigmentation, please contact ASKINOLOGY.