Flawless skin is a great asset. Women with blemish-free skin can get away with wearing minimal make-up and accessories, knowing that their smooth, radiant skin is statement enough. But not all of us are blessed with an unmarked, baby-smooth complexion. Some of us have to contend with acne-prone skin, which often leaves behind scars and marks. But apart from acne, there are many other factors that can lead to pigmentation. Let’s explore the subject a bit more closely.
You’ll know if your skin is pigmented, because you’ll notice flat, darkened patches of skin which are light brown to black in colour and can range in size from a small dot to to a much larger patch. These can be caused by sun exposure (also known as age spots), hormonal changes during pregnancy, or skin injury resulting from a bug bite, acne or cosmetic procedures. Generally darker skinned people are more prone to skin discolouration due to the higher amount of melanin in their skin, which is the pigment that determines their skin colour.
Now that you know what causes skin discolouration, let’s see if there are any steps to prevent this from happening. According to skin experts, there are a few things you should keep in mind. When you go out in the sun for instance, remember to wear a broad-rimmed hat and apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, every few hours. A lot of darker skinned people think that they can withstand sun exposure better than fairer-skinned people. But in reality, over-exposure can result in unsightly brown or black pigments spots in the areas that are uncovered, namely the face, arms and hands.
The second thing to remember is skincare. If you have acne-prone skin, try not to scratch, peel or pop your pimples as they are very likely to leave behind marks that are darker than the surrounding skin. If you know your skin is sensitive, also try and avoid harsh cosmetic procedures like dermabrasion, laser treatments and chemical peels. Instead, follow a sensible skincare routine using products that target congested skin with gentle, but effective cleansers and creams. Some skincare will include agents such as Proceral, specifically designed to conceal the appearance of pigmentation on the skin.
The last contributing factor for skin pigmentation is pregnancy. There’s not much you can do about it as the hormonal changes that occur during this time are natural. We recommend speaking to your doctor if the pigmentation that occurs during this time is highly visible and causing you any distress.
Skin pigmentation is more common that you think. It affects millions of women around the world at some point or the other in their lives. So the best thing to do is to make sure that you’re well prepared and know exactly what to do to prevent these pesky brown patches from showing up on your skin.
This article is intended as general information only. You should seek advice from a professional before starting any new regime or course of conduct.