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Pigmentary Disorders

Effective treatments to improve your skin tone

Uneven skin tone is one of the commonest skin complaints presented to a dermatologist. They can be due to a wide range of causes, from melasma, post-inflammatory pigmentation, sun damage to vitiligo.

Most pigmentation problems are caused by overactive melanocytes (pigment cells) which produce melanin (pigmentation). Melanocytes are sensitive to a wide range of triggers including temperatures (excessive cold or heat), chemicals, injury, inflammation, diseases, sun exposures, genetic influences, hormones and certain medications. Exposure to these triggers can make the melanocytes become overactive, and produce more pigmentation in the skin.

Dr Nicole uses a systematic approach to work out the cause and triggers for your pigmentary problems (whether it is due to hormonal, inflammatory, genetic, acquired or environmental), and performs skin examination to determine whether the pigmentation is deep (dermal) or superficial (epidermal). A range of treatment options including medical prescriptions and cosmetic treatments are often used to achieve best results.

  • Assessment and treatment by a Consultant Dermatologist with an interest in both medical and cosmetic dermatology
  • A systematic approach to determine the cause, triggers and depth of any pigmentation problem
  • Individualised treatment plans to treat the disease and its causes
  • Combined treatment approaches to tackle the medical and cosmetic aspects of the problem
  • Bespoke self-help and aftercare measures to maintain lasting results
  • No GP referral required

About Dr Nicole

Find Out More About Your Experienced Consultant Dermatologist

Frequently Asked Questions

About Pigmentation Treatment
    • What are the causes of increased pigmentation or darkening of the skin?

      There are a range of causes for increased pigmentation or darkening of the skin. The common causes are:

      Melasma – Melasma is a long-term skin pigmentation problem which tends to affect both sides of the face. It is more commonly seen in women and in darker skin types.

      Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation – Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation tends to happen after an injury to the skin, a skin disease or inflammation in the skin. It can affect anywhere in the skin and affect all skin types.

      Sun-damaged skin – Sun-damaged skin often has brown spots and freckles. These brown spots are usually seen in fair skin types after sun exposure. Some brown spots may fade away after a period of sun avoidance; but some brown spots may continue to persist.

    • What if I have reduced pigmentation or lightening of the skin?

      Reduced pigmentation or lightening of the skin can happen after an injury to the skin, inflammation in the skin or due to a skin disease (such as vitiligo),

      Vitiligo is a common pigmentation problem where the skin loses its melanocytes / pigment cells. As a result, the affected areas look white. Dr Nicole recommends topical creams for this problem and has a regime to help you achieve the best results. Other treatment options such as light therapy, oral treatments can be discussed at consultation. This condition can be challenging to treat.

    • What treatments are used by Dr Nicole?

      Dr Nicole uses a combination of prescribed medications, specialist skin care treatments and products to stabilise melanocytes, suppress melanin production and blend the skin tone.

      Dr Nicole also provides a range chemicals peels to target your individual problems. Sometimes, a combination of different peels are needed to obtain best results.

    • What results can I expect?

      The aim of treatment is to achieve an improvement in the pigmentation problem and to achieve an even skin tone. Maintenance treatment is important to prevent worsening of the pigmentation as melanocytes are sensitive to a wide range of factors (as listed above).

    • What if my pigmentation problem returns after treatment?

      Strong sun protection and appropriate skin care are important to maintain the reuslts once they are achieved. Treatments can be repeated if the pigmentation problem returns. Sometimes, it is advisable to have treatments such as a chemical peel at least once or twice a year as part of the maintenance programme.

1 Consultation

At consultation, a detailed history and physical examination will be performed to find out the cause, triggers and depth of the pigmentation problem. You are advised to bring along a list of your medications and skin care that you are currently using, and have previously used.

2 The Treatment

The treatments can range from specialist skin care, cosmetic treatments such as chemical peels, to prescription treatments. There is usually a period of an intense treatment regime followed by a maintenance programme. During the intense treatment period, you will be monitored and reviewed regularly.

3 Aftercare

Once the desired results are achieved, it is important to make sure that aftercare measures such as the daily use of sunscreen and appropriate skin care are in place to maintain the results. Detailed instructions about aftercare will be given at your consultation.