Treating Pesky Pigment Problems – 6 P’s
If you have ever had a battle with hyperpigmentation then you know the frustrations that the pesky pigment brings.
It took me sitting in a room of over 200 medical professionals, at one of the largest aesthetic conferences in the United States, to realize that my clients and I were not alone in our frustrations with treating hyperpigmentation.
A top dermatologist stood at the podium and asked “How many of you in here enjoy treating hyperpigmentation?” Maybe 3 people out of over 200 raised their hand. Why? Because, as annoying as this pigment is to the client, it’s also equally annoying to the provider. We care about your skin and your outcome, and we don’t want to be defeated by this pigment any more than you do. However, we know as well as you, that it can be a very trying issue to treat. Please note that I said trying but not impossible. During the process of working with patients with hyperpigmentation, I have developed the 6 P’s of treating pigment. The first 3 being the most difficult yet most important aspects.
P1 = Patience:
Yes, you read that right. The most important aspect of treating hyperpigmentation is patience, from both the client and the provider. Hyperpigmentation takes time to resolve, sometimes it take a looonggg time to resolve. How much patience depends on the type of hyperpigmentation we’re dealing with. Some forms, such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (aka PIH) can come go quickly, while melasma, on the other hand, can test your patience like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
P2 = Persistance:
This goes hand in hand with patience. Yes, we all want instant results. Trust me, I get it! I want them too, for me and for my patients. But, like most hurdles in life, we have to persistently work at something in order to overcome it. Rome wasn’t built in a day friends, and some of that pigment is from years of worshiping the sun. Pigment can be tricky because what we see on the surface is often just the tip of the iceberg.
Your new bestie! Wether you have pigment issues or not, make SPF your new best friend! BLAH, BLAH BLAH I know I sound like your damn mother, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, its that my mother is (obnoxiously so) always RIGHT! So heres the skinny on SPF. 1.) it helps protect our skin form UVA & UVB rays. UVA for aging. These rays cause wrinkles and age us. UVB rays for burning, resulting in pigment and cancer. So now that we have counted the ways, I recommend investing in an SPF 30 or higher, preferably chemical-filter free and paraben free. There are some amazing SPF’s with a universal tint, which also helps hide that pigment. My favorite is Neo Cutis Journee 4 in 1 SPF, antioxidant, anti-aging, and its tinted. Can your SPF do all of that?
It’s also important to know that the American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing SPF on cloudy days and when driving in the car.
P4 = Products:
If you have read my other posts, you know how I feel about utilizing good skin care products, and treating hyperpigmentation is no different. Invest in your skin. There are a lot of great products to choose from when treating hyperpigmentation. Retinol/ retinoids, hyroquinone, vitamin C serums, and blends that contain tranexamic acid, kojic acid, and niacinamide are a few. Your provider can help you choose a combination thats best for you!
P5 = P Devices:
While there are a few devices out there that will help, some of the best ones are devices that incorporate the letter P. IPL or intense pulsed light treatments are great for lighter skin types. Another favorite, that’s great for all skin types, is the pico device which uses photoacoustics to break down the pigment. Microneedling can also be affective with or without PRP.
P6 = Peels:
So, basically you’re like an onion. You’ve got layers my loves and we need to peel off some of them to get down to business and get rid of the pigment. Peels can help take down the layers to get to the deeper pigment. Chemical peels will do just what you think, you will peel, but they work wonderfully. They help take off that top layer of pigmented and miss-textured skin so that products can penetrate and work more effectively on the deeper pigment.
By using all or a combination of a few of the P’s you can be on your way to more beautiful, glowing, perfect skin.
Your’s truly, patiently, and persistently,
♔Queen Cosmetic Injector
Ashley McShurley, ACNP-BC