A clear complexion is one of the four cornerstones of “looking good for your age” (the other three being lines and wrinkles, skin tone, and shape and volume). Research has shown that a blotchy or uneven complexion can add 10 years to one’s age. Conversely, improving the complexion can take 10 years off your apparent age.
There are various forms of pigmentation problems. The most common ones are:
Age spots and lentigos
Moles & keratoses
Post inflammatory pigmentation
Melanoma & skin cancers
Of course, some patients have a combination of these problems. Many pigmentation issues occur on darker skin types. Different conditions are treated in different ways, but generally everyone should start with good sun care.
Sun exposure will make any pigment darker and harder to treat. Some patients, especially those with darker skin types, are not used to applying sunscreen or putting on a hat on a regular basis but is a vital first step. We see many patients who come from hot climates in Asia or South America. Many tell us that it was only after they moved to Australia, and particularly Queensland, that they started having issues with pigmentation.
Most patients are primarily concerned with pigmentation and sun-damage on the face, for obvious reasons, but other areas – particularly the neck, décolletage and hands, should not be overlooked.
Cleaning up the skin and removing sun-damage is also a great thing for men to do. There’s no real risk of looking fake or changed in anyway afterwards (apart from better looking skin of course) and effective treatment can take years off your appearance.
It is always best to have your skin concerns diagnosed and treated by a doctor. Different types of pigmentation and skin lesions need to be treated in different ways, and some can be worsened by incorrect treatment – so accurate diagnosis is paramount. Additionally, skin cancers can look innocuous and harmless and misdiagnosis can lead to significant delays in proper management. Additionally, some treatments – such as prescription skin care and minor surgical treatments – are only available from a doctor.
Envisage Clinic offers bulk billed consultations with Dr Leat for assessment of your skin concerns. To book an appointment at our Gold Coast skin clinic, call us today. We are able to provide comprehensive mole removal and skin check services.
Freckles are small spots of pigment. They are usually manifold and can occur on sun affected skin as a genetic trait. They are more common in certain ethnic groups, such as those with Irish or Celtic ancestry. Unlike other pigmentation issues, they are more common on pale skin types, but mixed-race individuals can develop dark freckles on dark skin and all skin types can have freckles as a result of sun damage. Freckles can usually be easily removed or improved with IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) although very pale freckles are sometimes harder to treat. Prescription skin care and peels are also effective.
Lentigos, often called age spots or liver spots, are larger (5-30mm) patches of pigment. They are generally benign but can become cancerous, so if you notice one enlarging or changing in shape, it’s advisable to arrange to get it checked by a doctor. They are harder to treat than freckles. IPL often lightens them, sometimes considerably, but usually does not remove them. Problematic ones can be shaved away with radiofrequency treatments.
Melasma is blotchy pigmentation triggered by hormones and darkened by the sun. It is more common in darker skin types and is very prevalent in Queensland’s sunny climate. It generally looks like a coffee or tea coloured stain, and melasma is especially common on the forehead, cheeks, and top lip. It can be triggered by pregnancy or the contraceptive pill. Melasma is primarily treated with prescription strength skin care, sometimes combined with Tixel or speciality peels.
Moles and keratoses are benign overgrowths of skin cells. They are generally raised and can be skin coloured or pigmented. Moles can be treated in two ways – excision, or shaved excision. If you’re looking for a Gold Coast mole removal service, we can facilitate at our clinic.
Post Inflammatory Pigment
Post inflammatory pigment is very common on darker skin tones. It can occur after any injury that has been caused to the skin – especially heat damage, laser treatments and surgery. We have also seen it caused by wax hair removal or gentle peels. It is one reason why darker skins have to be treated much more carefully than paler skins when it comes to many treatments. Post inflammatory pigment usually responds well to prescription strength skin care products.
You can see some examples of the treatments we offer and the results we achieve on our gallery page. If you have any questions about the services we offer or the products we sell, don’t hesitate to get into contact with us. We will always put your comfort and wellbeing first.