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Can chemical peels remove dark spots?

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Hyperpigmentation or uneven dark spots on the skin occurs when excess melanin causes a darkened appearance to the skin either in small or large patches.

Pigmentation is the natural colour of a person's skin and it is related to melanin production. Melanin protects skin cells and their DNA by absorbing the sun's ultraviolet rays [ UVR]

Darker skin types in general are more susceptible to hyperpigmentation than lighter skin types because their skin naturally contains more melanin.

There are generally 3 types of hyperpigmentation:

  • Melasma: linked to the endocrine system [ hormones] often appears as symmetrical patches, on the cheeks ,chin, upper lip & forehead. It can be related to pregnancy, birth control pill, menopause or hormone replacement therapy

  • Post-inflammatory: Linked to trauma/burns/acne/ fragrances causing irritation, inflammation stimulates the Langerhans cells [ immune cells] which alters the activity of our melanocytes [ skin cells] causing increased pigment production

  • UV induced: this type of hyperpigmentation shows in the form of freckles, age spots & uneven skin tone. It is caused by exposure to UV rays whether from the sun or tanning beds. Therefore there is no such thing as a healthy tan! UVA rays are present all year round & can penetrate glass, they are more damaging as they can penetrate deeper. Therefore a broad spectrum sunscreen is vital to protect the skin all year round.

Treatment pathway:

Because chemical peels increase our cell turnover a series of them can help to remove damaged pigmented skin cells in a progressive treatment plan. Generally 6 , performed 3 weeks apart would be ideal but is dependant on the individual and their personal condition.

There are also specific ingredients which when used along side treatments will accelerate results:

  • L-ascorbic acid [ water soluble Vitamin C]

will help to control Tyrosinase one of the key enzymes responsible for producing melanin, it is a powerful antioxidant & so will protect cells by neutralising harmful daily environmental aggressors.

  • White Shiitake Mushroom: Extracted from an edible mushroom that lightens the appearance of discolouration and evens skin tone. It will also degrade existing pigment

  • Retinol :

Will stimulate cell turnover thereby helping to remove inflamed skin tissue, brighten & even out skin tone & encourage new collagen production.

  • Zinc Oxide

A broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA & UVB rays, use daily to offer skin full protection. It is a breathable filter meaning it will not clog pores .

All of these ingredients are available at my skin clinic in Addlestone as well as Alumier MD chemical peels , click on the skin consultation tab & I will be in touch.

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