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Correcting Pigmentation Issues On Skin With IPL

Author : Callum Asterman

There are a host of causes of skin pigmentation, and although for most people they are unconcerned by any skin markings or the marks are merely superficial, it can become quite intense in some sufferers to the point where it does affect their self esteem and confidence. As spots of skin pigmentation can be a sign of ageing, for those of younger age they can lead to embarrassment and be features, which many people would prefer to reverse.

An important thing to bear in mind, however, is that in most cases skin pigmentation does not indicate an underlying medical condition to worry about. In a few cases it can point to a deeper underlying problem, but those are medical problems that need to be sorted out by the appropriate specialists. This article is about cosmetic skin pigmentation, what it is, and why pulsed laser light can help.

Darker areas of skin are not unusual. In a large percentage of the population they are so common as to be unnoticeable, and take the form of freckles. Freckles come in differing levels of colour and density, and can give the impression of a light tan unless looked at very closely. At the other the end of the scale they can be deeper, of higher contrast and sharper, appearing like dots drawn with a felt-tip pen. Freckles are not dangerous, and are a natural form of pigmentation, either being passed down from parents or made more noticable through exposure to bright sunlight. People with fair skin seem more likely to have freckles, and this acts as a warning to use sun block or avoid exposure.

Pregnancy can also initiate new areas of pigmentation. Often, these disappear after giving birth, but on occasion they stay or even become more intense. Known as "mask of pregnancy" because it can affect facial areas, it is caused by the shifting levels of hormones.

The third common type is caused simply by a combination of ageing and prolonged exposure to sunlight. Since new skin growth decelerates after age 40, these blemishes may seem to becoem semi-permanent. Originally thought to indicate issues with the liver, they are now thought not to be associated, yet are still called liver spots colloquially.

All of these types of discolouration are caused by the skin pigment melanin, which is perfectly natural and accounts for the range of skin tones seen throughout the human world. It protects against DNA damage caused by ultraviolet light, and it is known that UV light triggers its release, which is why sunlight brings out freckles and other signs.

This colouration is not harmful or dangerous but some people don't like it, and turn to a process known as intense pulsed light (IPL) to treat it. Available in clinics, IPL treatment consists of directing pulses of high energy light at the affected areas for short periods of time, microseconds in fact. By precisely controlling the wavelength of the light, it can be made to destroy the pigmentation precisely without damaging neighbouring skin cells. Another effect is that it rejuvenates the skin causing the regrowth of collagen which makes the skin less saggy.

If you find new areas of skin pigmentation that worry you, always ask your doctor to examine them first. However in most cases they are quite natural, and their removal will be a cosmetic matter, important though that may be.

Author's Resource Box

Callum is a skin treatment specialist and considers intense pulsed light for skin pigmentation to be an effective way of treating unsightly skin discolourations for both men and women.

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Tags:   IPL, skin pigmentation

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Submitted : 2011-05-27    Word Count : 675    Times Viewed: 562