The number one concern for my Black and Asian patients are disorders of pigmentation. There are three that are most common which include Melasma; dark under eye circles and dermatosis papulosa nigrans; a skin disorder which looks like freckles/moles. Pigmentation can be ageing and make skin look lacklustre. Many think that the only solution to this is covering it with make-up, but there are innovative treatments and lifestyle changes which can help skin look healthier.
Melasma is a common pigmentation disorder which appears as brown/grey symmetrical patches on the face. It can often be seen on the forehead, cheeks, bridge of the nose, upper lip and chin and is associated with hormonal changes, such as the use of the contraceptive pill and pregnancy. Melasma gets worse with sun exposure and some people note it fades after pregnancy or switching contraceptive pill. However, once melasma is triggered there is no cure, but there are many methods that can be used to significantly fade it. Other lifestyle changes which can help are avoiding the sun and ensuring you use an SPF every day and not just on hot days. When it is really sunny, wear a hat and sunglasses to reduce the amount of sun exposure to the skin. The condition can be helped with topical 4% hydroquinone. This is the most effective medication to suppress melasma. Other treatments include retinoids, chemical peels, micro-needling and lasers.
Dark Under-Eye Circles
A concern for many people of all ages, even as young as 20 are dark circles, or periocular melanosis. This is an area that can make you look tired or older than your years. There are many reasons for dark circles around the eyes. Often it is not down to pigmentation alone; the deep groove below the eye can also cause a shadow which can be due to fat loss or due to the ligaments below the eye becoming more fibrous. Pigmentation can also be caused around the eye due to allergy or trauma; thin skin around the eye leading to visibility of the muscle below; fluid retention and malar festoon, which is the puffy area seen around the eye. To treat this, it’s important to choose the right eye cream with antioxidant properties. Whilst this may not reverse the dark circles, antioxidants can be a very powerful way to prevent further pigmentary changes to the skin. My two favourite antioxidants are niacinamide (vitamin B3) and ascorbic acid. At Adonia Medical Clinic we have developed an innovative new treatment – Clarify-eye which tackles the most troublesome aspects associated with dark circles around the eye. Clarify-eye includes lymphatic drainage which eliminates toxins and reduces puffiness, we then apply specially-formulated eye creams to manage pigmentation and we use a unique chemical peel specially-formulated for the delicate eye area to renew the skin. The treatment is finished off with micro-needling which plumps and LED light to further reduce pigmentation.
Dermatosis Papulosa Nigrans
The third most common skin condition we see is, dermatosis papulosa nigrans (DPN) – these are benign papules that appear on the face, neck, and chest of Black and Asian people. They have a genetic predisposition, made worse by sun exposure. They can appear as freckles and can be a few or hundreds. Most people like them and they can be left without any concern. For those that require treatment, a small needle with a light current is used to remove the papules from the face, skin and neck.
Lifestyle and Diet
For flawless and healthy-looking skin here are my top tips! Great skin really does start from the inside out, so make sure you are having a nutrient-rich diet. A diet full of essential fatty acids will increase skin’s ability to retain moisture. Alongside a healthy diet, kickstart the day with a skin-boosting smoothie, rich in antioxidants by simply blending your favourite greens and fruits. Another top tip I tell all my clients is to drink 2-litres of water a day to keep skin looking and feeling hydrated. Get in to good skincare habits. Take the day off by thoroughly cleansing, a deep cleanse will help remove the build-up of impurities and pollutants from your skin. Add in regular exfoliation into your routine to remove dead-skin cells and promote renewal. Finally, a rule for all is to use an SPF daily to keep skin protected from the sun. A good SPF protects from free-radical damage that can cause early signs of ageing. With the advances in skincare and aesthetics; pigmentation concerns can be addressed and treated to leave skin looking glowing again.
Adonia Medical Clinic offers the most-advanced and innovative skincare treatments. For more information visit adoniamedicalclinic.co.uk