It is no secret that skin spots and blemishes can make our skin look older. That explains the popularity of different lightening and brightening treatments. Before you start any of these treatments you should know that the success of your lightening treatment will depend on two things: what has caused your hyperpigmentation and how deep your hyperpigmentation sits within your skin layers.
There are two main layers of the skin: the top layer epidermis and lower layer dermis. Melanin responsible for discoloration can be found in either of these layers. You can use one this trick find out how deep this excess melanin is. Hold the skin around the pigmented area taut. If the pigment gets lighter, it is most likely located in the epidermis and would be much easier to keep under control. If the pigment stays dark, its location is in the dermis and you would have to fight harder and more strategically to get that even tone, since it requires more invasive skin lightening treatments or changes made from within, if changes are to be seen.
Depth of excess melanin depending on the cause:
- Brown birthmarks – dermal
- Normal tanning – epidermal
- Prolonged tanning – epidermal and dermal
- Age spots – dermal
- Melasma – could be epidermal or dermal depending on the individual
- Caused by injuries (burns, cuts, abrasions, etc) – epidermal or dermal
In order for us to properly take care of our skin and keep it healthy we need to understand its functions as an organ. Skin protects our body from pathogens, UV radiation, physical damage, regulates body’s temperature through perspiration and blood flow, informs us about the external environment though sensation, and plays a vital role in body’s immune response and vitamin D synthesis. Skin constantly renews and regenerates itself, fights off free radicals, metabolizes nutrients, excretes salts and waste through sweat and maintains lubrication by producing natural lipids.
These natural lipids are found in the spaces between the cells. They preserve moisture and provide permeable barrier keeping the skin hydrated. Along with keratinized corneocytes and natural moisturizing factors, lipids create acid mantle on the top layer of our skin that prevents trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). This barrier protects lower layers of the skin containing cells and compounds responsible for flexibility and elasticity of the skin, thus aiding in maintaining youthfulness. If the lipids are lost, which happens as we age the spaces between the cells dry up, acid mantle breaks down, water gets lost and pathogens may enter, irritating and stressing the skin. By helping the skin maintain its barrier function and by supporting water retention we can renew, rejuvenate and protect our skin. So, when we consider daily regiment, treatments and products for our skin we need to apply humectant moisturizers that address barrier properties as well.
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Prospective students: If you are curious about our programs and courses feel free to drop by to get your questions answered. You can see our school facilities, observe our students work in clinic, meet the instructors and get a consultation on our Murad products. (more…)