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