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Pigment Spots: Insights and Solutions from Dr Ghotra

Updated: Mar 5

About the author: Dr V.P.S Ghotra

Dr Ghotra received his MD degree from Maastricht University and a PhD from Leiden University. Complementing his substantial academic credentials, he acquired a Master's degree in Ageing and Aesthetics from the prestigious University of Manchester. Leading his clinic in the vicinity of Amsterdam, Dr. Ghotra specializes in an array of minimally invasive aesthetic procedures. His expertise encompasses a wide range of treatments, from the precision of Botulinum toxin applications to the innovative techniques involved in thread lifts, fillers, and the latest advancements in laser therapies, providing his patients with cutting-edge solutions in the field of aesthetic medicine.

Hyperpigmentation, often referred to by patients as blemishes, dark spots, or sun spots, is a condition that leads to uneven skin tone due to the overproduction of melanin. This blog aims to shed light on the pathophysiology of hyperpigmentation, focusing on the role of melanocytes and melanin, the different types of hyperpigmentation disorders, their potential causes, and the available treatment options.

The Role of Melanocytes and Melanin in Skin Pigmentation

At the heart of skin pigmentation are melanocytes, specialized cells located in the basal layer of the epidermis. Melanocytes produce melanin, the pigment responsible for giving colour to our skin, hair, and eyes. The primary function of melanin is to protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. By absorbing and dissipating UV rays, melanin helps prevent DNA damage and reduces the risk of skin cancer. Melanin is synthesized through a complex process known as melanogenesis. This process is initiated by the enzyme tyrosinase, which converts the amino acid tyrosine into melanin. Various factors, including genetic makeup, hormonal changes, and exposure to sunlight, can influence melanogenesis, leading to variations in skin colour and the development of hyperpigmentation disorders.

Types of Hyperpigmentation Disorders

Hyperpigmentation can manifest in several forms, each with distinct characteristics:

Melasma: Often associated with hormonal changes, melasma appears symmetrical, blotchy, brownish facial pigmentation. It is more common in women, especially during pregnancy (often called "the mask of pregnancy") or those on hormonal treatments.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH): This occurs after an injury or inflammation to the skin, such as acne, eczema, or burns. PIH presents as flat, discoloured spots at the site of the healed skin injury.

Solar Lentigines: Also known as "age spots" or "liver spots," these are small, darkened patches that occur in sun-exposed areas due to long-term UV exposure.

Freckles (Ephelides): Small, brown spots common in individuals with fair skin, freckles intensify with sun exposure and are largely determined by genetics.

Spotting the Signs: How to Recognize Hyperpigmentation

Dr. Ghotra employs the advanced Visia Skin Analysis System in the diagnosis and management of hyperpigmentation, harnessing its cutting-edge imaging technology to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the skin's condition. This sophisticated system captures high-resolution, multi-dimensional images of the skin, allowing for a detailed assessment of various types of pigmentation issues, including superficial (epidermal) and deep (dermal) pigmentation. By accurately identifying the characteristics and depth of pigmentation, the Visia system enables Dr. Ghotra to distinguish between different forms of hyperpigmentation, such as melasma, sun spots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This precise analysis is crucial in tailoring treatment plans that are specifically designed to target the unique pigmentation profile of each patient. Recognizing the depth and type of pigmentation is paramount in selecting the most effective treatment modalities, ensuring that therapies are not only targeted but also optimized for the best possible outcomes in the restoration of even skin tone and texture.

Skin pigmentation
UV imaging: The absorption of UV light by epidermal melanin just below the skin surface results in the display and detection of UV spots that can result from sun damage.
Brown spots: Pigmentation and discolouration on and underneath the surface of the skin

Erasing the Spots: Treatment Innovations at Our Clinic

Our clinic offers a range of treatments tailored to combat hyperpigmentation:

Topical Agents

We use advanced formulations containing hydroquinone, retinoids, and other melanin-inhibiting ingredients to lighten dark spots.

Chemical Peels

Our peels are designed to remove the damaged outer layers of skin, revealing a more even complexion beneath.

Laser Treatments

With precision, our lasers target melanin deposits, effectively diminishing hyperpigmentation.

Sun Protection

We emphasize the importance of sunscreen in preventing further pigmentation and protecting the skin from UV damage.

Take the Next Step with Us

If hyperpigmentation, or those troubling "blemishes" and "dark spots," are affecting your confidence, let us help. At Dr Ghotra's clinic, we leverage the latest in facial analysis technology, including Visia and Vectra systems, to craft a treatment plan that's as unique as your skin. Don't let hyperpigmentation cloud your natural beauty.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and embark on the journey to clearer, more radiant skin. Together, we can achieve the results you desire, guided by expertise, compassion, and the latest in dermatological advancements.

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