Dr Darren’s Thursday Surgery
Q: I am a 51-year-old coloured female who always used sunscreen and a very good face cream, but my face seems to be covered with darker patches on my cheeks, upper lip and between the eyebrows.
Am I doing something wrong, or do I need to consult a dermatologist? I do apply a good SPF and I also get red and blushed cheeks, but am not menopausal as yet.
A: Pigmentation issues are very common. Melanin is the dark pigment which colours the skin and excessive and unequal distribution of this pigment can lead to dark blotches and patches of darker skin. The cycle of skin rejuvenation and the depth from which this occurs make treatment of this condition progressive.
There is no instant cure – unless of course you consider your foundation or base to be a masked cure.
There are multiple skin ranges that address the issue of hyperpigmentation. Skin conditioning and barrier support therapy are key phrases in all brands, but without regular routine and diligent product use you are unlikely to succeed.
The approach that I recommend you take is a multifaceted one, starting with lifestyle management like stress and sleep issues, your cosmetic routine and a medical assessment for any underlying systemic diseases.
Visit your dermatologist before purchasing skin ranges that are not suitable for your problem.
Sun protection is essential and it is a well-known fact that excessive UV exposure contributes to pigmentation issues.
Also remember that although you claim not to be menopausal as yet, your age group will certainly pose major physiological changes that are progressive due to oestrogen withdrawal.
The use of chemical facial peels, high radiofrequency therapy and ozone therapy are all being used globally for problem skins, as well as anti-ageing therapy.