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Pigmentation 101: What is it and how do I treat it?



Whatever your age, gender or skin type, there are very few of us who haven’t experienced some sort of skin blemish or colour change: also known as pigmentation.

From sunburn to hormonal changes and infections, a host of things can cause pigmentation and leave us feeling self-conscious.


Thankfully, there are many treatment options to get back that skin confidence.


So, what do we mean by “pigmentation”?

Pigmentation put simply is the colouring of a person’s skin.

Your skin colour is determined by pigments known as melanin, made by skin cells called melanocytes. The amount and type of melanin’s determine your skin pigmentation.

When a person is in good health, their skin will appear “normal” in colour – what’s normal for them. In the case of illness, injury or damage a person’s skin colour may alter resulting in hyper or hypo pigmentation production.


What is the difference between hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation?

Simply put, hyperpigmentation is an excessive melanin production resulting in a darker colouring of the skin. Hypopigmentation is a lack of melanin in the skin and can present itself as albinism or vitiligo. Whilst these conditions present opposite results, they are often caused by many of the same factors.


What can cause a change in pigmentation?

There are so many things can cause change in a person’s pigmentation, and that’s why it’s such a common condition! To name a few:

Burns – from sun burn to hot ovens, burns of any time can cause scar tissue to form a different colour.

Infections – cuts and bumps regularly develop infections that cause the surrounding skin to change colour.

Eczema – something as common as Eczema can even cause pigmentation changes, resulting in the skin turning red and scaly.

Hormonal Changes – particularly during pregnancy, our skin can change colour. Conditions like Melasma can cause dark patches on the face that weren’t previously there.

Even things as common as moles and everyday allergies can cause pigmentation!


How do I treat pigmentation?

Just as the reasons for pigmentation are long and varied, so are the treatment options (phew!)

From retinols to chemical peels, laser therapy, HydraFacial, Microdermabrasion other topicals too, what’s right for your pigmentation may be different to someone else’s.

It all depends on the area of pigmentation, level of skin colour change and how much it affects your skin confidence. Our personalised consultation process allows us to take a closer look at the pigmentation and recommend something just for you.


For more information on treating pigmentation contact Butterfly Aesthetics today!

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