Our expert says:
Hi Michelle, thank you for the question.
Your best approach would be to consult a dermatologist, or aesthetic practitioner, that can examine the areas that concern you and advise you on the appropriate treatment options.
I am not 100% sure what has caused the scars you mention or what they look like and how severe in depth they are. As a generalization the treatment regime I will list for the pigmentation treatment (see below) will have some effect on the scarring as well. If you would like a more in depth answer regarding your scarring, please post another question and we can go from there.
If the pigmentation has been caused by SUN DAMAGE only, you have several choices for treating the areas of concern:
Glycolic acid peels and mandelic acid peels (these 2 may be used in combination).
Topical creams – should contain glycolic acid, mandelic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, kajoic acid, mulberry root extracts, and one may even consider adding hydroquinone (2% or 4%). This is a long term option and you will only start to see some improvement within 2 to 3 months of consistent use.
The NeoStrata range contain all of the ingredients listed above but one may find them in combination in one form or another with Environ, Nimue, etc.:
NeoStrata Complexion Gel
NeoStrata Brightening Cream
Skin rejuvenation – laser or IPL based machines specific for pigment removal can be used. The pigment removal is usually faster than creams and in some cases, only 1 session is required.
HORMONAL CHANGES that produce pigmentation is known as Melasma or Chloasma, and typically forms on the cheeks, upper lip, forehead, and less so, on other parts of the body. If the pigmentation you see is Melasma the treatment becomes more difficult, as one needs to differentiate if the pigmentation is dermal or epidermal.
If the Melasma is dermal, laser or IPL will actually DARKEN and worsen the appearance of the spots.
DERMAL MEALSMA is generally unresponsive to most treatments, and has only been found to lighten with products containing mandelic acid. So your best approach would be to use a combination of glycolic and mandelic acid peels together with topical products containing mandelic acid.
If the MELASMA IS EPIDERMAL one may try the topical treatments listed above together with the following:
Hydroquinone: prescription (4%) strength.
Tretinoin, an acid that increases skin cell (keratinocyte) turnover. This treatment cannot be used during pregnancy.
Azelaic acid (20%), thought to decrease the activity of melanocytes.
Facial peels with alpha hydroxy acids (mandelic) and/or glycolic acid.
Regim A peels use lactic and malic acid as their main ingredients and my concern with this peeling system in regards to the complaints you have is as follows:
Very little evidence (in the form of studies) that verifies the exact effectiveness of malic acid with pigmentation and scars.
There is a greater bulk of evidence in the effectiveness of glycolic acid (with scarring and pigmentation) when compared to lactic acid.
In essence I do not believe that the Regim A peels will do any harm to your skin but depending on the severity of your concerns one may have to mlook at another form of peeling system.
Please go to my web page at: www.aestheticfacialenhancement.co.za and search Dermawand as there is a good summary of this product and reports from a few consumer review web pages.
So in summary, your best approach is to have the pigmentation and scarring examined, and from there to decide the treatment regime. However, there is nothing stopping you from trying the topical approach first.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal
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