Ok, so it has been another hot Australian Summer. The hottest according to the Bureau of Meteorology. Maybe you love the sun in summer and spent a lot of time at the beach. Maybe you were planning to be sun-safe, but it didn’t really happen. Maybe you didn’t lie out in the sun, but just by “ being outside” you seemed to get tanned or burnt. Maybe you really did try hard to protect your skin but are still seeing some new pigmentation in your skin.
It is very common to get to Autumn and notice darker brown spots than you had before, or more brown spots. This is called pigmentation – your skin cell’s reaction to damage from UV light.
Picture those poor little stressed cells trying to cover themselves up with an umbrella of pigmentation. It can look like freckles, it can be “sun spots”, or “age spots”, or it can be melasma stirred up by the sun, or just the heat! (You probably know that a tan is actually your body’s reaction to sun damage).
Whatever the exact type of pigmentation, the result is that your skin looks less bright, “muddier” or duller. That’s because when the light hits the surface of your skin and is reflected off, it isn’t bouncing off cleanly. It is rattling around, bouncing off all the pigment, different light waves being absorbed by the brown spots. If you have some white spots scattered over your sun-damaged skin, that’s where your pigment-making cells have become so damaged that they have thrown in the towel altogether!
So, how can we repair this damage? In our skin, we have enzymes whose job it is to fix UV damage to our DNA. Yes, sun damage is actually damaging and changing the DNA inside our cells. Often the amount of damage we have done to our cells is more than our own body can repair by itself. After the age of 30, the amount of the repair enzymes that we have starts to drop off, so we have more trouble keeping up with the necessary repairs.
Of course eventually, skin cancers can appear. Remarkably, scientists have recently discovered how to make DNA repair enzymes in a way that can be absorbed through our skin, from skin cream. Dr Ronald Moy, an American dermatologist, was one of the world leaders in this field with his DNA Intensive Renewal Skin Care, based on concentrated DNA Repair Enzymes and supported by years of research. Rationale Skin Care is an Australian company that keeps ahead of the game with the best skin changing ingredients.
They have DNA repair enzymes now included in several of their products. Both of these products are available at The Mayah Clinic in Lakelands.
If you want faster results for your skin, you could consider more active treatments to break up the pigmentation. A favourite treatment for this, at The Mayah Clinic, is Broadband Light or BBL. This treatment is related to IPL technology – an extension of that kind of light therapy. This is not a laser, despite IPL being sometimes incorrectly advertised as a “laser” treatment.
It is a process of filtering light in a way that doesn’t burn skin, but does heat up and treat pigmentation, redness, broken vessels, dark hair and stimulate new collagen. Large studies in California have shown that people who have 2-3 BBL treatments a year, after five years, had clearer skin, fewer lines and less sagging than they had originally. In other words, healthier skin!
Further investigations showed that BBL affected cell DNA resulting in “younger functioning” of that DNA. Talk about exciting stuff. With BBL we can treat brown spots, redness, vessels, hair, boost collagen and reduce pores all in the one multi-pass treatment session. (Remember with all devices for skin treatment, the machine is only half the story – you need a professionally trained clinician who knows how to use it too!)
Of course, many other devices can be used to improve pigmentation and clear skin. Fractitional Lasers like Halo are an example. Even Microneedling with active serums used during treatment can result in pigmentation changes.
The key thing is to have your skin assessed properly before embarking on any treatment plan. Melasma, for example, is a type of pigmentation that acts differently to the other solar spots. It can be made much worse by IPL or BBL used without appropriate pre and post-treatment care. And you need to be sure any dark spots are not a melanoma skin cancer! If an inexperienced person were to zap the colour out of a melanoma, that could delay diagnosing a deadly disease.
So, get on to it! Use the cooler months to really build your skin health and learn about how to look after your skin all year round.
The Mayah Clinic is a professional boutique skin care clinic in Lakelands. They provide a wide variety of beauty treatments, skin care, cosmetic medicine and laser, cosmetic tattooing, Emcyte Pure PRP and Vaginal Rejuvenation.