Throughout one’s lifetime most of us will be affected at some point or by some form of skin problem. Skin pigmentation disorders in particular although not life threatening can be truly socially disabling and cause much distress with individuals, because of their visual aspect on the skin.
In a recent study, Zion, a market research company, has valued the pigmentation disorder treatment market at approximately USD 5,283.82 million in 2017 and it is forecasted to generate revenue of around USD 8,479.08 million by end of 2024, with a growth rate of around 7.02% between 2018 and 2024 (1). Although these figures look primarily commercial, they nonetheless give a fairly good idea of the scope of such skin problems worldwide today.
Education and prevention such as appropriate and simple skin care routines to follow so as to keep a healthy-looking skin as long as possible remains the best approach to deal with them and reduce their impact as much as possible.
This article will focus on skin pigmentation disorders that can be targeted with NUNII’s products; pigmentation disorders such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, melasma and age spots. Patients suffering from any of these conditions should consult quickly with a dermatologist in order to request the best possible treatment protocols and safe solutions to manage the pigmentation safely with as little as possible their everyday routines and activities and to ensure that their skin capital is managed and protected long term.
- Pigmentation disorders
Hyperpigmentation of the skin is a very common problem, with many patients seeking therapies to improve their cosmetic appearance. It is the result of an increase in cutaneous melanin deposition either by increased melanin synthesis or, less commonly, by a greater number of melanocytes. The amount of color change depends on the location of the melanin deposition. Epidermal involvement appears as brown discoloration whereas dermal deposition appears as blue-grey. Mixed epidermal and dermal depositions appear as brown-grey discolorations. The use of a Wood’s lamp can often be very beneficial in determining the location of melanin deposition showing enhancement of color contrast in lesional skin for the epidermal type, but not the dermal types. The mixed type has enhancement in some areas of lesional skin, but not in other areas. Whether the melanin is deposited in the epidermis or dermis is important therapeutically because dermal hyperpigmentation is much more challenging to treat. The most common pigmentation disorders for which patients seek treatment are melasma and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). These conditions may have a major impact because disfiguring facial lesions can significantly affect a person’s psychological and social wellbeing, contributing to lower productivity, social functioning, and self-esteem.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation – otherwise known as PIH – is a kind of hyperpigmentation that can affect the face and body. PIH appears as patches, and often occurs on skin that has already suffered some sort of injury or inflammation such as acne. The main cause of PIH is due to increased melanin production on exposure to the sun. Melanin is typically the pigment that defines the colour of an individual’s skin. Skin colour types are often classified along a scale established by dermatologist Pr. Fitzpatrick, from 1 to 6 skin, from very light to dark. On all skin types, the increase in melanin production is triggered by the production of melanin as a means to protect itself in response to a recent inflammation or injury.
Both men and women are equally impacted by PIH, and all skin types can get post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. However, it is more prevalent in darker tones of skin due to the higher content of melanin in their skin: in fact, PIH is one of the most common reasons why patients with darker skin tones consult with a dermatologist.
Treatment for PIH tends to be a chronic problem with requires often very long treatments to achieve visible improvement. Thanks to the safe and non- irritating aspect of the NUNII product range they can safely be used long term even on dark skin types. In the evening a combination of skin exfoliating ingredients and skin lightening ingredients to reduce the dark spots. During the day, the skin must be protected with the use of antioxidants and replenishing ingredients combined with the daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) is an essential part of any therapeutic regimen.
This skin condition is also known as chloasma, is a form of hyperpigmentation that appears on the face, especially on the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead and upper lip and also sometimes on other sun-exposed parts of the body, such as the forearms. Men can be prone to developing melasma, but it is much more common in women.
Melasma is caused by an increase in the production of melanin. This increase is thought to be triggered by changes in hormone levels, especially those caused by pregnancy and oral contraceptives. Exposure to intense sunlight may also be a cause for melasma: it is a major contributor to the development of this skin condition. It is not harmful to individuals’ health, but it can cause social inhibition and distress to those impacted by it.
The treatment of melasma requires treatment by a dermatologist or skin care professional: treatment therapies may involve laser therapy, on local areas: the skin practitioner targets the superficial layer of the affected skin with the laser. Such treatments require significant expertise as the laser intensity must be continuously and carefully controlled by the physician. Another, non-invasive treatment approach is the use of the NUNII products which comprises of the use of chemical peelings stimulating the growth of new skin cells revealing new skin combined with the application of topical lightening products to regulate the over production of melanin in the skin.
- Age spots
Another skin condition that NUNII products efficiently deal with are age spots. Age spots are also commonly known as solar lentigines. They appear as small, flat and darkened patches of skin that are coloured from light brown to black. They are most common in people in their 40’s, but they can occur earlier. This is why they are most often referred to as age spots. They’re usually found on areas of the body that are frequently exposed to the sun: face, neck, shoulders, forearms and on the hands.
Sun avoidance and protection is the most effective preventative strategy to use to avoid the premature appearance of age spots. In this respect, it is worth noting that a great deal of individuals underestimate the daily impact of the sun on their exposed skin: sun rays affect skin even on cloudy days, so limiting the time you spend in the sun — especially between 12:00 noon and 4:00 p.m. — will also help reduce the appearance of age spots. Lasers are often the first line therapy selected by dermatologists to treat age spots however it is also imperative to associate the application of a skin lightening creams to counteract or prevent any potential post inflammatory pigmentation caused by the lasers. NUNII professional and homecare products can effectively be used alone and can be ideally combined with laser treatments. The non-invasive, easy-to-follow NUNII treatment protocols are followed with the help of a certified dermatologist to obtain optimal results.
All skin disorders mentioned above deal with hyperpigmentation, and although all may not be avoided altogether, common-sense approaches can be taken to prevent or improve such skin conditions. The most important behaviour to adopt is to protect one’s skin from the sun and be extremely watchful of the long-term impact of intense sun exposure, which can exacerbate hyperpigmentation problems.
Next one should carefully select non-invasive non irritating professional medical treatments that will improve but not exacerbate the pigmentation problem long term. Thanks to the safe and non-irritating NUNII Uniq White System are ideally suited to deal with skin hyperpigmentation disorders in all skin types. If you are interested to find out more information, feel free to ask questions via the NUNII website or to consult a reputable dermatologist to request the NUNII treatments. As always, NUNII strives to bring the latest innovative treatment solutions that science can offer to patients and dermatologists to target unwanted skin pigmentation. NUNII’s fundamental research programme has allowed the discovery and development of ever-more efficient treatment mechanisms and molecules to improve patients’ comfort, quality of life and well-being.
(1) Zion Market Research, April 2018: in “Pigmentation Disorders Treatment Market by Treatment (Chemical Peels, Microdermabrasion, Topical Drugs, Phototherapy, and Laser Therapy), by Key Disease Indications (Vitiligo, Melasma, Albinism, Solar Lentigines, and Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation), and by End-Use (Dermatology Centers, Hospitals, and Aesthetic Clinics): Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis and Forecast, 2017 – 2024”
(2) “Postinflammatory Hyperpigmentation Treatment & Management” Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH. Updated: Apr 25, 2019