Obtaining perfect skin is not exclusive to battling your wrinkles and blemishes. Often, the most important aspect of a healthy complexion is an even tone, thus, our mission to clear the face of all pigment irregularity. Uneven skin tone can be caused by many factors, including sun exposure, the use of birth control pills, pregnancy, acne and facial rashes. Visible dark patches are often found in the superficial aspect of the skin, the epidermis. In treating dark patches, chemical peels and microdermabrasion can help by increasing skin renewal and polishing off these top layers. Lasers can also treat the dark patches. By identifying the targeted pigment color, and matching it to a specifically calibrated light wavelength, the spots can be eliminated.
Topical creams containing alpha hydroxy acids and/or Vitamin A or prescriptions containing retinoids (such as Renova) have been quite effective in treating pigment discoloration. The gold-standard in topical therapy has always been hydroquinones, an ingredient that works to lighten areas by reducing the production of melanin. Newer topical formulations contain plant extracts which claim to perform the same function without hydroquinone. Furthermore, many pharmaceutical companies have created creams that include several ingredients in one: Vitamin A, Hydroquinone, anti-inflammatory agents, sunscreens, and glycolic acids, all formulated to restore an even complexion.
Dr Brad Katchen adds, "it is true that these creams, peels and lasers are quite effective at evening out skin tone. That is not to say that discoloration won’t return after treatment. When you return to the sun, all the efforts can be reversed. Therefore, you need to keep to a strict sunscreen regimen, with a high SPF, and be careful to stay out of the sun.”