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Control of Facial Pigmentation - Part 1
By Dr. Kenneth Dickie
Jan 26, 2008 - 11:22:54 AM

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Clear, even-toned skin is the envy of all- if you are fortunate to have it you may have received compliments about your fabulous complexion.   However, since you are reading this page, you probably do have skin tone unevenness or darkened patches.   Well, there is no reason to worry; there are treatments to help resolve these problems.


Treatment of pigmentation abnormalities involves the use of topical creams to eradicate darkened areas of the skin which may result form hormones, sun damage, injuries, skin-type characteristics, medications and more.   Hyperpigmentation can be anything from melasma /cholasma often attributed to pregnancy or hormonal imbalances to freckles.


The treatments vary from melanin blocking agents combined with topical medications such as Retin A which causes the body to exfoliate the skin to rid the body of the hyperpigmentation while prohibiting new melanin production to laser treatments.   The treatments wholly depend upon your needs and skin type.   Some treatments can actually cause hypo- (lack of) and hyperpigmentation problems in some individuals.   Care must be taken in proper diagnosis for successful results.


Your treatment depends upon the cause of hyperpigmentation and the treatment which is suited to your needs and skin type.   Some you very well may be able to handle, some you may not be a candidate for.   The first step is consulting with a qualified specialist to determine the cause and then go over your options for a solution.   For instance, you may be a candidate for hydroquinone use in hypergigmentations but not laser resurfacing.   Some may only need medication cessation or substitution.


Not all skin types and individuals will be a candidate for every technique or treatment.   This largely depends upon your skin type, wound type response and the presence of ethnicity in your family history (keloids and hypo- or hyperpigmentation can form in darker skinned individuals).


Regardless, and especially for surgical applications- an individual must be in good health, not have any active diseases or pre-existing medical conditions and must have realistic expectation of the out come of your treatment.   Communication is crucial in reaching one’s goals.   You must be able to voice your desires to your physician if he/she is to understand what your desired results are.   Discuss your goals with your physician so that you may reach an understanding with what can realistically be achieved.


You must be mentally and emotionally stable to undergo a cosmetic procedure or treatment.   Some of these treatments will require patience and stability in dealing with the healing period.   There is sometimes a lull or depression after surgery or during prolonged treatments and if there is already a pre-excisting emonational problem, this low period can develop into a more serious issue.   Please consider this before committing to a procedure.   If the above describes you and you have the desire to rid yourself of hypergimentation, you may be a good candidate for some of these treatments.


Have a plastic surgery question for Dr. Dickie?   If so, e-mail us at info@BahamasInstituteOfPlasticSurgery.com .   Dr. Kenneth Dickie is certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Plastic Surgery.   He specializes in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery as well as Plastic, Reconstructive, and Hand Surgery.   Dr. Dickie has been in clinical practice since 1984, and is currently a member of the Canadian and American Societies of Plastic Surgery, and the Canadian and American

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