When it comes to skin of colour there are options out there for treatment. With dark skin as with all skins types problems will arise from time to time. Darker skins usually suffer more with skin pigmentation. Pigmentation is when the melanin producing melanocytes are not functioning properly causing pigment (the colour in your skin) to be unevenly distributed.
In dark skinned people this can appear in patches on the face, and it can be quite obvious to other people. People with dark skin are also prone to ‘post inflammatory hyperpigmentation’. This occurs when the skin is marked for some reason whether by a cut, acne and even a facial treatment on skin that is not adequately prepped.
The inflammation causes the skin to heal a different colour to the surrounding skin, often a darker brown or even black colour. Many of our patients attend us with these marks on their faces or their necks, there are a lot of treatment options out there but they are not always suitable for dark skinned people, for example IPL (intense pulsed light, often favoured for treating brown marks) is not suitable as IPl treatments would burn the skin in a dark skinned patient as it would be attracted to the melanin in the skin. A treatment which we find very effective in treating skin of colour is Obagi Nuderm.
Obagi Nu-Derm utilises Hydroquinone which is the name of a drug which inhibits melanin production- so if there is no more melanin being produced then the pigmentation will improve! This process takes time and supervision by a doctor experienced in it’s use.
What is in the regime?
Foaming cleanser – To remove oil and clean the skin-this product is used twice a day morning and night.
Toner – To balance and tone the skin- this product is used twice a day, morning and night after cleansing.
Clear– (a product which works on the pigmentation in the upper layers of the skin)this is applied all over the face in the morning and just to the areas of pigment at night.
Blender with Tretinoin – (together these products will deliver hydroquinone to the area of the skin where melanin is produced, to control the production- these products are only used at night, they are mixed together and applied all over the face.
Exfoderm – Exfoderm encourages the skin to exfoliate at a faster rate, this means that the pigmentation will flake away on a regular basis; it also controls oil and gives the skin a healthy glow. Exfoderm is used once a day in the morning.
A high sun protection factor – This is included in the pack, when patient’s use Obagi Nuderm their skin will be more susceptible to burning, as we are supressing melanin which is the skin’s protection from the sun. Therefore it is essential to apply sunscreen throughout the days, especially during the summer and bright winter days.
What should I expect while using Obagi Nuderm?
While you are using Obagi Nu-Derm you will find that your skin becomes dry, red and flaky. Your skin is meant to peel, peeling varies from patient to patient, but it is a necessary part of the process. The redness and peeling usually settles down within 6-12 weeks of commencing the regime. The more you stick you your regime, the quicker your skin will become accustomed to the products.
How long until I see results?
You will see results very quickly with Nuderm, some patients see an improvement within a few weeks, and we do encourage you to continue your treatment to the time frame given by Dr Fay.
What should I expect after treatment?
When you are finished your course of treatment you can expect fresh, healthy skin with an even complexion. Your areas of pigmentation should be gone and the skin underneath will be in great condition!
What if I do not want to use Hydroquinone?
There are some patients that do not like the idea of using Hydroquinone, there are some myths about Hydroquinone, but we can assure you that under correct and competent supervision Hydroquinone is 100% safe and effective. Although there will be some instances where Hydroquinone is not suitable, in which case there is an alternative – ZO Skin Medical range. You can use a product known as Brightenex which contains 1% retinol, this has also been proven to have a melanogenesis effect on melanocytes ( switches off the melanin producing cells, thus reducing melanin from producing incorrectly) this product works quite effectively too, but it also needs careful supervision and a prescription from your doctor.
Use of these products must be under the supervision of your doctor, your suitability for the products will be assessed and the correct product range will be chosen for you. You will meet with an aesthetician regularly throughout your treatment for check-ups. This ensures that the product is used safely and effectively. When you come to the end of your treatment plan you will meet with Dr Fay to discuss your further options.. You will have full access to an aesthetician throughout your treatment to answer any questions that you might have.
To book a consultation today please call us on 01 685 3100.