A deeper dive into pigmentation and the Fitzpatrick Scale

Hyperpigmentation happens when our body produces too much melanin, leading to dark patches of skin such as dark circles, freckles, dark spots and acne marks. Often caused by sun exposure, hyperpigmentation comes hand in hand with open pores, acne, and dull, uneven skin texture. Our skin is made up of layers called the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis is the top outer layer of skin, while the dermis sits deeper underneath. Excess melanin caused by hyperpigmentation can be found within both layers. While the depth of the excess melanin depends on its cause, it can sometimes be difficult to know how deep the hyperpigmentation is. The chart below can be looked at as a general guide:



People with Fitzpatrick skin type 1 or 2 have a high risk of sun damage and will see earlier signs of aging. They are also at higher risk of developing skin cancer, sun spots, age spots, freckles and will often suffer from more intense experiences of sunburn and UV trauma. People with Fitzpatrick skin types 3 or 4 are still at risk of the same kinds of experiences as types 1 and 2; however, UV exposure can often result in low-level tanning. However, it is still essential they protect their skin as they are still at a moderate to high risk of experiencing adverse results if their skin suffers UV based trauma.

People with Fitzpatrick skin types 5 and 6 rarely burn unless exposed to the harshest form of UVA and UVB. Even then it’s highly unlikely skin type 6 would experience any adverse trauma. However, people with type 5 and 6 skin will often suffer from more wound trauma pigmentation and hormonal pigmentation issues. For instance, scarring will usually result in an area of hyperpigmentation (dark spots or patches around trauma site), and some trauma may result in hypopigmentation (lightening around spots of patches of trauma). Treating pigmentation is a process. Here’s where we start:

We need to understand the cause of the pigmentation happened so that we can figure out the approximate depth and the best plan of attack. We recommend:

Start having regular bi-weekly (or at least monthly) clinical facial treatments that have a resurfacing element. These will help break down surface elements of pigmentation. Using a facial that can be customised specifically to your type of skin and type of pigmentation is necessary. Our aestheticians recommend: The iS CLINICAL Brightening Resurfacing Peel offered on dermoi.com. During this treatment, our aestheticians combine an advanced Glycolic Acid, Retinol and Vitamin B3 Resurfacing mask, together with an intensive rejuvenating mask, biodynamic serums and reparative complexes to target hyperpigmentation and break up pockets of melanin. You can book this treatment now at dermoi.com and one of our aestheticians can be at your door ready to start you on your pigmentation journey, in just two hours. Alongside your regular clinically proven treatments, it’s essential to follow an effective homecare routine. We recommend using light peeling elements like Salicylic and Glycolic Acid, alongside Tyrosinases inhibitors and Vitamin C. We also recommend using Vitamin A, specifically a Retinaldehyde-based Vitamin A, to gently and effectively treat Hyperpigmentation. When it comes to home care, our aestheticians suggest the following products:


Osmosis Calm vitamin A Serum:
Ideal for treating hyperpigmentation, the Vitamin A in this serum conditions your complexion to encourage quicker skin rejuvenation

Osmosis Enlighten Serum:
This pigment-fading serum lightens skin and diminishes the appearance of age spots with focused treatments utilising safe lightening ingredients.

iS CLINICAL Cleansing Complex:
This product resurfaces and removes dead skin cells. Glycolic Acid creates an even skin texture and smooth surface, leaving you with a glowing complexion.

iS CLINICAL Active Serum:
This powerhouse serum is clinically proven to treat premature ageing, hyperpigmentation and acneic skin. Mushroom Extract and Arbutin work together to balance and even out skin tone and reduce dark spots by delaying melanin production.

All of these are available to order at the dermoi! store now here.

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