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Living with pigmentation

By MiNDFOOD

Living with pigmentation
One woman shares her story about dealing with skin pigmentation issues and a successful treatment.

Hyperpigmentation can result in maddening discolouration and patchiness on the skin, but in the November issue of MiNDFOOD, Beauty Editor Liz Hancock tell us not to get mad when there are so many modern solutions to help you get even.

Here she shares the story of  Sarah, a 43-year-old mother, who battled the skin condition recently.

“When I turned 30 I noticed some irregular pigmentation, it came up around my eyes but I thought it was because I was living in Asia at the time and it was sun damage. It looked like pale brown uneven splotches of pigment, not freckles, more like splodges, not symmetrical.

I spent years trying all sorts of topical creams, alternative therapies, treatments. I did Chinese herbal medicine, I did absolutely everything you name it. It was trial and error but nothing worked. I spent a lot of time going to the doctors and clinics and finally I was told it was melasma, and that there was pretty much nothing I could do for it. Interestingly my sister got a pregnancy mask and that just disappeared again after birth. But when I had my daughter it didn’t do anything. It was when I went back on the pill after having her that I noticed it got really bad. I noticed once it’s there, and once you’ve got new pigmentation, you can’t get rid of it again.

One day I read in a magazine that lots of American movie stars were getting Fraxel [laser] for collagen and they were saying it helped with their pigmentation, so I decided to try it. I had two treatments, the first was full face and then a more targeted one. I have no idea what the Fraxel feels like, they put anaesthetic on your face, once that wears off it feels almost like a sunburn, but it’s manageable. I didn’t need to take painkillers but you wouldn’t want to go out of the house for a day. I noticed an improvement after the first treatment. It takes seven days to work, your face goes quite brown and then starts faintly peeling. I have to wear a zinc sunscreen because they say you shouldn’t go in the sun at all after, and I also use a special line of cell-targeting skin care, and the combination of that and the laser has kept it at bay. Now I only have a little pigmentation left, faint enough that if I put make-up on it’s not apparent.”

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