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Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation problem has concerned people at every single age group. 80% of people will face this issue in their life. For example, genetic pigmentation will start to appear at age 10+. Sunlight-induced pigmentation will manifest at age 20+ while age spots will manifest at age 30+. All kinds of age-related, hormone-related pigmentation can be shown on skin at age 40+. If you would like to keep a clean face without blemish, efforts to prevent and get rid of pigmentation should be made.

Hyperpigmentation is caused by the excess production of melanin, and can be triggered by a range of factors such as sun exposure, gender (commonly seen in women). Pigmentation is usually found on the face, cheeks and forehead, and manifested as an uneven appearance in skin colour than the surrounding areas.

The origin of pigmentation is melanin. Melanocytes (our melanin-producing skin cells) stored in the epidermis layer generate melanin when it is triggered by UV light. The more light exposed, the more Melanin will be produced to protect the underneath skin cells from the UV light related DNA damage and inflammation. Then, the melanin produced will stay and appear as spots on the skin. Through the natural skin metabolic cycle, the melanin will be metabolised and moved from the epidermis layer to the stratum corneum (outermost layer of the epidermis), and finally detached from the skin. A full skin metabolic cycle is around 28 days.

The causes of pigmentation

1. Genetic factors: A common example is genetic fleckles. Developing during the fetal development period; manifesting at age 6-12; reaching its peak at age 18.

2. External factors: Sunlight exposure will trigger and worsen hyperpigmentation. Application of poor quality skincare/makeup products. Irritation and physical damage.

3. Internal factors: endocrine imbalance

  • The increase in tyrosinase activity caused by pregnancy leads to the deposition of melanin;

  • Acid base imbalance in the body. Acidic bodies tend to have slower metabolism that will lead to pigmentation;

  • Malnutrition, lack of vitamins and slow metabolism can cause spots formation.

4. Mental stress, fatigue, neurological disorders, and adrenal sebum insufficiency can increase tyrosinase activity, resulting in hyperpigmentation.

5. Light sensitive

Oral antibiotics and contraceptives use can enhance the absorption of UV light

Food: Shellfish and seaweed family

Plant: citrus family fruits and moraceae family plant enhance the absorption of UV light

6. Diseases:

  • Liver and kidney malfunction, poor blood-formation function, poor blood circulation, diabetes due to poor metabolism;
  • Over secretion of thyroid and hyperthyroidism will increase the activity of tyrosinase leading to pigmentation;
  • Skin diseases and acne will cause pigmentation;
  • Aging slows down the metabolic rate.

Symptoms and Group

Pigmentation is a common type of facial hyperpigmentation disease that appears on the face and body. It can be divided into active and passive types.

● Active type: The formation is activated by aminoase that can be triggered by sunlight exposure and endocrine imbalance. The pigment can be in a range of shades of colour and darkness, and can be removed. Common active spots are Melasma, sun spots, Chloasma, and dark spots.

● Passive type: Stable pigmentation. External environmental factors do not affect the development of pigmentation. Removal of a pigment is permanent. Common passive spots are genetic spots, freckles, age spots and moles.

In medical beauty treatment, there are some commonly seen and treated pigmentations.

1、Freckles

Causes: Mainly gene-related but can be triggered or worsened by sun exposure

Group: people with lighter skin colour

Affected areas: nose or cheek

Appearance: Scattered spots, usually brown, generally darker in color

They are epidermal spots and are a common brown spot-like pigmentation found on the face. They can be as small as the tip of the needle to the size of a rice grain. The number of freckles varies, and they do not group together. Generally, freckles start to show in childhood with women having a higher tendency than men, and family inheritance contributes significant impact on onset.

2、 Melasma / Chloasma

Causes: Dietary style, sun exposure, mood, pregnancy, change of temperature.

Group: Pregnancy women, women, people with liver diseases

Affected areas: cheekbone, forehead, nose, around mouth or chest

Appearance: Symmetrical and butterfly-shaped spots, so it is also called “butterfly spot”. It shows as yellowish brown or dark brown pigment on the face. It can be in varied darkness and irregular shape, and with clear edges, smooth surface, no inflammation sign, no pain and itching feeling.

Melasma is a pigmentation that occurs in the dermal layer, and its formation could be complicated. Its occurrence can be related to hormonal changes, and estrogen and progesterone level changes. Commonly seen in women. Also, people with chronic diseases such as female genital diseases, menstrual disorders, dysmenorrhea, liver diseases, visceral tumors, tuberculosis and long-term medication are vulnerable to melasma. The pigmentation could be worsened by over exposure to sun, weather, and endocrine factors. Mental states such as depression, staying up late, insomnia, and fatigue can aggravate pigmentation. Melasma is also called “liver spot” because clinically found that many patients with liver disease have melasma; it is also called “butterfly spot” due to its symmetrical shape along cheeks; “pregnancy spot” is another name for Melasma as it also occurs frequently during pregnancy.

3、 Acquired dermal melanocytosis (ADM)

Causes: Inborn, use of poor quality cosmetics, people with gynecological diseases or ovarian dysfunction

Group: Women, aged 25 to 45

Affected areas: Around cheekbone, temple

Appearance: Several brown or dark brown spot clusters are distributed symmetrically in a round or irregular shape, with clear boundaries. Varied in numbers.

Acquired dermal melanocytosis (ADM) is an inborn but non-genetic pigmented disease. It is a dermal spot as the pigment is deposited in the dermis layer. Symptoms are similar to freckles and Melasma, manifested by symmetrical bark gray spots on the cheekbones, which frequently occur between 25 and 45 years old. Occurs in women more than men. Some studies suggest that it is a damage formed by melanocytes that fail to pass through the epidermis and dermis layers to stay in the dermis layer during embryonic development. Nevus of Ota falls into this category but with a more severe condition.

4、Sunspots

Causes: Excess sun exposure over time

Group: People had excess sun exposure over time

Affected areas: Face especially nose and cheekbone

Appearance: Star-shaped brown spots

Sunspot is the hyperpigmentation on the skin where it was overly exposed to sun, manifested as small brown and black dots and exist at the epidermal layer. Sunspots and freckles are similar in colour, shape and Histopathology. However, sunspots are caused by excess sunlight exposure and manifest on skin after being exposed to the sun. Noses and cheekbones are usually the areas that have the most sunlight and form sunspots.

5、Age spots

Causes: Age, sunlight or impairment of ovarian function

Group: Middle-aged and elderly, but the onset age has been pushed earlier

Affected areas: Body parts that have the most sun exposure over time

Appearance: Gray, dark brown or black irregular macules or patches on the skin. They are smooth, uniform in color, different in sizes, and with clear edges. Also, spots may fade over time.

The medical term for age spots is seborrheic keratosis which is related to the skin aging process. It is generally believed that the age spot is an early sign of skin aging, indicating that cells have entered the aging stage. As the development of age spots is also related to sun exposure, age spots are commonly found at the body parts that have the most sunlight exposure on middle-aged and elderly people, such as the back of the hands and forehead. It occurs at the epidermal layer, and can also be caused by impairment of ovarian function.

6、 Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Cause: Darkening of the skin in an area of prior chronic or acute inflammation

Group: Everyone

Affected areas: Areas of prior inflammation

Appearance: Usually light brown, purple-brown to black acne marks

When the skin is damaged, such as acne, infection, sunburn and exposure to irritants, inflammatory factors will increase, causing melanocytes to become active and produce a large amount of melanin. Recurrence of eczema and dermatitis can cause a similar reaction. As acne marks are by-products of pigmentation, they are one of the hyperpigmentations. Newly formed acne marks are red while old acne marks are brown. The longer it stays on the skin, the more difficult it is to eliminate.

Treatment

Like treating wrinkles, getting rid of pigmentation is a long term effort and do not expect any quick result. Using cosmetics to treat pigmentation is not the most effective and satisfying. On the contrary, medical beauty treatments offer promising alternatives.

A. PicoSure Laser Pigmentation Treatment

What is PicoSure

PicoSure is a picosecond laser treatment that can safely and effectively remove tattoos and pigmentation. It has been certified by the FDA and approved for use in treatment of pigmented skin problems and pigmentation. A specific wavelength of light (755nm) is used to remove melanin. This treatment is 7 times more effective than traditional laser, and less high thermal damage and less rebound. The specific lens will deliver specific wavelength energy into cells to breakdown melanin, stimulate growth of collagen and elastic fibers, and effectively improve the elasticity of aging cells.

How does PicoSure work:

Under “BOOST” mode, the pulse width of the PicoSure can be adjusted and compressed from 750 to 550PS, which can increase the pressure by 70%. The 755 nm wavelength light that can be absorbed by melanin is irradiated on melanin, and all the energy is released within picoseconds. Due to the high energy released within a short period of time, melanin molecules are not able to absorb all the energy and eventually burst into smaller particles. The resulting particles will then be eliminated by the body.

Procedure:

1. VISIA examination: Access skin condition or existing skin problems with assistance of data analysis and picture analysis.

2. Face-to-face consultation: Provide treatment plan based on client’s needs and goals.

3. PATCH TEST: Perform a PATCH TEST 24 hrs prior the treatment. Proceed with the treatment when no allergy or abnormal sign is shown.

4. Pre-treatment preparation: Clean, disinfect and apply anesthetics at the treatment areas. Put on safety goggles.

5. During the treatment: Deliver wavelength pulse at the pigmentation areas, repeat steps at the severe pigmented areas. Cooling effect from cold air outlet.

6. Post-treatment: Apply aloe vera gel to soothe and calm down the treatment areas.

7. Post-treatment caring.

Duration: 1-1.5 hrs

Who is it for:

  • People with pigmentation such as freckles, sunspots and age spots;

  • People with severe pigmented spots or severe skin photoaging;

  • People with stubborn pigments such as chloasma;

  • People with worsening pigmentation. People with pigmentation that seriously affects the appearance of the face;

  • People who want to eliminate pigmentation effectively;

  • People who want to improve skin condition and reduce skin pores while eliminating pigmentation;

Ai Beauty PicoSure Laser Pigmentation Treatment:

The only Picosure laser equipment equipped with both “755 nm wavelength” and “skin cleansing” functions. Ai Beauty has built a strategic cooperation with Cynosure (the head office of PicoSure) and is the one of the best medical aesthetic clinics equipped with PicoSure.

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B. M22 laser treatment

What is M22:

M22 is an innovative photoelectric skin revitalisation instrument jointly developed by Lumenis, Stanford University and Harvard University. It innovatively combines the world leading technologies (OPT technology and fractional non-ablative technology – RESURFX) to effectively treat pigmented lesions, acne scars, surgical scars, stretch marks, swelling lines, skin reconstruction (including reducing pores size, hair removal, skin rejuvenation, skin whitening, moisturizing, etc.), facial lifting, and wrinkle removal. M22 has obtained the US FDA and the EU CE certification and is the cutting-edge technology that delivers top skin rejuvenation treatment.

How does M22 work:

M22 laser treatment uses the core OPT technology and the only true fractional non-ablative technology, RESURFX. The OPT light acts like a missile, accurately locating the pigment, penetrating the pigment, thermally breakdown the pigment. The treatment can be used to treat  chloasma, freckles, age spots, coffee spots, sunspots, scarlet nevus, acne marks, fractions of birthmarks, etc. As the emitted light is only absorbed by pigments with specific colour, this high specificity provides a promising treatment of eliminating pigment without damaging normal cells.

Procedure:

1. VISIA examination: Access skin condition or existing skin problems with assistance of data analysis and picture analysis.

2. Face-to-face consultation: Provide treatment plan based on client’s needs and goals.

3. Pre-treatment preparation: Clean and disinfect the treatment areas. Put on safety goggles and apply treatment gel.

4. Treatment: Full face treatment, repeat steps at servere areas.

5. Post-treatment: Remove the gel, clean the face and apply a medical grade repair mask to calm the face.

6. Post-treatment caring.

Duration: 60 mins

Who is M22 for:

  • People with pigmentation such as freckles, sunspots, and age spots;
  • People with photoaging skin:
  • People with vascular stains;
  • People with light conditions of pigmentation. People with red blood streaks and redness on the skin;
  • People who want to have the results of pigment elimination and skin whitening at the same time;
Ai Beauty Skin Photorejuvenation Treatment:

M22 is the best photorejuvenation equipement in the market. As a strategic partner of Lumenis in the UK, AI BEAUTY is authorized to become the designated medical beauty institution for the use of M22 Photorejuvenation equipment.

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C. Acid Peel

What is acid peel:

Acid peel is a skin resurfacing procedure involving application of acidic solution on the skin. The acidic solution dissolves the oil particles among cells on the outermost layer of the epidermis and promotes the removal of the outermost layer. It stimulates the renewal of skin cells, promotes the replacement of elastic fibers in the dermis, and maintains the healthy state of the skin. It also helps with skin whitening, removing acne marks, reducing pores size and fine lines, removing blackheads, and curing acne and chloasma.

How does acid peel work:

Pigment particles exist at the epidermis and dermis can form epidermal spots, pigmentation and acne marks. Acid peel can effectively improve these pigmentary conditions. The results of acid peel on the skin can be divided into three aspects: epidermal, pigmentary and dermal. In terms of epidermal and pigmentary results, acid peel can remove the accumulated skin layers, promote the renewal of epidermal cells, reduce melanin production, and improve scene condition due to the moisturizing power of the acidic solution. Acid peel can be used to treat acne because it not only relieves acne inflammation, but also helps to remove acne, light acne marks and scars. In terms of dermal results, acid peel can promote the production of collagen and the renewal of elastic fibers. The antioxidant capacity of the acidic solution helps effectively in preventing skin aging and reducing fine wrinkles.

Procedure:

1. VISIA examination: Access skin condition or existing skin problems with assistance of data analysis and picture analysis.

2. Face-to-face consultation: Provide suitable acid peel treatment plan based on client’s needs and goals.

3. Pre-treatment: Clean and disinfect the treatment areas.

4. Treatment: Apply an acidic solution on the face, waiting 1-5 mins.

5. End of treatment: Apply a neutraliser solution on face to terminate the acidic reaction and peeling reaction to avoid over peeling.

6. Cleaning. Post-treatment care.

Duration: 45-60 mins

Who is it for:

  • People with pigmentation who need to eliminate melanin first;
  • People with hyperpigmentation after inflammatory injury;
  • People who will receive PicoSure or skin photorejuvenation treatment;
  • People with problems of acne marks, whiteheads and large pores size;
Ai Beauty Acid Peel:

The acidic solution used in the Ai Beauty for acid peel treatment is the Milk Peel solution developed by the leading skin rejuvenation French brand Dermaceutic. Their Milk Peel solution is a complex acid which appears clean and transparent. The acid concentration and content ingredients are clearly labelled. Ai Beauty is committed to sourcing guaranteed products and services to clients for safe and effective treatments.

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D. BCN Mesotherapy

What is BCN:

BCN enlightening cocktail (Spanish) is an injection solution that can be used together with mesotherapy. Enlightening cocktail can tackle acne marks and various types of hyperpigmentation such as sunspots, freckles, age spots and pregnancy spots, helping to restore youthful skin.

How does the BCN enlightening cocktail work:

The BCN solution contains various high functionality ingredients. For example, the antioxidants to whiten and brighten the skin; kojic acid to promote cell growth factors, strengthen the immune system and tackle wrinkles; and glycolic acid to reduce fine lines and pigmentation, and repair photoaging damage. Treatment combining BCN with mesotherapy can lighten spots, inhibit melanin production, and clean and moisturise the skin all in one.

Procedure:

1. VISIA examination: Access skin condition or existing skin problems with assistance of data analysis and picture analysis.

2. Face-to-face consultation: Provide suitable mesotherapy treatment plan based on client’s needs and goals.

3. Pre-treatment preparation: Apply anesthetics. Clean and disinfect the whole face.

4. Treatment: Administer injection solution by hand. Repeat injection in severe areas.

5. Post-treatment repair: medical grade repair mask and QDEL repairing mask.

6. Post-treatment care.

Duration: 60 mins

Who is it for:

1. People with pigmentation such as freckles, sunspots, and age spots;

2. People with problem of photoaging;

3. People who want daily skin conditioning, pigment elimination and moisturising;

Ai Beauty BCN enlightening cocktail:

Spanish BCN enlightening cocktail solution, administered by British GMC/NMC registered medical professionals, combines with mesotherapy to create your own skin rejuvenation treatment.

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E. Skin whitening drip

What is IV drip:

The whitening drip solution will be delivered into the bloodstream by intravenous drip. The nutrients in the solution will travel throughout the body and provide a quick and even whitening effect.

How does whitening drip work:

The main ingredients are vitamin C and glutathione. Glutathione is an antioxidant that is produced naturally in our body. It detoxifies the liver, slows down skin aging, and prevents pigmentation with its anti yellowing power. Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant that can improve the efficacy of glutathione and protect other vitamins from oxidation, bringing the maximum whitening effect.

Procedure:

1、Face-to-face consultation: Doctor provides suggested treatment plan based on client’s condition and goals.

2、Treatment method: Intravenous injection, infusion.

3、Post-treatment care.

Duration: 30-45 mins

Who is it for:

1. People who start to develop pigmentation but not too serious;

2. People who have dull/yellowing/darken skin and want to lighten their skin;

3. People who want to eliminate pigment and inhibit melanin production at the same time;

Ai Beauty Skin Whitening Drip:

The skin whitening drip produced by Intravita (British) contains two key ingredients,  vitamin C and glutathione, and sterile saline to facilitate absorption. The content of the component is well indicated and does not contain any harmful ingredients such as tranexamic acid and ginkgo extract. With its transparent and safe ingredients, the drip solution will be delivered directly to the bloodstream by Intravenous injection to lighten the skin quickly, evenly and safely.

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Goodbye to chubby face, come to Ai Beauty Clinic,
for safe and professional medical treatment.

Ai Beauty Clinic is a CQC accredited clinic based in London, and also is strongly supported by Cynosure(the owner of Ulthreapy) and Cynosure (the owner of PicoSure).

With rich experience of treating clients of various conditions, led by a famous British medical chief trainer, practiced by doctors and nurses who are GMC/NMC-registered and worked in NHS national hospitals, Ai Beauty provides certified and safe medical beauty treatments.

Ai Beauty always puts safety first. Not only are all medical staff insured by independent medical policy, each client who comes to Ai Beauty Clinic is also insured by £5 millions medical insurance. This full insurance coverage allows clients to have a concern-free treatment experience.

Ai Beauty Clinic has served over 15,000 clients from all around the world, been covered by some famous media such as European Times and CW Television, and established trust and an excellent reputation among them.