Dark spots: What are they?
A build-up of melanin can result in the formation of coloured marks on the skin's surface. These dark spots are mainly located on the face, neckline and the back of the hands, and are usually harmless. They are associated with skin ageing.
What causes these pigmentation disorders?
Sun spots or sun lentigos form due to direct, prolonged exposure to UV rays. They can appear with age.
So-called age spots are common from age forty onwards. They are caused by oxidative stress and changes in the skin's and the melanocytes’ metabolism.
Contraceptive pills and certain medicines which affect the body's hormonal balance can cause dark spots to form after exposure to the sun. Hormone activity can also lead to the appearance of pregnancy mask, which affects certain pregnant women (before and/or after the birth).
How do dark spots develop?
A major advance in the understanding of dark spots and their impact on the quality of the complexion
Signs of an uneven complexion - Nascent dark spots
Dark spots originate from and in melanocytes, pigment-producing cells in the basal layer of the epidermis. These cells react to stimuli by producing too much melanin. These excess melanin deposits gradually begin to rise up within the epidermis and to alter the uniformity of the skin, but remain invisible until they reach the skin’s surface.
Loss of skin uniformity - Established dark spots
Deposits of excess melanin arrive at the upper epidermal layers.
The dark spots become established on-surface and are thus visible.
Long-term alteration of the skin's uniformity - Recurrent dark spots
It is possible to reduce dark spots at the epidermal surface. However, the melanocytes responsible for their appearance remain overactive.
The melanotope - within the epidermis but most importantly the dermis and the dermo-epidermal junction - remains abnormal (chronic epidermal micro-inflammation, modification of the dermal matrix).
As a result, dark spots will reappear and once again impact the quality of the complexion.
How can we correct dark spots and even out the complexion?
A comprehensive approach to treatment?
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