Remember the whole ‘no hat, no play’ thing in primary school? If only the rule applied beyond the playground. Because despite being diligent with SPF, every minute we spend under the sun accumulates over time, taking a toll on the skin. While early signs of wrinkles can be spotted and (hopefully) stalled, sometimes all it takes is an al fresco brunch or that Euro summer you saved up for to elevate a couple of freckles from Meghan Markle-endearing, to full blown pigmentation. But according to Crystal Patel, owner of Clinicalase, our problem is thinking there’s a one-method fits all for fading pigmentation. “The biggest misconception is that all hyperpigmentation is the same and is able to be treated equally, unfortunately, this is just not the case,” says Patel.  “Pigmentation comes in many forms and often requires a multidisciplinary approach to treatment and prevention.” Here, Patel presents her tried-and-tested game plan for preventing pigmentation and reveals the next-gen laser that can stop dark spots in their tracks.

First, know what you’re dealing with
Not all spots are the same, says Patel. “Melasma is a common, chronic form of pigmentation seen in females, that has a hormonal influence, while solar lentigines are often brought on by UV exposure and are most commonly known as sun spots or freckles. The most common location is the face, but we are finding more and more people are starting to address the neck, chest and hands.”

Next, never forget SPF
Slathering on sunscreen daily can help existing pigmentation from growing and prevent future discoloration. “Wear an SPF – rail, hail or shine!” says Patel. “It’s something that we drill into everyone that walks through our doors of the clinics, regardless of the type of treatment they are undergoing. The sun in Australia is so harsh and with a rising number of skin cancers SPF it is an absolute MUST!”

Then, step up your approach
For brown spot removal and management, professional peels that provoke a wound-healing response work to expel dark pigment from the skin, but for stubborn blotches on pigmentation, Patel says lasers are very effective in diminishing even the most difficult of discolorations, particularly the Pico Genesis. “It is a highly effective laser treatment for the skin. This cutting-edge technology combines the benefits of three wavelengths delivered in ultra-short pulses, picosecond and nanosecond, to create non-thermal, photo-mechanical disruption and remodelling of the deeper layers of the skin. In addition to general rejuvenation, the multiple wavelengths also enable customised treatments to target a number of different concerns such as superficial pigmentation, sun spots, melasma, acne scarring, ice pick scarring and much more.”

What can you expect from a Pico Genesis treatment?
Less downtime, for one. “The ultra-short pulse durations mean amazing results can be achieved with much less downtime than traditional lasers with a far lower risk of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.”

Does it work on all skin tones?
In a word, yes. “The most incredible thing about the PICO Genesis treatments is that it is suitable for all skin types and colour,” says Patel. “Anyone who is concerned with discoloured skin, wants an improvement in fine lines & wrinkles, improved texture and overall improvement in skin health, including on the neck, décolletage and hands would greatly benefit from a PICO Genesis treatment.”

So, how many sessions are needed?
“Generally, results are seen after just one treatment, we usually advise around 3 -6 treatments depending on what it is exactly we are aiming to treat,” recommends Patel.

Tile Image Credit: Instagram, @georgiafowler