Complexi-Light can used for Hyperpigmentation, Uneven skin tone, Acne marks, Age spots, Liver spots, Solar lentigines, Birthmarks, Freckles/Ephelides, Melasma/Chloasma, Scars, Photoaging changes, Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, Reduce wrinkles. For more information click the information below.
Birthmarks are coloured marks that are visible on the skin surface. They are often present at birth or develop soon after. The main types of birthmarks are:
- Vascular birthmarks (often red, pink or purple) caused by abnormal blood vessels on or under the skin.
- Pigmented birthmarks (usually brown) caused by clusters of pigment cells.
Vascular birthmarks often occur in the head and neck area, predominantly on the face. However both types of birthmarks can appear elsewhere. If surface blood vessels are affected, a vascular birthmark will appear red, purple or pink. If the effected vessels are deep, the birthmark will appear blue.
Pigmented birthmarks are tan or brown coloured. It is not fully understood why birthmarks occur, but they are not usually inherited. Vascular birthmarks are caused by abnormal blood vessels in or under the skin. Clusters of pigment cells cause pigmented birthmarks. For this reason, Complexi-Light is effective in treating pigmented birthmarks opposed to vascular birthmarks.
Ephelides is the Greek work and medical term for freckles. Freckles are 1-2 mm flat, well circumscribed, stain-like macular lesions on the skin. They are common in people with a fair complexion. Freckles are a genetic trait. They tend to appear on the cheeks, nose, arms and shoulders. Freckles fade in winter, however in summer, UV light can energise the melanin pigment.
A scar is a mark that is left on the skin after a wound or injury to the surface of the skin has healed. When the skin is wounded and there is a break in the body’s tissues, the body creates a protein called collagen as part of the healing process. Collagen builds up where the tissue has been damaged; helping to heal and strengthen the wound.
For a period of approximately three months or longer, new collagen continues to form and blood supply to the area increases causing the scar to become raised, lumpy and red. Some collagen then breaks down at the site of the wound, the blood supply reduces and the scar gradually becomes smoother, softer and paler.
Although some scars are permanent, they can fade over a period of up to two years. It is unlikely that they will fade any further after this time.
Scars can develop from certain skin conditions such as acne or chicken pox injuries.
Acne is a common skin condition that affects most people at some point in their life. It causes spots to develop on the skin, usually face, back and chest. Spots can range from surface blackheads and whiteheads which are mild. Acne marks can also form, which is a type of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is usually the result of nodular or cystic acne. They leave behind an inflamed red mark after the original acne lesion has resolved. This occurs most often in people with darker skin. This can be prevented by avoiding aggravation of the nodule or cyst.
Acne scarring can also develop as a complication of acne (from nodules and cysts) when serious spots burst and damage the surrounding skin.
There are three main types of acne scars:
- Ice pick scars – small, deep holes on the surface of the skin that looks like puncture marks.
- Rolling scars – covered by bands of scar tissue that form under the skin giving the surface of the skin an uneven appearance.
- Boxcar scars – round or oval depressions or craters on the skin.
Hyperpigmentation is caused by an overproduction of melanin – the pigment that gives our skin, hair and eyes its colour. Hyperpigmentation is when parts of the skin become darker in colour. Melanin is a pigment that is produced by melanocyte cells in the skin. If some areas of the skin becomes darkened or discoloured compared to other regions, hyperpigmentation may be the culprit. Both men and women of all age groups are susceptible to this problem causing uneven skin tone.
There are four main reasons why skin becomes uneven:
- Damage from the sun is one of the biggest culprits of skin discolouration. When the sun’s UV light hits the skin, the body produces melanin as a way to protect if from damage. As we age, melanin can accumulate and cause age spots commonly known as liver spots.
- Hormone fluctuation can also cause uneven skin tone, which is known as chloasma or melasma, common among women. It is thought to occur when female sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone stimulate overproduction of melanin.
- Medical reasons are another cause for uneven skin tone. It is symptomatic of certain illness such as autoimmune and gastrointestinal disease and vitamin deficiencies. Hyperpigmentation is also a side effect of certain hormone treatments, chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, antimalarial drugs and antiepileptic drugs.
- Scarring can cause uneven skin tone especially when caused by acne. This causes melanocytes to increase melanin as a means of healing the skin. Acne is one of the main causes of skin uneven regardless of complexion because scars tend to be prolific and highly visible.
Melasma is normally induced pigmentation which occurs in about 75% of pregnant women. Linea nigra is observed amongst a large proportion of women during pregnancy. It is also known as pregnancy mask or chloasma. The pigmentation change occurs due to pregnancy, contraceptive pills, HRT, hormone imbalance and thyroid dysfunction. The light brown to grey brown macules or patches are generally symmetrical and have clearly defined edges. It can occur on the forehead, temples, cheeks, nose, upper lip, chin and neck area. Melasma is more common amongst darker skinned races.
Exposure of the skin to UV light from the sun can also stimulate hyperpigmentation in specific areas on the back of hands, the face, neck and arms. These dark spots are often referred to as age spots or liver spots (lentigines) which become particularly evident in the early forties and become increasingly more visible as we age. These spots are 1-3 cm hyperpigmented, well circumscribed lesions which are clearly defined rounded, brown or black flat patches of skin. This can be caused by continued exposure to the sun over years and unlike freckles, do not fade in the winter
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs when a skin injury or trauma heals and leaves a flat area of discolouration. The damage to the epidermis and/or dermis causes increased melanin and melanosis within these areas of the skin. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation gives a grey/purple/brown hue to the skin colour.
The following can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation:
- Cystic acne or healing pimple
- Cosmetic procedures – laser, intense pulsed light (IPL) and microdermabrasion
- Deep chemical peels
- Chemical exfoliants
- Overuse of certain ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide
- Mechanical trauma – a wound that leads to a scar or discoloursation
- Anything that causes irritation
- Skin Infections
- Reaction to medication
- Inflammatory reaction – acne, dermatitis or psoriasis.
Photoaging is premature ageing of the skin caused by repeated exposure to UV light from the sun or from artificial UV sources. Photoaging is different to chronologic ageing as the damage effects of UV alter the normal structure of the skin.
There are two types of waves, UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are shorter than UVA rays, and are the main culprit behind sunburn. However, it is the UVA rays with larger wavelengths that are responsible for photoaging damage. UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis where they damage collagen fibres. Collagen damage leads to an increase in production or abnormal elastin. This results in an increase in the amount of enzyme which rebuilds damaged collagen, which often malfunctions and degrades the collagen resulting in incorrectly rebuilt skin forming wrinkles and leathering the skin.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) can also trigger wrinkles. There are harmful oxygen molecules generated by UV rays and pollution. ROS attacks and reacts with stable molecules within skin cells causing irreversible damage to cells which triggers wrinkles and lessening the skins natural ability to repair itself. This is known as oxidative stress.
Signs of photoaging include:
- Appearance of wrinkles around the eyes, mouth and frown lines on the forehead.
- Spider veins on the nose, cheeks and neck.
- Pigmented spots or uneven skin tone.
- Loss of skin tone
- Taut lips with loss of colour and fullness
- Leathering or sagging of the skin
Wrinkles are folds, ridges or creases of the skin. The development of wrinkles is a form of fibrosis of the skin. One theory suggests that wrinkles develop from incorrect repairing of damaged elastin and collagen fibres. Repeated extension and compression of the skin causes repeated injuries to the extracellular fibres in the derma. During the repairing process, some of the broken elastin and collagen fibres are not regenerated and restored, but instead replaced by altered fibres. When an elastin fibre is broken in the extended state, it can be replaced by long collagen fibres. Accumulation of long collagen fibres causes the skin to loosen and become stiff and consequently fold appear in the skin. When collagen is broken in a compressed state, it is often replaced by short collagen fibres. The shorter collagen fibres restrict the extension of longer fibres and leads to a permanent folding state. A small fold, known as a wrinkle then appears.
Wrinkles are caused by a combination of factors:
- Age – As the skin ages, it becomes less elastic and more fragile leading to a decrease in the production of natural oils which dries the skin and makes it appear wrinkled. Fat in the deeper layers of the skin also diminishes which causes loosening of the skin, and more pronounced lines and crevices.
- UV light – UV speeds up the natural aging process. UV exposure breaks down the connective tissue (collagen and elastin fibres) in the skin which lie in the deeper layers of the skin. Without the supportive connective tissue, skin loses strength and flexibility which causes the skin to sag and wrinkle prematurely.
- Smoking – Smoking can accelerate the normal aging process of the skin which contributes to wrinkle formation. This could be owed to changes in the blood supply to the skin.
- Repeated facial expression – Facial movements and expressions such as squinting and smiling leads to fine lines and wrinkles. Each time a facial muscle is used a groove forms beneath the surface of the skin. As the skin ages it loses its flexibility, and is no longer able to spring back into place. These grooves then become permanent features on the face. This results in one of the most common skin complaints that people have as they age, crow’s feet. The distinct shape of the wrinkle, which is representative of a crow’s footprint, gives the wrinkle its distinct name. They tend to become highly visible with certain facial expression such as smiling and squinting.