Since re-opening, (or maybe it's post summer skin challenges), I have noticed a common thread: frustration with irregular pigmentation. It may be from sun damage, acne, chemical burns, and the list goes on. No matter what the cause, irregular skin pigmentation afflicts many people.
Now, let’s talk science in a nutshell ;)
The cell that makes the pigment is called a melanocyte. It’s a cell that kind of looks like an upside down octopus, with tentacles that stretch to the skin cells around it. This cells job is to create pigment and deliver the pigment granules to the cells around it to give our skin its natural color and to protect the cell’s DNA.
Repetitive damage to the melanocyte affects the tentacles of the octopus and prevents even distribution of melanin, causing irregular distribution of melanin on the skin.
Is melasma more your struggle?
Hormones, medications, pregnancy are all examples of the triggers that can set melasma in motion. The melanocyte (the wild child of cells) goes into overdrive as it’s transferring the pigment to the surrounding cells. The surrounding cells cannot keep up, and that pigment will drop down into the stem cells (these are like ‘blank cells’ responsible for cell birth). So now the stem cells are regenerating cells that are pigmented, AND the melanocyte is dumping pigment into these new cells as they make their way up. So these cells are essentially getting a double dose. Whew! I hope that makes sense!
There is hope for irregular pigmentation....