Anti-pigmentation spots

This powerful medical prescription ointment regime is developed by the famous dermatologist Dr Obagi as part of a scientifically advanced skin care treatment to achieve a healthy skin and treat uneven skin pigmentation. One treatment takes one skin cycle of six weeks. After three cycles, the maximum effect is reached. This treatment restores your skin to its natural, healthy, youthful state.

Advantages

  • Impressive reduction of pigmentation spots resulting in a more even skin.
  • The ointments penetrate up to below the skin’s surface, where they transform skin cell functions at the cellular level and correct the damage from within as a result of which a healthy, younger-looking skin is revealed. The skin shows clinical improvements such as increased skin firmness and elasticity, a rosy skin glow, increased skin hydration, a more even pigmentation and increased tolerance to external irritants.
  • The Anti-Pigmentation Spots Ointment Programme improves skin appearance and quality and slows down the skin aging process. It prevents skin deterioration and delays or eliminates the need for later procedures. If a procedure has been carried out, the skin health restoration program can maintain the results much longer.

Disadvantages

  • This treatment increases the risk of sunburn. Care should be taken (shade, sunblock, etc.) to protect treated skin.
  • The skin may appear worse before it gets better.  During the first six weeks, this ointment regimen can result in erythematous, flaky skin. The patient must accept this as a normal effect. In about six weeks, the damaged top layers of skin are replaced by new layers of healthier cells. One or more of the following symptoms can be expected: dryness, peeling, redness, sensitive skin, itching, burning, wrinkles may look worse, acne may look worse. Such reactions indicate that the treatment is being effective and that the skin is responding and that skin restoration is in progress. This reaction indicates the initial lack of skin tolerance, which the program is meant to build up.

Introduction to the four key cells of the skin

The main purpose of the Anti-Pigmentation Spots Ointment Programme is to reduce pigmentation spots to improve the quality of the epidermis and dermis, increasing the skin tolerance to external factors and improve the circulation. These objectives are achieved by regulating the function of the four key skin cells.

  1. Keratinocytes—A keratinocyte is the predominant cell type in the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin, constituting 90% of the cells found there. Keratinocytes are continuously renewing themselves. A normal skin renewal cycle of the epidermis takes about six weeks. This is the time it takes for a keratinocyte to mature, reach the stratum corneum, and exfoliate (this process is called keratinization). The primary function of keratinocytes is the formation of a barrier against environmental damage.
  2. Melanocytes—These cells are found scattered over the basal layer of the keratinocytes. They produce the pigment melanin, which is the substance that determines skin colour.
  3. Fibroblasts—These cells produce collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycan, which are the substances responsible for firmness, tightness, and proper hydration.
  4. Angioblasts: These cells create blood vessels responsible for improved skin circulation with less sallowness and more pink tone to skin, faster would healing and better clearance of potentially toxic substances.

The five ointments of the Anti-Pigmentation Spots Ointment Programme

1. Tretinoin

  • Tretinoin, also called retinoid or retinoic acid or vitamin A, is the most important ointment of the programme. Tretinoin has a normalizing effect on epidermal cells (keratinocytes). It also decreases epidermal melanin content and has been shown to facilitate the formation of new collagen in the dermis.
  • Tretinoin is a medical prescribed ointment that has been in clinical use for over three decades for the treatment of chronic skin conditions, including acne, photodamage and psoriasis. Tretinoin is effective in improving clinical features associated with photodamaged skin. Tretinoin is the first agent to be approved by the American Food and Drug Administration to treat the clinical features associated with photoaged skin.
  • The benefits of tretinoin, which are extensively documented, are unfortunately preceded by some side effects as redness, dryness and exfoliation. These reactions usually disappear once skin tolerance is restored. In clinical trials, the most frequently reported side effects from tretinoin treatment were initial skin irritation consisting of exfoliation, burning, stinging, redness and itching. These reactions were generally mild to moderate in severity and often diminished after temporary reduction in application frequency. Signs and symptoms of irritation peaked at the second week of tretinoin use and usually decreased thereafter. You should expect a reaction to tretinoin. This reaction is a desirable sign of response to the treatment. As no substitute exists for tretinoin, it comes with the package. The effects last up to four months, even after application has been discontinued.
  • Retinoids in general are liposoluble materials, and they will pass easily through cell membranes. Tretinoin will go to the nucleus of the cell and activate the gene transcriptions, which results in the productions of substances that will act upon the environment of the cell. It will increase the division rate of the keratinocytes in the epidermis, improving its barrier function. Tretinoin stimulates the fibroblasts to form new collagen and elastin thus increasing skin firmness and elasticity. Melanocytes will produce less melanin. Angiocytes are activated and the formation of new blood vessels is stimulated which allows for rapid clearance of potentially toxic substances. Clinically spoken, this translates into a desirable rosy glow.

Who is a good candidate for the Anti-Pigmentation Spots Ointment Programme?

  • Everybody with photodamaged skin showing pigmentation spots
  • The Anti-Pigmentation Spots Ointment Programme is suitable for all skin types.

Who is not a good candidate for the Anti-Pigmentation Spots Ointment Program?

  • Pregnant women
  • Mothers who are breastfeeding

How to use the ointments?

  • Oily skin requires proper washing to remove sebum.
  • Mix the ointments in the palm of one hand. Apply evenly with two fingers of the other hand on the entire face, including the upper eyelids and under the eyes (if your skin allows to), extending to the hairline and over the ears.
  • Massage until the cream is completely absorbed (this may take a while). End at the jawline with a swiping motion towards the neck.
  • Tretinoin— Apply once a day in the evening (one push of the pump).
  • Hydroquinone—Hydroquinone is applied in the mornings and evenings (one push of the pump). The action of hydroquinone is short-lived, so your skin should be saturated with it twice a day.
  • Glycolic acid—Glycolic acid is applied once a day in the morning (one push of the pump). Glycolic acid is an exfoliating agent that helps to accelerate the exfoliation of the upper layers of the epidermis. This increases the effectiveness and the penetration of the tretinoin and hydroquinone ointment.
  • Sunblock—Apply sunblock in the morning under your makeup (one push of the pump). Reapply often when in the sun.
  • Hydrocortisone—If the irritation (redness, itching, extreme dryness) is too much, you can use the cortisone rescue cream, but not for more than one week at a time. Hydrocortisone is an anti-inflammatory agent that helps to calm the initial reaction of the skin.
  • To summarise:
    • Morning: hydroquinone + sunblock + glycolic acid
    • Evening: tretinoin + hydroquinone

What is the average treatment plan of the procedure?

One treatment takes one skin cycle of six weeks. After three cycles, the maximum effect is reached. In general, three maturation cycles are needed to renew most of the epidermis (four and a half months). A great improvement usually can be perceived after the first cycle (six weeks) with the ointment programme. The maximum reachable effect with the ointment is reached after three cycles. After these three cycles, a weekly maintenance programme can be continued indefinitely.

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