Clear and beautiful skin is something that women take pride in. Women go to such unimaginably sheer extent just to achieve what they want, some to the point of obsession. Yearly, about US$8 is spent by women in cosmetics and beauty products alone or roughly estimated, about US$100 a month for every American woman. In 2007, about 11.7 million cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures were performed in the US based on the data released by the American Society for Aesthetic Surgery.
What causes such an obsession or preoccupation with the skin condition? It is believed however that the appearance of the skin has something to do with self-esteem and self-confidence as an unsightly skin has a life-long burden on body image. The media culture has, even more, power the pressure fuelled by peer pressure that set standards on what is “beautiful” and what is not.
Among the skin problems that women spent most of their money with is hyperpigmentation or dark discoloration or patches of dark spots of the skin which are caused by a variety of factors. One of the natural causes is due to the overproduction of melanin, a substance responsible in giving the skin color, due to highly excitable melanocytes. Such activity of the melanocytes in turn may be caused by certain illnesses such as lupus erythymatosus, hormonal imbalance due to Addison’s disease, certain medication for malaria, seizure and hormonal therapy, heredity, age, pregnancy, certain cosmetics and activities.
Although such pigmentations are harmless, they have an impact to the general well-being of an individual. Because of this, they resort to a series of treatments ranging from conventional to surgical procedures that sometimes are costly and life threatening. If conventional treatments in the form of commercial skin care products do not solve the problem, women resort to services rendered by dermatologists.
Today, answering skin problems has become easier with various approaches. Aside from the treatment of the underlying condition that caused the skin discoloration, the skin is treated separately. Dermatologists’ services include dermabrasions or skin peeling initiated by the use of chemical peelers, the use of topical steroids, skin lighteners and others. Such forms of treatments sometimes are short termed and once treatments are discontinued, the consequences are graver as spots become darker and are more difficult to address. Thus it is vital to continue the series of treatment even after the dark spots have lightened.
However, with the discovery of the laser and its use in medicine especially in dermatology, results have become more realistic and long term. Used aesthetic lasers are more precise compared to other procedures as it can be controlled with regards to the intensity and depth of penetration, unlike other chemical peelers that are inaccurate and generically mixed for everyone’s use. With lasers, the treatment is individualized and personalized depending on the needs of a client basing on the severity of the dark spots.