The scary thing about pigmentation problems is that they often creep up on you. One day your skin looks beautiful, and the next day you can’t stop staring at the freckles, dark spots or other pigment irregularities on your skin. This is because “what’s on the outside may not show what’s on the inside,” as our Associate Chief Scientist, Laurence Dryer, Ph. D. often reminds us, “then, before you know it, it’s too late.”

Recently, we sat down with Laurence to discuss common pigmentation problems, what causes them, and how to treat and prevent them.

Before you watch the video, we encourage you to read on to learn more about pigmentation and how Obagi products may be able to help.

The science of pigmentation problems. Your skin cells are affected by intrinsic factors (often hormonal changes or genetics) and extrinsic factors (things like UVA & UBV rays and pollution), both of which can cause damage to your skin. One of the ways this damage can manifest itself is through your skin cells  producing an excess of melanin, which causes pigmentation in the skin, resulting in what we call a pigmentation disorder.

Pigmentation disorders can come in many different forms. Depending on the cause of the damage, you may see sun spots (freckles), melasma or hyperpigmentation develop on your skin. Sometimes the pigmentation is visible shortly after the damage is caused, like in the case of a sunburn or suntan, while other damage lies below the surface of the skin and may come up later in life, which is why sometimes they seem to come out of nowhere.

The solutions. Some of the most common forms of pigmentation are caused by sun damage and aside from being unsightly, these types of pigmentation can be a precursor to more serious issues, like skin cancer.  Click here for tips on simple steps to early skin cancer detection.

We encourage you to do all you can to prevent the causes of pigmentation before it starts by focusing on the factors you can control, like limiting sun damage. At a minimum, you should always wear your sunscreen, try the Obagi Sun Shield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50 and consider using a Vitamin C serum, which is rich in antioxidants to help reduce the signs of skin damage.

Should pigmentation occur, whatever the cause, Obagi has solutions for treating it. The Obagi Nu-Derm® System and Obagi-C® Rx System have been formulated with hydroquinone, the gold standard of skin lightening ingredients, and have been recommended by top dermatologists for years to treat pigmentary disorders.

We also encourage you to share this post and video with friends and loved ones – help Obagi educate others about skin health and limit common pigmentation problems and skin cancer.