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Pigmentation Removal

Your complete guide and quick links to everything you want to know! ​

How Common is Facial Pigmentation?

Pigmentation of the face, also known as Melasma, most commonly first appears: 

  • During pregnancy but unfortunately, doesn’t always disappear after the pregnancy.
  • When taking oral contraceptives but it does not always disappear after ‘the pill’ is stopped.
Examples of Facial Pigmentation

Then again, there are people in whom it develops without any obvious hormonal explanation and the cause in such people can remain a mystery.  

Interestingly, the condition is not confined to women – it is occasionally seen in men, especially in those with olive or darker complexions from Southern Europe, the Middle East, India or Asia. In such cases, excessive ultraviolet exposure seems to be the most important factor.

What Causes Facial Pigmentation?

In the majority of women, the condition is caused by a combination of oestrogen hormones and ultraviolet light acting on the pigment-producing cells in the skin. Elevated oestrogen hormone levels during pregnancy or when taking oral contraceptives can render the skin’s pigment-producing cells more sensitive to ultraviolet light. When these sensitised cells are then exposed to sunlight, they are stimulated to produce excessive melanin pigment, hence the pigmentation. 

In those women without an obvious hormonal explanation for the pigmentation, as with male sufferers, it would appear that for reasons still unknown, the pigment cells in certain facial areas become more sensitive to ultraviolet light and start producing more melanin.

Pigmentation Removal Treatments

Unfortunately, there is no single treatment for pigmentation removal that is successful in every patient. A treatment that successfully removes one person’s pigmentation may not work for another. Accordingly, the treatment of facial pigmentation can prove frustrating for the patient if different methods need to be tried in the hope of finding one that proves successful. 

Accordingly, every patient with pigmentation needs to approach the treatment realistically, have patience, accept the possibility of recurrence, and to be prepared to try various methods.

Most importantly, regardless of the treatment method, every patient must be prepared to strictly follow sun/UV protection measures to give the treatment its best chance of success. 

General Measures

  • If possible, stop any oestrogen hormone medications.  Oestrogen sensitises the pigment-producing melanocytes in your skin to produce more melanin, hence the pigmentation.  If you are taking the oral contraceptive pill, you may consider asking your General Practitioner’s advice regarding the Mini-Pill (contains Progesterone only, not Oestrogen) or an alternative method of contraception.
  • Try to avoid sun exposure as much as possible.  When outdoors, always wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and sit in the shade if possible. NO SUNBAKING, even with sunscreens. Whenever outdoors, even on cloudy days, always wear an effective sunscreen. The reason for this is that ultraviolet light (especially Ultraviolet A) is present all year round, even on cloudy days, and moreover, can easily penetrate glass e.g. when driving a car or sitting at a window. 

The problem is that most conventional sunscreens offer sufficient protection from Ultraviolet B but only partial protection from Ultraviolet A rays. In fact, the best UVA sunscreens are  opaque sunscreens (e.g. zinc cream) or opaque foundations.

Our Pigmentation Removal Treatment Program

Our standard approach to try and remove unsightly facial pigmentation is a two-step treatment based on sound principles and past success.

There can never be a guarantee that it will remove the pigmentation in everybody but it has proved successful in enough patients for us to recommend it as the best initial approach.

Our Monthly 2-Step Program comprises:

  • 60 Minutes of high-grade Microdermabrasion or 30-45 Minutes of Skin Needling.
  • Followed immediately by topical infusion of Depigmenting Cosmeceuticals.

Microdermabrasion, or Skin Needling, followed immediately by topical infusions of Skin Lightening Cosmeceuticals, performed on a monthly basis by our Dermal Therapist has brought about a number of dramatic and permanent removals of the pigmentation when other treatments elsewhere have failed.

Although Skin Needling may allow better infusion of the cosmeceuticals into the skin, Skin Needling does require 24-48 hours of downtime whereas Microdermabrasion involves none.

Other Potential Treatments

  • Depigmenting Lotion or Cream for those needing a quick but temporary relief from the pigmentation for an important social event. This can only be supplied by a pharmacy on a doctor’s prescription and accordingly you would need to make an appointment with our doctor to get this. 

    The depigmenting prescription needs to be started 4- 6 weeks before your event in order to give it enough time to remove the pigmentation.

    However, you should not use the depigmenting formula indefinitely as there are potential complications with long-term use.

    You must also be prepared that the pigmentation, by its very nature, will always return when the formula is stopped. Accordingly, most patients reserve this temporary treatment option for special occasions. 

    Please note that most commercially-available skin-lightening preparations are not as effective as the prescription formula. The reason for this is that commercial preparations are not allowed to include the very effective skin lightening ingredient that our doctor is legally allowed to prescribe.

  • A Medium-Depth Chemical Peel can be tried but it does require 7-8 days’ downtime and more often than not, the pigmentation returns. Although long-standing clearances of pigmentation have been reported after two Medium-Depth Chemical Peels done in quick succession several weeks apart, there is also the risk with this option that the pigmentation could return worse than before.  

  • Pigment-Targeting Lasers, such as the newer, more powerful Q-switched Nd:YAG Lasers that specifically target brown pigment, may be worth a consideration but bear in mind that such lasers are not always successful and treatments can be quite expensive.  

Watch Our ‘Microdermabrasion’ Animation Video

The Cost of Pigmentation Removal Sydney

  • Pigmentation Removal
  • 60 minutes of Microdermabrasion $195
  • OR
  • 30-45 minutes of Skin Needling $250
  • +

Cost of the Depigmenting Cosmeceuticals Used
(Varies with the products used but will be quoted before any treatment is commenced)

Special Offer
Pre-pay for 3 & get 1 extra for FREE (T&Cs Apply*)

*Terms & Conditions:

  • Non-Refundable & Not Transferable
  • Pre-Pay for 3 & get one extra FREE
  • 6-month expiry from date of purchase

Terms & Conditions


  • Consultations must be pre-paid at time of booking.
  • Once pre-paid, all consultations are non-refundable and non-transferable but can be moved to another date with at least 3 working days’ notice.
  • Cancellations with less than 3 working days’ notice and ‘no shows’ are not refundable or transferable and will incur a new consultation fee to re-book.
  • All payments by Credit Card & Debit Card attract a 0.3% surcharge and Amex a 1.5% surcharge.
  • The Medical Board of Australia’s new Regulations which came into effect on 1 July 2023 require that:
    • All patients seeking a consultation regarding cosmetic surgery must provide a referral and the referral must be from a GP or other specialist who does not perform cosmetic surgery or non-surgical cosmetic services themselves.
    • If a patient arrives without a referral, the Regulations recommend that the doctor should refrain from seeing the patient – in which event, any pre-paid consultation fee would be lost.

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