Sophie V/O: If I go out with my mates and I go to a nightclub, I’m the first one to leave before the lights come on. I think I’m ugly, basically. I’m going to get upset.
Sophie: Hello, I’m Sophie.
Dr Pixie: Take a seat. Now then, what can I do for you?
Sophie: Well, I’ve got a lot of hair and dark spots under my neck and also all over my face and a few hairs on my face as well.
Dr Pixie: Can I just get you to (gestures to lift hair from neck) just to have a look.
Dr Pixie: The darker patches that your getting here are called hyperpigmentation, that just means extra pigment. And you will get that where your skin is being inflamed.
Dr Pixie V/O: Skin pigmentation disorders occur because the body produces too much or too little melanin. This includes anything from liver and sun spots to hyperpigmentation, where patches of skin become darker than usual. It affects millions of people in the UK.
Dr Pixie: It is a relatively common condition, you know, that we see in general practice quite a lot. Pigment is far more apparent on darker skin. Both the hair and the pigment would, I think, respond very well to laser treatment.
Dr Pixie V/O: A few days later Sophie starts her six session course of laser treatment to deal with the dark, course hairs. She will also be using a lotion called Phyto Plus twice a day to treat the pigmented areas. She should see results in a matter of weeks. Sophie is just 3 weeks into her treatment for skin pigmentation and excess facial hair. Dr McKenna wants to check on her progress.
Dr Pixie: So, how have you been getting on?
Sophie: Really good, really well.
Dr Pixie: You look happy.
Sophie: Yes I am. You can see a difference can’t you?
Dr Pixie: Yeah.
Sophie: Yeah, I haven’t covered my neck up because I can see for myself that it looks totally different.
Dr Pixie: Just pop your chin up for me. Very obvious isn’t it that the pigementation has got so much, so much less. You must be absolutely thrilled.
Sophie: I’m really pleased. I haven’t got to cover up and this will be a good summer for me.
Hyperpigmentation, like any other skin condition, can lower the sufferer’s self confidence. Dr Pixie McKenna talks to a patient whose social life has been placed on hold because of this Embarrassing Illness, and recommends a course of laser treatment and lotion to enable her to stay out clubbing with her mates all night long…
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