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What Are The Filters On Your Before/After Photos Really Showing You?

March 4, 2019

We often see grey, blotchy-looking filters on clinical photos, sunscreen ads and before/after photos. They come with warnings about protecting your skin from sun damage, pollution or oxidative stress, but what are they showing you, exactly? Why should we worry about something that shows up with a filter? We spoke to our expert Clinician Maria Sison for a deeper explanation.

“There are two filters,” she says, “one shows vascularity and the other shows melanin.” Vascularity is redness that forms below the skin and can also show up on the surface. “It can be caused by broken veins, inflammation or bacteria. It sometimes means that the skin and vessel structures are weak,” Maria explains.

The melanin filter shows pigmentation beneath the skin. It is usually caused by sun damage or hormones. If left untreated, it can worsen and start to show on the surface as hyperpigmentation.

You may only see some redness and pigmentation on the surface, but the filters give you and your clinician a better view of what’s going on underneath your skin. Maria says that treatment will always depend on what her patients want, but she recommends treating melanin and vascularity at the deeper layers as well as on the surface. This is because treating your skin at the deeper layers will help keep the problem at bay, rather than just treating a superficial symptom.

The method we choose to treat vascularity will depend on the cause. Phototherapy can help reduce inflammation and kill the bacteria that causes flare-ups. There are also lasers that treat deep vascularity. The laser is attracted to the haemoglobin in your blood vessels, and it delivers energy that essentially helps to constrict and strengthen the vessel lining to bring the redness down.

Lasers that treat pigmentation actually break down the melanin that’s stored beneath the skin into smaller particles. Once broken, your body removes the pigment particles naturally, so the pigmentation fades over a few weeks following your course of treatments.

The filters that show vascularity and melanin essentially show you how deeply your laser treatments are working to treat your redness and pigmentation more thoroughly.

Are you concerned with pigmentation, redness and sun damage?

Come in for a complimentary, obligation-free consultation with one of our expert clinicians!

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