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Melanogenesis and Pigmentation

Courses designed to keep your knowledge and skills current while providing greater confidence and competance.

Understanding the different types of pigmentation and their causes is essential for credible and realistic treatment solutions. This course examines the Melanogenesis process and the events that can interfere with correct dispersion of pigment in the skin, and understanding the risk factors associated with treatment solutions.

Unit One - The skins risk for pigmentation

Knowing the skin photo type has always been important to the skin treatment therapist so as to make the correct recommendations for sun protection. However the importance of knowing a skins ability to tan takes a more important place in the skin analysis, and establishment of treatment protocols. The reason for this is, that today so many of the treatment modalities involve chemical, heat, light and or electrical impulses, all of which if not controlled can burn, pigment or scar skin.


Unit Two - Cellular damage and the melanocyte cell

Cellular damage will dictate the modality choice, the success of the clinical treatment as well as how many treatments may be needed to get the desired result. Understanding the levels of cellular damage will enable the skin treatment therapist to know at what level a corrective program should begin and what modalities and actives are required. Establishing the level of cellular damage is never more important than when discussing the skin condition of pigmentation. The reason for this is that if the level of damage is too high or the melanocyte cell too old, the skin condition may be untreatable.

Unit Three - The melanocyte life cycle

This module is a detailed overview of the melanocyte; the cell responsible for the formation of the pigment that colours hair, skin and eyes. There are 120 genes involved in it's creation and cell movement, and consequently the potential for 120 reasons why something could go wrong. In this unit we examine the facts that confirm some of the reasons why there are so many challenges treating the skin condition pigmentation.

Unit Four - The leading causes of pigmentation and the effect they have on the melanogenesis process

In this module we examine why the skin condition pigmentation exists if all pigment is passed to a keratinocyte and all keratinocytes desquamate. There are many reasons for this; including the abnormal increase in the pigment carrying melanosomes, chemical and hormonal triggers that cause the pituitary gland to make too much melanin stimulating hormone and the melanocyte creating an uncontrolled manufacturing of melanosomes. We will learn about the MSH cascade and other physiological events that cause the many forms of pigmentation we see on a daily basis.

Unit Five - Visual & diagnostic clues for pigmentation

Diagnosing pigmentation takes careful consultation to establish cause, and in this unit we will examine all the leading causes including one or more of the following: skin type and skin colour, genetics, trauma, medication, a chemical substance, hormonal imbalances, environment and essential fatty acid deficiency. Pigmentation is generally a result of a mixture of intrinsic and extrinsic factors, and are things that are the clients responsibility. This module demonstrates how to use the pattern and location of pigmentation to help remember the leading cause of the pigmentation, and ascertain the level of damage to the cells and systems of melanogenesis. In this unit we will examine and identify hormonal pigmentation, (MSH cascade) solar lentigines, general sun damage, poilkioderma, post inflammatory pigmentation and more.