Treating Pigmentation & Melasma

At our aesthetic clinics, we offer Cosmelan, Dermapen, Tranex and IPL treatments for pigmentation. These treatments are available at our medical practices in Green Point, Cape Town and Somerset West. 

What is pigmentation?

Pigmentation, specifically hyperpigmentation, is a chronic darkening of the skin and can appear in a number of ways on the skin, such as sun spots, brown marks and melasma (“the mask of pregnancy”).  It is a major issue that we encounter daily with all skin types and ages within South Africa and can be a very distressing and aesthetically displeasing condition. There are however ways for us to treat this condition, lightening it as well as maintain it. But before we can tackle how to treat pigmentation, it is important to understand the different causes and types of pigmentation.

How do we get pigmentation?

Special skin cells called melanocytes are responsible for producing melanin, which is the natural pigment that gives our skin its colour. The difference in lighter skin (phototypes 1 to 3) and darker skins (phototypes 4 to 6) is that these skin cells are more active and more melanin is produced. Melanin therefore gives us our skin complexion but also serves a very important role in protecting against the harmful effects of UV light and combats free radicals, aiding against photo-aging and cancer formation. However, when there is abnormal stress placed on our skins our normal pigment producing processes can become heightened.

Triggers of pigmentation

  • Sun exposure (This includes UV rays, invisible light and infrared rays)
  • Heat
  • Hormones
  • Stress
  • Some medications
  • Inflammation within the skin

Types of Hyperpigmentation

  • Sun-induced pigmentation (aka age spots & sun-damage): This form of pigmentation appears as dark spots or patches on the skin. It has a direct link to sun exposure, this is also why we see it on sun exposed areas on our bodies not only our faces.
  • Melasma: This condition is also known as “the mask of pregnancy” and affects up to 90% of pregnant woman and forms as a result of hormonal influences.
  • Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIHP): This form of pigmentation occurs when a skin injury or trauma heals and leaves a flat area of discoloration behind, this is often seen in acne sufferers.

What products should you be using

There are 2 products are absolutely essential in the treatment of pigmentation:

Medical Grade Sunscreen:

  • This should be your number 1 product, it is crucial to wear a sunscreen daily in order to prevent further pigmentation formation.

Pigment Blockers: 

  • There are various types of blockers or inhibitors on the market, each working in their own way to prevent pigmentation triggering in the first place, which means less time spent treating it.

Additionally, patients could consider:


  • Retinol will aid in the cell renewal and exfoliation of the skin, with further anti-aging benefits.

*It would be highly advisable to first book a consultation or ask for advice at your treatment to select the correct sunscreen, retinol and pigment blocker to start off with.

What treatments to consider 

Depending on your skin type, tone, age, how long you have been struggling with pigmentation, the type of pigmentation you have etc., we will advise on the best treatment plan, tailored to your specific needs. Below are some of the treatment options we have available at our aesthetic practices (as well as the cost estimates):

  1. Cosmelan – 1 Cosmelan treatment is required followed by an intense 9-month at home treatment plan/product kit.
  2. Tranex pigmentation protocol – 5 treatments are required as well as the tranex at home depigmentation kit.
  3. Dermapen MD microneedling – 4-6 treatments are required, spaced 3 weeks apart from each other as well as the correct at home care.
  4. Intense pulsed light / IPL – this treatment is only suitable for skin type 1-3, which are typically people with lighter complextions and is only indicated for sun-induced pigmentation and sun-damage. A medical grade SPF is required.

What’s the cost

For more information, including the cost for each treatment, please visit the following links:

  1. Cosmelan
  2. Tranex 
  3. Dermapen MD
  4. IPL 

Before & After


Cosmelan, a world leader in depigmentation treatments, consisting of an in-clinic mask application which is removed after a specified period of time. The professional treatment is then followed by an at home maintenance plan to carefully manage the re-appearance of hyperpigmentation. .


Stunning results after 5 tranex Microneedling treatments combined with the use of our Tranex homecare kit.


Melasma (hormonal pigmentation)Before and after 3 Dermapen MD treatments combined with LED light therapy and the correct at home skin care products.


Before and after only 2 IPL treatments done with the Venus Versa device. Sun-damage and sunspots – greatly reduced.

Our Team

  • Our team Aesthetic Therapists are qualified medical skincare professionals. They are specially trained to administer chemical peels, medical microneedling, medical grade serums, Cosmelan, IPL as well as LED Light Therapy.
  • In addition to the above, our Therapists have received special training by Dr Wade Merchant to ensure safe and effective treatments.

For more information, to book an appointment or to set-up a free skin consultation, please feel free to get in touch.

Our Doctors

Dr Wade Merchant is a medical doctor with a special interest in aesthetic and anti-ageing medicine, he has been administering and injecting Botox and Dysport for over 5 years at his practices in Green Point & Somerset West. Dr Wade is also qualified with a 2-year Advanced Diploma in Aesthetic Medicine.

De Melinda Dommisse

Dr Melinda Dommisse is a qualified medical doctor who qualified from Stellenbosch University. She moved to London where she did her aesthetic training and worked as a GP with a special interest in aesthetic and anti-aging medicine. Prior to returning to South Africa she worked at 2 well-known clinics in Harley Street, London

Our Practices





021 433 0967

173 Main Road
(Corner of Main and Clyde Road)
Green Point, Cape Town
Location on Google Maps


021 433 0967

Corner of the R44 & De Beers Avenue
(Inside of the Paardevlei Complex)
Paardevlei Rising 1 (Building name)
*We are opposite the Cheetah Sanctuary
1st Floor, Unit 102, Paardevlei, Somerset West
Location on Google Maps

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