Hyperpigmentation is a common disorder in which some areas of your skin become darker in color than others. This condition may occur in any person with an excessive melanin production. Melanin is the pigment responsible for producing skin color. Different forms of hyperpigmentation may develop depending on the person.
Age spots, also referred to as solar lentigines, are a common type of hyperpigmentation occurring as a result of sun damage. They are small, darkened patches mostly found on the face, hands, and other areas exposed to the sun.
Melasma, also known as chloasma spots, is apparently similar to age spots but larger. These dark areas usually occur due to hormonal changes; pregnancy, for example, can trigger melisma. Once the overproduction of melanin occurs during pregnancy, for example, you will notice darkened skin on your abdomen and other areas. You may also develop hyperpigmentation while taking birth control pills since your body is experiencing hormonal changes.
Although activated by sun exposure, freckles are hereditary. While appearing mostly on the face, these tiny brown spots could develop anywhere on your body.
If you are suffering from acne, you will likely experience a form of hyperpigmentation known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This condition leads to skin discoloration and usually occurs after a skin injury or trauma heals, or after specific cosmetic procedures.
Certain medications, such as antibiotics and chemotherapy, can also lead to hyperpigmentation.
Other types of hyperpigmentation occur as a result of skin acne, medical conditions, injuries, and surgeries that can leave dark spots after the skin has healed.
The darkened skin patches may become more pronounced after sun exposure because melanin absorbs the energy of the ultraviolet rays to prevent overexposure. This leads to skin tanning, which will darken the areas that are already affected by hyperpigmentation.
There are several treatments available to target hyperpigmentation:
OTC treatments can help decrease hyperpigmentation. Many of them are also available in prescription form.
A wide variety of lightening creams and gels have proven to be quite helpful in treating hyperpigmentation on most skin types. These products work best for age spots.
Most of these creams and gels contain hydroquinone. Other common ingredients found in these lightning products are licorice extract and vitamin B-3.
They should be used once or twice a day for a set period of time. Please keep in mind that, although quite effective, this treatment takes time. Skin bleaching could also be used to lighten dark areas of skin by reducing the concentration of melanin in those areas. However, many skin experts advise against skin bleaching as it has a lot of unpleasant and serious side effects.
Retinoids are among the oldest skincare remedies, and they are usually safe for all skin tones. They have long been used on the skin to treat the layers below the epidermis.
Chemical peels can treat the dark patches of your skin quicker by removing the top layers of the epidermis and penetrating the dermis. You may notice side effects after using them, including redness, irritation, or even blisters. You should avoid this treatment if you are regularly exposed to the sun. This option is a good solution for your blotchy skin and sun damage.
Laser treatments have also been proven to be highly effective when it comes to treating hyperpigmentation. These advanced systems bring back your normal skin coloration without any scarring.
A laser peel (resurfacing) treatment uses targeted light beams to reduce hyperpigmentation.
There are two types of lasers: ablative and non-ablative. Ablative lasers are the most intense and involve removing layers of your skin. Non-ablative procedures, on the other hand, have a tightening effect and target the dermis to promote collagen production. Ablative lasers are more substantial, but they may cause more side effects. Both lasers destroy elements in your skin to ensure that new skin cells grow back tighter and more toned.
Intense pulse light therapy (IPL) is a nonfractional laser treatment that encourages collagen growth within the dermis and can be effectively used for overall pigmentation cases, predominantly flat spots.
Lumecca is a very powerful, intense pulsed light developed to treat a myriad of skin problems, including hyperpigmentation. This technique has amazing effects on the appearance of your skin, successfully targeting age spots, freckles, and sun damage.
Lumecca system offers a comfortable light treatment for hyperpigmentation. You will notice the darkening of pigmented areas before the pigmented lesions flake off. Multiple sessions of Lumecca will provide better outcomes.
Most patients who have opted for Lumecca IPL treatment for hyperpigmentation have reported no severe side effects. Minor redness, swelling, and sensitivity to sunlight after treatment are some of the side effects of Lumecca treatment.
Microneedling is a minimally-invasive method that has been developed to improve your skin issues. This method is an effective solution for hyperpigmentation as well. It lightens the skin color by stimulating the dark patches to heal by themselves. The procedure is performed by piercing the skin and generating wounds which cause your body to produce more collagen in order to restore the damage. Microneedling is also proven to be helpful for scars, Melasma, and sunspots.