What Is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is a common skin disorder that might happen to anyone with excessive melanin production. Melanin is the pigment responsible for producing skin color. Different forms of hyperpigmentation may develop depending on the person. Here are just the most famous forms of it:
- Age spots
Age spots, or solar lentigines, are caused by 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 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.
- Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
If your skin is struggling with acne, you are probably experiencing a form of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This post-inflammatory condition happens after a skin injury, trauma healing, or specific cosmetic procedures.
Certain medications like antibiotics and chemotherapy lead to hyperpigmentation. Other types of hyperpigmentation can happen because of skin acne, injuries, and surgeries that can leave dark spots on your skin.
Dark skin spots become darker after sun exposure because melanin absorbs the ultraviolet rays. This causes your skin to go tan, darkening areas already affected by hyperpigmentation.
Treatments for Hyperpigmentation
There are several treatments available to target hyperpigmentation:
Over-The-Counter Treatments (OTC)
OTC treatments can help decrease hyperpigmentation. Many of them are also available in prescription form.
Various lightening creams and gels have proven 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. Don’t forget that although these creams are quite effective, they need time to put their magic into effect. You could also use skin bleaching to lighten dark areas of your skin. It reduces the concentration of melanin in those areas to make them lighter. However, many skin experts advise against skin bleaching because it has a lot of unpleasant and serious side effects.
One of the oldest skincare remedies that is considered safe for all skin tones is retinoids. They have been used for so long to treat the layers below the epidermis.
Chemical peels remove the top layers of the epidermis and penetrate the dermis; that is how they treat dark spots on your skin. After the treatment, there might be side effects, such as redness, irritation, or even blisters. If you are regularly exposed to the sun, we’re afraid this treatment isn’t for you.
Laser for Hyperpigmentation
Laser treatments have also been proven to be highly effective in 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.
Lumecca IPL for hyperpigmentation
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 powerful, intense pulsed light developed to treat many skin problems, including hyperpigmentation. This technique has amazing effects on the appearance of your skin, successfully targeting age spots, freckles, and sun damage.
The 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.
Micro-needling for hyperpigmentation
Microneedling is a minimally-invasive method 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 that cause your body to produce more collagen to restore the damage. Microneedling is also helpful for scars, Melasma, and sunspots.