Hyperpigmentation is a common skin issue that many people struggle with but are often poorly informed about. One of the issues is that there are multiple kinds of hyperpigmentation, and each one has its own prevention and treatment methods. Keep reading to learn more about the various types of skin hyperpigmentation and how to handle them.
Types of Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is simply a patch of skin that is darker than the rest. It is caused when the skin produces too much melanin in that area. This can be the result of many different conditions outlined below. While many of these are harmless, some can be a sign of a serious medical issue that should be addressed immediately.
One of the most common types of hyperpigmentation is freckles. Many of us have freckles on our skin due to sun exposure, and they can start to appear as young as two years old. Freckles appear as tiny to small dark spots on your skin.
Sunspots, sometimes referred to as liver spots, are a type of hyperpigmentation due to sun exposure. They are more likely to appear in areas with high sun exposure and are light to dark brown in color. The intense sun exposure causes your body to overproduce melanin in a small area, and people with lighter skin may be more susceptible to this type of hyperpigmentation.
Melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation experienced by pregnant women due to the hormone changes they are going through, although it has also been seen in other cases of non-pregnant women experiencing changes in hormones. Melasma looks similar to freckles, appearing as light or dark brown splotchy areas, usually on the face.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is different from the other types in that it is caused by trauma to the skin, such as acne. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can appear as pink, red, or brown spots and are scar-like in appearance. They are most commonly found on the face, chest, and back.
Avoid Sun Exposure
The best way to avoid hyperpigmentation is to avoid sun exposure. The sun is at its most intense during the middle of the day, so avoid going outside during this time if possible. Less sun exposure means less melanin production, which can cause hyperpigmentation.
Always Wear Sunscreen
When you do go outside, ensure that you always wear sunscreen. Sunscreen can help protect your skin from harmful sun exposure and hyperpigmentation. It blocks UVA, UVB, and HEV light rays which trigger melanin production. Try to wear at least SPF 30 and reapply regularly for extended periods in the sun.
There are many methods for treating hyperpigmentation, depending on the type and intensity of your hyperpigmentation. We’ll start by talking through some of the cheapest and easiest before discussing some of the more invasive, in-office treatments.
There are now many skincare products on the market targeted to treat and reduce the effects of hyperpigmentation. Look for products like brightening topical creams, face acids (like AHAs and BHAs), retinoids, and non-hydroquinone topical serums. These products have specific ingredients to help lighten hyperpigmentation spots and replace old skin cells to even out skin tone.
If you’ve tried some of the topical treatments, and they simply aren’t getting the job done, there are some popular in-office treatments available at many medical spas and dermatology offices that may provide additional benefits. Chemical peels are an excellent option for removing the top layers of your skin and areas of hyperpigmentation. Laser treatments can also target specific areas or pigments to reduce coloring and encourage new skin growth. Microneedling is also an option where tiny needles create punctures in the hyperpigmentation to prompt the skin to break up the pigment and then heal more evenly. Each of these treatments comes with its own risks and set of aftercare requirements, so always consult with a medical skincare professional beforehand.
Contact Rejuvenation Laser & Skin Center
We can help you feel better about your skin with our range of laser services. Call us to ask questions or book an appointment.