Hyperpigmentation: What It is and How to Deal With It
As we move away from summer, you may be noticing new dark spots and patches on your face, chest, and possibly neck. These dark spots and patches are called hyperpigmentation and can occur in every skin tone and is a top concern for people of color.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Commonly referred to as discoloration, hyperpigmentation is a harmless, cosmetic skin condition. However, it can greatly impact self-esteem and confidence. Hyperpigmentation arises when there is an increase of melanin in the skin. This increase can be caused by environmental factors such as UV rays from the sun, but also be caused by hormonal changes, trauma to the skin, certain pharmaceutical drugs, obesity, diabetes, and other health conditions.
There are several types of hyperpigmentation:
- Melasma: Most often shows as grey or brown patches on the face or other areas of the body exposed to UV rays. It can also be caused by hormonal changes (hence the term “pregnancy mask”). It is most common in women, especially those with darker skin.
- Sunspots: Also referred to as “solar lentigines”. These can appear as sun-induced freckles, tan or dark spots. Chronic sun exposure is usually the cause of these spots found on the face, upper chest, upper back, forearms, and hands.
- Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH): often caused by trauma or inflammation of the skin. It is most commonly seen in those with acne.
How is hyperpigmentation treated?
If a more even skin tone is a must for you, we offer several options to help you achieve that goal. Our Lead Esthetician is certified in the treatment of hyperpigmentation, especially for multicultural skin tones. Treatment will vary based on each client’s skincare needs. We offer both in-office and home care regimens, to help you achieve brighter, blemish-free skin.
Some ways we treat hyperpigmentation are:
- Chemical Resurfacing Treatment Plan: This plan includes a total of 12 treatments, alternating between customized chemical peels and Diamond Peel Microdermabrasion.
- At-Home Topical Products: We will recommend daily use of professional products which include tyrosinase inhibitor ingredients to inhibit melanin production. Other ingredients include hydroquinone, kojic acid, azelaic acid, and niacinamide. Products containing vitamins A and C, tretinoin, and retinols may also be recommended.
- LED Advanced Treatments: Our advanced, non-ablative, light-based skin rejuvenation systems help with sun damage as well as various signs of aging. Studies have shown that light-therapy speeds up the removal of melanin and evens out pigmentation.
How fast will I see results?
Treatments for hyperpigmentation do require some patience and time to see results. We will take photos before the start of your treatment plan and periodically throughout, so you can better see the changes your skin is going through. You will see an immediate improvement in texture and skin clarity.
We recommend a Customized Facial appointment for all new clients, as it will help us to get to know you, your lifestyle, and your skincare needs. This will help us to formulate a treatment plan to help you achieve your skin health goals.
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