Hyperpigmentation: Causes, Treatments and Results

Hyperpigmentation is a harmless condition in which patches of skin are darker than the surrounding skin. Hyperpigmentation is a result of excessive melanin, the pigment that produces normal skin colouring. Any race can be effected by hyperpigmentation, however, those of darker Asian, African, or Mediterranean skin tones are more prone to it. It effects both men and woman.

What causes hyperpigmentation? Who is susceptible to getting hyperpigmentation?

There are many causes of hyperpigmentation. Those include sun damage, inflammation, and other skin injuries. Picking at the skin, hormonal changes, heredity, and certain medications, such as anti-seizure drugs, antibiotics, and hormone treatments can all cause hyperpigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation is associated with many diseases and conditions: Melasma, Cushing disease, Addison’s disease, celiac disease, Linea nigra, Acanthosis nigricans, smoker’s melanosis, Gravel’s disease, mercury poisoning, tinea, porphyria, Haemochromatosis, Nelson’s syndrome, Aromatase deficiency, and Cronkite-Canada syndrome.

While anyone can develop hyperpigmentation, those with fair to medium skin tones are the most susceptible to it. If an individual has spent a lot of time out in the sun before the age of 18, without sunscreen, a person can see higher damage to the skin. The same goes for tanning beds. Many woman will also find they have hormonal hyperpigmentation, which could be caused by the birth control they are taking.

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What are the signs and symptoms of hyperpigmentation?

Dark patches of skin that is blotchy is a sign of hyperpigmentation. These blotches can be seen on the face, the chin, forehead, cheeks, hands, chest, upper lip, and legs.

Is there a cure for hyperpigmentation? Is it permanent?

There is no cure for hyperpigmentation. There are many treatments a dermatologist can recommend to help lighten the condition and help to treat it. Hyperpigmentation can last forever, however, depending on how severe it is, it can last only a short amount of time as well. Many times pregnant woman will have hyperpigmentation before giving birth, but once the woman has given birth, the hyperpigmentation will disappear.

What treatment works to treat hyperpigmentation?

There are many successful treatments that work to treat hyperpigmentation. One very successful treatment is IPL skin rejuvenation, also known as photorejuvenation. This age defying skin treatment treats damage done to the skin non-invasively. This means there are no surgeries required and the skin’s epidermal surface is not disturbed. This is a FDA cleared treatment that literally has no downtime. A patient can schedule the treatment during their lunch hour and return to work as soon as the procedure is done. One treatment usually lasts about 20 minutes. Other benefits of using IPL skin rejuvenation to treat hyperpigmentation include very little pain, the ability to treat the entire face, not just small sections at a time, addresses skin conditions that are visible, provides results that are natural looking and gradual and gives long results. IPL skin rejuvenation can be used not only on the face, but also the neck, hands, and chest.

Is there a way to prevent hyperpigmentation?

There are a few ways that hyperpigmentation can be prevented. Those include wearing a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher each day, and being mindful of the sun exposure. Stay out of the sun during peak hours of the day. A hat should be worn while in the sun. Exfoliate the skin to help remove the build up of dead skin cells, as discoloration can be a result of these dead skin cells. Exfoliating the skin will help to minimise hyperpigmentation. Exfoliation can be done 1 to 2 times per week if an individual has dry skin, and 2 to 3 times per week if the individual has oily or combination skin.

4 replies
  1. Spot
    Spot says:

    IPL skin rejuvenation is a gradual process. This was the main reason that I decided to have this treatment done for my hyperpigmentation. I did not want to have a treatment done that looked like I had a procedure done. Many different wavelengths are used to break down the melanin in the skin. The treatment really hones in on the removal of pigmentation in the skin. You do have to wear glasses during the procedure to protect the eyes, and a cool gel is applied to the skin before hand. The area of skin treated utilizes a hand piece that is directed by your dermatologist. There is a slight sensation felt on the skin, but it is nothing that can not be handled. I would have to rate the pain about a 2 out of a 10 if that. A word of caution- some spots may turn darker after the treatment, but this is just because the melanin is being broken down. This is just a temporary side effect,and within a few weeks the spots will lighten.

  2. Lorie p
    Lorie p says:

    I have had the IPL skin rejuvenation treatment done for my hyperpigmentation and I was very pleased with the results. I had to have 6 treatments done on my face. I did feel a mild sensation on my face that was warm but it was not too bad. My face was red after the procedure, but it quickly went away, maybe within an hour after the treatment. My treatments lasted about half an hour. My treatments were scheduled about 3 weeks apart from one another. I must say that after having this procedure done, not only did my hyperpigmentation dramatically reduce, but my tone and texture was much better. I do recommend having this procedure done. Just make sure you find a dermatologist that can correctly perform it and one should not have any issues. Some tips that I can offer before having IPL skin rejuvenation done is to avoid the sun for at least 2 weeks prior to the treatment. This includes tanning beds as well.

  3. Helen
    Helen says:

    I have been not so lucky in the hyperpigmentation field. I had it early on in my younger years. I first noticed it when I was in my 20s. I am now in my late 50s, but when I was younger, sunscreen was not something that I used ever. It just did not seem that big of a deal to play in the pool or play sports without sunscreen on. I guess now I am paying the price for it. I am very fair skinned. I am interested in having a treatment done to make myself look better, but have figured I have lived with it this long, so I never looked into it. Maybe now is the time for me to take measures into my own hands and go to my dermatologist to see what treatments he can offer me. I like the sound of the IPL skin rejuvenation treatment. It sounds fast and easy, and with no pain, so I definitely can handle that!

  4. Blue
    Blue says:

    I have suffered with hyperpigmentation for many years. It is a result of spending way to much time at the pool in my younger years laying out. I enjoyed the sun and the time then, but now, looking at my skin, I wish I would have been smart enough to put sunscreen on. But back then, it was cool to lay out, lathered up in baby oil! Not so cool for me anymore. I would love to treat my hyperpigmentation as I feel that I would have more confidence in myself. Can anyone tell me how many treatments it would take of the IPL skin rejuvenation to restore my skin?


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