Last updated on September 9, 2023
There are two different types of skin pigmentation, hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is the general term for dark spots or patches on the skin and hypopigmentation is when the spots or patches are lighter than your normal skin tone. So what is hyperpigmentation and why is it formed?
Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition in which certain areas of the skin become darker than the surrounding skin. It is caused by an overproduction of melanin, the pigment that gives colour to our skin, hair, and eyes. A variety of factors, including excessive sun exposure, hormonal changes, inflammation, skin injuries such as acne or eczema and certain medications can trigger melanin production.
The most common pigmentation conditions are:
There are a number of different treatment options to improve hyperpigmentation that we offer at EST Clinic:
The light energy from IPL is absorbed by the melanin pigment and induces heat within the hyperpigmented spots. This leads to some changes within the skin cells that contain the excess melanin pigment. The affected cells will undergo an upward transfer to the skin surface, which commonly results in a micro crust forming. Reduction in those pigments may occur as the micro crust is flaked off from the skin surface.
There are two types of Q-switched lasers that can be used for treatment:
Laser toning can reduce the hyperactivity of melanocytes in order to control the excess pigmentation. It utilises a Q-switched laser with a 1064 nm wavelength, delivering lower energy levels in multiple passes to improve the pigmentation effectively. The laser energy will selectively target and break down the melanin clusters, allowing our immune system to remove them naturally.
This 660 nm wavelength Q-switched laser will target specific epidermal pigmented spots. The treated lesion will initially darken then a micro crust typically formed.
The innovative picosecond technology (Picoway and Picosure) enables this laser energy to be delivered rapidly into the pigmented lesion in order to reduce the excess heat built-up within the surrounding skin, therefore minimising the risk of thermal damage. This allows the melanin pigment to vibrate and shatter, which eventually reduces the appearance of the skin’s pigmentation.
HA Hydrating Booster provides intense hydration and plumping effects to the skin. By replenishing the skin’s moisture levels, this product can help to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as boost the overall radiance and suppleness of the skin. It can be used as a standalone product or as part of a larger skincare routine, depending on individual needs and preferences.
Below you can find more FAQs about hyperpigmentation:
Hyperpigmentation can fade over time, but in some cases, it may not go away completely without treatment. The effectiveness of treatment depends on the underlying cause of the hyperpigmentation, the severity of the condition, and the treatment method used.
To prevent hyperpigmentation, it’s important to limit sun exposure, wear protective clothing and use sun protection with a high SPF, avoid picking at acne or other skin conditions, and be gentle with your skin. It’s also a good idea to manage any underlying medical conditions that can contribute to hyperpigmentation, such as hormonal imbalances.
Hyperpigmentation can usually be diagnosed through a visual examination by a dermatologist. In some cases, a skin biopsy or other diagnostic tests may be necessary to rule out underlying medical conditions.
Hyperpigmentation can affect people of all skin types and ages, although it is more common in people with darker skin tones. It can be triggered by a variety of factors, including sun exposure, hormonal changes, skin injuries, and certain medications.
Hyperpigmentation itself typically does not cause any symptoms, although in some cases, the underlying condition that caused the hyperpigmentation may have associated symptoms, such as itching or pain.
The duration of hyperpigmentation varies depending on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. Some cases may resolve on their own over time, while others may require treatment to fade the areas of darkened skin.
If you have concerns about hyperpigmentation or notice any changes in the appearance of your skin, it’s a good idea to seek medical advice from a professional. This is especially important if the hyperpigmentation is widespread, severe, or accompanied by other symptoms.
There are some home remedies and over-the-counter products that may help to lighten hyperpigmentation, but it’s important to consult with a professional to determine the best course of treatment for your particular case. Some popular home remedies include using lemon juice, turmeric, or aloe vera, although the effectiveness of these treatments varies and they may not be suitable for all skin types.
There are several topical creams that can be used to treat hyperpigmentation, including those containing ingredients like vitamin C and kojic acid. They can help to brighten the skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots and also inhibit the production of melanin and promote the growth of new skin cells. The best way to determine which topical creams are best for you is to seek the advice of a professional, who can advise a suitable treatment plan for you.