Hyperpigmentation

The term hyperpigmentation refers to excessive darkening of areas of the skin in relation to surrounding areas. These dark spots can be as small as freckles or large patchy areas.


Melanocytes in our skin cells normally absorb the sun’s ultraviolet rays and produce melanin, the substance which tans our skin. In some areas there may be more melanocytes or hyperactive melanocytes that overproduce melanin. The deposits of melanin create a harmless brown patch on the skin.

One type of hyperpigmentation is melasma. In this condition, large patchy brown areas form on the face, most often on the cheeks, forehead and temples. Lentigines, sometimes called age spots or liver spots, form most often on the face and the back of the hands.

Almost everyone has some degree of hyperpigmentation. And because melanin reacts to sunlight, people who have had long exposure to the sun, such as the elderly, are more likely to exhibit hyperpigmentation. Our face, neck and hands are the areas we expose most to the sun so it should not be surprising that these areas are affected by hyperpigmentation. Because these are also the areas we expose most to the public, hyperpigmentation can become a problem for people who believe their appearance is marred by these brown patches.

Hyperpigmentation Treatments

There are several hyperpigmentation treatments that can help. The treatment that’s right for you will depend on your skin type and the cause and severity of the hyperpigmentation.

Topical Hyperpigmentation Treatments

There are a number of over-the-counter and prescription bleaching creams and exfoliating agents that may be a good option. Repeated treatments are necessary and considerable time is needed for noticeable results. Your doctor should be able to help you choose a suitable product or combination of products.

Chemical Peels

For more noticeable results after treatment, facial chemical peels are a great solution.

Hyaluronic acid (a naturally occurring substance in your tissue) and other peeling agents are applied to the skin. Outer layers of damaged skin are exfoliated and replaced by new, healthier layers of skin. The amount of peeling and side effects depend on the strength of the peel.

Hyperpigmentation can usually be effectively treated with mild peels such as the Enzyme or the Jessner Peel. Procedures are quick and typically result in some redness for only a few days.

Hyperpigmentation Laser Treatments

A photo facial is another popular and effective hyperpigmentation treatment. Using intense pulsed light (IPL), a photofacial clears skin pigmentation quickly and easily, with a minimum of discomfort and virtually no down time.

At Preventous Cosmetic Medicine, we use the StarLux® 500, “the world’s most advanced and versatile laser and IPL platform”. The Starlux® system has been clinically proven to deliver results as good as or better than single-procedure lasers with less pain.

Let Us Help You Make The Right Choice

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