Hyperpigmentation can be very frustrating for all age brackets. Understanding what causes it and how to treat it will likely lead you to a clear path of healthy, glowing skin.
What is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is a darkening of the skin when there are higher then normal levels of melanin produced. These can be clusters or a diffuse of Red/Pink or different shades of brown in large or small sizes. Any part of the skin that has changes in colour darker then the rest is hyperpigmented. The best tip you need to know is WEAR sunscreen EVERYDAY-even when it’s not ‘sunny’, the UVA rays are still penetrating through glass and attacking your skin. There are four types of Skin Discolouration:
- Freckles- Caused by the sun, freckles range in colour from light to dark brown, or even red or black in skin of colour. They are located on the face, chest and arms in the form of small concentrated spots. Freckles are best treated by a ND: YAG laser or Fraxel laser.
- Sun Spots- Like their name portrays, they are also caused by exposure to the sun. They appear light to dark brown in colour and appear on the face, chest, and back on the hands. They look like small, flat, dark brown spots. They are best treated with a combination of AHA acids (Glycolic/Lactic), Retinol A and IPL/BBL( Intense Pulsed Light/Broad Banned Light)
- Melasma- Melasma looks like splotchy, uneven patches that are inconsistent in their shape and colour. They are caused by a SURGE in hormones usually from pregnancy or the birth control pill in combination with sun exposure. It appears as light to medium brown in colour and occurs throughout the cheeks, sides of the face, nose, upper lip, and forehead. Melasma is commonly known as the ‘Pregnancy Mask’. Melasma is best treated with topical Retinol A & Hydroquinone, Clinical AHA Peels ( Glycolic/Lactic Acid), Vitamin C, and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) * Melasma is very difficult to treat because of the potential for your hormones to continue to fluctuate*
- Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)- Caused by inflammatory acne, PIH appears as Pink, Red, or Blueish in colour and can show up anywhere on the face. They are characterized as flat discolourations that are a result of an acne lesion. PIH is best treated with low levels of Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide, and red or blue light therapy treatments.