Hyperpigmentation

Increased melanin production causes dark spots formation on the skin, and this condition is medically known as hyperpigmentation. These skin pigmentation conditions are further categorized as age spots, melasma, freckles, sun spots, and liver spots. Hyperpigmentation can appear as small patches, and sometimes it covers wider areas like face, hands, and arms. 

 

Sunlight, acne, rashes, also stimulate the melanin-producing cells (melanocytes) that are present in the skin, and this causes them to produce more melanin in the deeper layer of the skin. Pigmentation is a harmless condition in which the skin becomes darker in color compared to the healthy surrounding skin cells, as the excess melanin (pigment responsible for providing color to the skin) production form dark pigment deposits on the skin.

 

Increased hyperpigmentation is not harmful, and it may occur due to another medical condition such as liver disease, thyroid disorder, obesity, or as part of pcod.

 

These dark spots become darker when exposed to the sun as the melanin absorbs the UV rays and provides protection to the skin from harmful sun rays. Overexposure to UV rays results in tanning and causes darkening of the areas that are already pigmented. Hence, the application of broad-spectrum sunscreen is a must, as it blocks harmful UV rays.

 

Potential factors that cause hyperpigmentation

  • Excess production of melanin pigment in the skin due to excessive sun exposure
  • Consuming medications like antibiotics, anti-seizure drugs, birth control, and chemotherapy
  • Acne recovery
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy
  • Addison’s disease
  • Heredity
  • Botched skin treatments
  • Skin injury or trauma

Types of hyperpigmentation

1. Melasma

Melasma mostly occurs due to hormonal changes and causes overproduction of melanin on the face during the pregnancy period and in women who are taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy in menopause. These dark patches can appear on the face especially on the cheeks and the nose.

2. Sunspots, Liver spots or Solar lentigines:

Excess sun exposure for a long period of time can cause dark skin areas. As this is related to sun exposure, the areas that are frequently exposed to the sun like hands, face, and  chest are more prone to this kind of pigmentation.

3. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation:

Previously occurred skin injury can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Skin diseases like acne can also cause PIH or dark spots after this condition gets cleared. Many times surgery or injury also causes the dark spots to appear on the specific area. 

4. Freckles or small spots:

These tiny brown spots can appear anywhere but are most common over the face and arms. This can be hereditary.

Diagnosis of Hyperpigmentation

  • Medical history examination
  • Physical examination
  • Blood test
  • Skin biopsy

Treatments for Hyperpigmentation

Post prescription creams

They lighten the skin and fade the dark spots by helping to match the normal skin tone. But it provides slow results. Hence, advanced dermatological treatments are often recommended along with topical creams to achieve a brighter, lighter and improved pigmentation free skin.

Laser treatment

To reduce hyperpigmentation, laser treatment works best to remove dark pigmented spots by using targeted light beams. Two main types of lasers are ablative and non-ablative. Ablative lasers use intense light beams to remove layers of the skin. Ablative lasers are suitable for people with fair skin. Non-ablative lasers aim the dermis to cause collagen growth and improve skin elasticity. Both ablative and non-ablative laser breaks elements or pigments in the skin to cause regeneration of the new skin cells and give more tightened and toned skin. The effective laser treatment removes pigmentation without scarring.

 

Laser Toning method is the most effective laser treatment for hyperpigmentation. The procedure involves using a Q Switched laser that reduces the melanin production from different layers of the skin, and helps to correct irregularities of pigment in the skin. Lasers are also helpful for stimulating the production of elastin and collagen. It also causes rejuvenation of skin texture without any downtime. People with age spots, uneven toned skin, tanned skin, sunspots, and open pores are suitable candidates for this procedure. This treatment is helpful for quick rejuvenation of face, hands, and neck. It improves skin tone, and texture by promoting sub-dermal collagen formation.

Chemical peel

Hyperpigmentation can be treated by using peel. During chemical peel treatment, special care is essential because the incorrect procedure can lead to pigment irregularities and scarring. In this method, a chemical peel solution is applied according to the skin requirements. These chemicals gently remove the topmost layer of the skin and help improve cellular renewal and regeneration. Dead skin cells are then removed off, and healthier cells restore the natural glow of the skin and provide a refreshed and brighter look.

Intense Pulsed light (Photo facials)

Hyperpigmentation can also be treated by IPL photofacial, which is a non-invasive procedure. This procedure uses a wide spectrum of light to penetrate the skin and targets excess melanin pigment present in the skin. Further, the body's immune system removes those breakdown particles. This product provides an improved skin even tone. This treatment effectively treats skin issues such as brown spots, redness, and sunspots. Other skin imperfections and aging concerns can also be treated through IPL photo facials. This is a safe and easy procedure that does not require any downtime.

Microdermabrasion

This procedure is useful to exfoliate the skin by removing damaged and dead skin cells. It treats dull and sun-damaged skin and provides radiant and refreshed skin. This procedure generally targets certain skin issues such as acne, acne scars, dark spots, and of course hyperpigmentation. During this procedure, dead and damaged skin cells are exfoliated, and the uppermost damaged layer of the skin is removed safely to reveal healthy skin. This procedure is easy, painless, and is completed in 30-40 minutes.

 

These treatments can be customized according to an individual needs to achieve the optimum results. For details of the best hyperpigmentation treatment in Hyderabad, consult Dr. Keerthana Kalva at Inform Clinics.  

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