What is Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation refers to the darkening of the skin due to an excess production of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin colour.   This can affect many parts of the face and body.  The pigmentation of the face may called melasma.  Hyperpigmentation can also affect areas such as the armpits, groin, or intimate regions.

What are the causes of hyperpigmentation?

There are many different factors that can hyperpigmentation or skin darkening.  These include:

  • Sun exposure - an important and common cause of pigmentation changes in the skin.
  • Hormonal imbalances - can result in areas of hyperpigmentation and this is common during pregnancy.
  • Certain medications - can be photosensitive resulting in hyperpigmentation.
  • Genetics - Some individuals are more genetically predisposed to developing pigmentation changes.
  • Post inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) - This is as a result of injury or conditions that cause an inflammatory response in the skin.  Common conditions include acne or burns.  PIH can also result following laser treatments or peels.
  • Thyroid disease - These can result in hormonal imbalances resulting in pigmentation changes in the skin.

What are the different types of hyperpigmentation?

There are many different types of hyperpigmentation which include:

  • Sunspots or age spots: Result from sun exposure and are common in areas frequently exposed to the sun.
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: Develops after skin inflammation or injury, such as acne, cuts, or burns.
  • Melasma: A specific type of hyperpigmentation characterized by brown or gray-brown patches, often on the face, which can be triggered by hormonal changes during pregnancy or with the use of birth control.

What are the treatment options for hyperpigmentation?

There are many different types of treatment for hyperpigmentation depending on the cause.  During your consultation with our team, they will provide you with guidance on the possible options to reduce and prevent pigmentation changes in the skin. Treatment options for hyperpigmentation may include:

  • Topical treatments: Skin-lightening agents like hydroquinone, retinoids, or botanical extracts can help fade dark spots.
  • Chemical peels: Exfoliating acids can be applied to the skin to remove the top layer and reduce hyperpigmentation. This includes the Mesoestetic Dermalan peel offered by CLNQ for intimate lightening treatment.
  • Laser therapy: Various laser and light-based treatments can target melanin and improve skin tone.
  • Microdermabrasion: Mechanical exfoliation to remove the outer layer of skin and promote new skin growth.
  • Sun protection: Regular use of sunscreen is crucial to prevent further darkening of hyperpigmented areas. This is the most important factor in preventing pigmentation changes.

Book your consultation with team to discuss your pigmentation concerns.

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Reza Nassab FRCS Plast

Reza Nassab FRCS Plast

This page has been medically reviewed by Mr Nassab, consultant plastic surgeon.  

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