Hyperpigmentation Treatment for Dark Skin

What is hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition where excessive melanin production leads to dark patches. It can be caused by factors like sun exposure, hormonal changes, inflammation, acne scarring, and skin injuries. Though typically not harmful, it can be a cosmetic concern. Treatment for people with darker skin tones is often more challenging.

Types of hyperpigmentation

  • Post – Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
  • Melasma
  • Age Spots also known as liver spots 

Causes of hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is caused by an overproduction of melanin, the pigment that gives colour to our skin. There are several factors that can contribute to the development of hyperpigmentation:

1. Sun exposure:

UV rays from the sun can stimulate melanin production, leading to the formation of sunspots or age spots.

2. Hormonal changes:

Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy (melasma or chloasma), menopause, or while taking certain hormonal medications can trigger hyperpigmentation.

*Melasma: Melasma, or chloasma, is a skin condition where light brown, dark brown, or blue-gray patches appear on the skin. It commonly affects the face and forearms and is known as the “mask of pregnancy” due to its prevalence in pregnant women. The patches may be flat or resemble freckles and can darken and lighten the skin over time. While not harmful, melasma can impact self-confidence.

3. Hormonal disorders:

Disorders like Addison’s disease (a rare illness that occurs when the body doesn’t make enough of cortisol hormones) or Cushing’s syndrome (when the body makes too much of the hormone cortisol over a long period of time.), which affect the body’s hormone levels, can cause hyperpigmentation.

4. Thyroid disorders:

The thyroid gland, located in the neck, produces hormones that regulate metabolism and energy levels in the body. When the thyroid gland malfunctions, it can lead to hormonal imbalances, such as elevated estrogen levels. This increase in estrogen can stimulate melanin production in the skin, contributing to the onset of melasma.

Thyroid disorders can impact the immune system, leading to skin inflammation and hair loss alopecia. This inflammation can worsen the appearance of melasma by promoting increased pigment production in the melanocytes, the cells responsible for producing melanin.

5. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation:

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation leads to the formation of dark spots due to excessive production of melanin. This condition is commonly caused by several factors including acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, autoimmune diseases, rashes, razor bumps, as well as harsh skincare products and cosmetic procedures.

6. Genetic predisposition:

Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to hyperpigmentation, making them more prone to developing freckles, dark spots, or patches.

7. Certain medications:

Some medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), certain antibiotics, or chemotherapy drugs, and oral contraceptive Ligh sensitive drugs can cause hyperpigmentation as a side effect.

8. Lack of vitamins:

Not getting enough of certain vitamins, such as B12 and folic acid.

9. Skin trauma:

Any form of trauma to the skin, such as burns, scars, can lead to hyperpigmentation in the affected area.

10. Age:

With age, the natural aging process can lead to uneven distribution of melanin, resulting in hyperpigmentation.

It is important to note that for some individuals, hyperpigmentation may be a result of a combination of these factors. If you are experiencing hyperpigmentation, it is recommended to consult a professional for proper diagnosis and treatment plans and options.

What does hyperpigmentation look like on dark skin?

Hyperpigmentation on dark skin typically appears as patches or areas of darker skin compared to the surrounding skin. These patches can vary in colour and may be shades of brown, grey, or black. They can be small or large and may be scattered or clustered together. In some cases, hyperpigmentation may also appear as dark spots or speckles on the skin.

How do you treat hyperpigmentation in darker skin tones?

Treating hyperpigmentation in darker skin tones requires a tailored approach to minimize the risk of further skin discoloration or complications.

The best treatment for hyperpigmentation in dark skin tones is Dermamelan Peel. This treatment contains more potent and higher concentrations of active ingredients, making it suitable for treating more severe forms of pigmentation like dermal melasma, severe inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and scarred skin from injury or trauma. It is especially effective for darker skin tones.

Dermamelan Peel requires in-clinic treatment and follow-up home care using specialized creams to achieve optimal results. 

These treatments address the underlying cause of pigmentation, which is the malfunctioning melanocyte cells. By reprogramming and promoting their health, they regulate melanin production to protect the skin while simultaneously reducing and eliminating various pigmentation issues such as melasma, hyperpigmentation, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (old and new), solar/senile lentigo (freckles), and dark spots. Furthermore, they rejuvenate the skin and minimize the signs of photo-aging and photo-damage.

How long does it take for hyperpigmentation to fade?

Hyperpigmentation fads over time depending on the individual and severity. In some cases, it may fade within a few months, while dermal hyperpigmentation which can take years to fade and may become permanent in some cases. Consistent treatment like creams, laser therapy, and chemical peels can speed up the process. 

Is hyperpigmentation permanent dark skin?

In most cases, hyperpigmentation tends to fade over time. However, it is important to commit to a treatment plan, as it can take a significant amount of time. Most forms of hyperpigmentation typically fade within 6 to 12 months. However, some forms may require longer or more intensive treatment, such as dermal hyperpigmentation which can take years to fade and may become permanent in some cases. It is a common issue in dark skin, it is one of the top five skin concerns in this group.

What treatments are recommended for hyperpigmentation?

A personalised treatment plan is essential for addressing hyperpigmentation and may involve various methods of treatment over time. Seeking professional advice is crucial in creating such a plan. It is also important to maintain a Hyperpigmentation skincare routine to prevent the reoccurrence of pigmentation. This is because previous damage to melanocytes can lead to the reappearance of pigmentation.

1. Topical Treatments:

  • Retinoids: These promote skin cell turnover and can help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation over time. Start with a low concentration to avoid irritation.
  • Kojic Acid, Azelaic Acid, Vitamin C: These ingredients can help brighten the skin and fade hyperpigmentation.

2.Chemical Peels:

Mild to medium-strength peels can be effective in reducing hyperpigmentation. However, it’s important to ensure the use of pigmentation-specific peels suitable for darker skin tones to prevent further complications.

3. Laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatments:

Certain lasers, like Nd:YAG laser or IPL, can specifically target and diminish hyperpigmentation, but it is crucial to seek treatment from a dermatologist experienced in treating darker skin tones.

4. Microneedling:

This procedure involves creating controlled micro-injuries to stimulate collagen production and improve skin texture. When combined with topical treatments, it can help reduce hyperpigmentation.

5. Sun Protection:

Sun exposure can worsen hyperpigmentation, so wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is vital. Reapplying sunscreen every two hours and wearing protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses is also important.

Can you prevent hyperpigmentation?

While it may not always be possible to completely prevent or stop hyperpigmentation, there are ways to reduce the risk by protecting the skin from the sun. 

How to protect your skin from the sun:

  • Wearing protective clothing and high SPF factor sunscreen. It is particularly important that you apply sunscreen every 2 hours when spending time outdoors.
  • Avoid trauma which leads to inflammation and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • Avoiding picking at the skin
  • Seeking professional advice before using lightening creams
  • Avoiding products that lighten the entire complexion

We offer Dermamelan Peel for darker skin, which is the number one, scientifically-tested professional depigmenting peeling programme recommended worldwide. Book a consultation with us today!

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