If you find it hard to understand hyperpigmentation, and it seems like people refer to different types of pigment changes as hyperpigmentation, that is normal. However, several forms of hyperpigmentation don’t always look the same or develop from the same contributing factors or causes.
Often misunderstood as a skin condition in its own right, hyperpigmentation refers to skin that appears darker than the rest of the skin around it.
This can occur in various ways: small patches, more extensive areas, or even the whole body. Hyperpigmentation is most often harmless, but it can be a symptom of other skin disorders and conditions, such as melasma.
Hyperpigmentation occurs most often in the forms of melasma, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and sunspots (also known as liver spots, or more scientifically “solar lentigines.).” Each of these is caused by different factors – but they can be treated and removed in the same way.
First, what causes hyperpigmentation?
Most frequently, hyperpigmentation is caused by inflammation and prolonged sun exposure over the long term, but hormones can also play a role. In addition, some medications, diseases, and even chemotherapy can cause hyperpigmentation as well. All of these factors can increase melanin production – that is what creates darker pigmentation in the skin.
Types of hyperpigmentation and their causes
Melasma is hyperpigmentation that is believed to be caused by hormones, especially during pregnancy. You can find these anywhere on the body, but they are often on the face and belly. When hyperpigmentation is post-inflammatory, it is caused by acne scarring or any other injury’s scar. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can be found anywhere on the body where acne forms or where an injury can happen. Sunspots, of course, are caused by long-term sun exposure and are commonly found on the hands and face, which get exposed to the sun most frequently.
How to treat hyperpigmentation at home
While the best option will be to see a professional skincare expert like an esthetician or a dermatologist, there are some treatments you can do at home, as well as some lifestyle changes to reduce your likelihood of developing it in the first place. For example, at home, you can use topical retinoids to help lighten the dark spots. You can also get medications like hydroquinone to help with lighting.
How to prevent hyperpigmentation
To prevent hyperpigmentation from developing, you should use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50. Use it generously every day, reapply every two hours if you are in the sun, and even more frequently if you are swimming or sweating. Make sure it is broad-spectrum coverage. You can also wear hats in the sun, wear SPF-infused clothing, or just clothing that will cover up your skin when you need to be outside for extended periods in peak sun hours.
How to treat hyperpigmentation in Montreal spas
The best approach, however, is to leave it to the professionals. Here at New Age Spa, we offer several esthetician treatments that can reduce hyperpigmentation. Whether you choose our micro-needling treatment, laser treatments, brightening facial, or chemical peels, you will notice any dark spots fade away in as little as one session.
Please book your free consultation now, and our medical estheticians will help you determine which treatment for hyperpigmentation is best for you.