W- What is this?
Hyperpigmentation is an umbrella term used to describe the darkening of the skin. This often presents in a spot like fashion and can be caused by a number of different things. Hyperpigmentation typical caused by the over production of melanin in certain areas of the skin, this can be caused by anything from sun exposure, hormones and trauma to the skin. Some different types of hyperpigmentation include Melasma, Sun Spots and Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation.
What is Melasma?
Melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation that is typically symmetrical on the face (meaning there is probably a matching pigmentation patch on the other side of the face) and appear in areas under as under the eyes, cheeks and forehead. This is caused by the production of melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH), this will active myelocytes and cause skin discoloration. Stimulation of MSH can be caused by a number of things such as stress, heat, sun exposure, hormones and pregnancy.
What are Sun Spots?
Sun spots are dark, flat spots that can appear anywhere on the body from sun exposure. They tend to become more prevalent as we age from damage that was caused by our younger days. Sun spots are considered to be harmless but you do always want your doctor to take a look at them to differentiate sun spots from skin cancer.
What is Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?
Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation is usually caused by increased melanin production due to some sort of trauma to the skin. This can happen from things like an allergic reaction, laser, infection or a wound. This is going to be more common in those with darker skin because darker skin already has an increased amount of melanin so it is easier to trigger this kind of reaction. But ultimately it can happen to anyone.
H-How does it work?
Hyperpigmentation causes a skin discoloration and an unevenness in skin tone. So, the question is how can you treat your hyperpigmentation? First and foremost is to WEAR YOUR SUNSCREEN! And yes…. every single day. This will help prevent sun spots and photoaging damage from forming. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk topical treatments. One of the most effective ways to treat hyperpigmentation is chemical peels! Certain chemical peel ingredients such as TCA, hydroquinone, lactic acid, Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Kojic Acid can help target hyperpigmentation, reduce discoloration and promote a more even skin tone. Often a combination of these different ingredients are used. The goal is to help lighten the discoloration and disrupt hyperpigmentation pathways to prevent new hyperpigmentation from forming. It is always best to consult a skincare professional to determine what is best for you and your goals.
Y- Why is it important to you?
Treating hyperpigmentation is a process but certainly can be done! It can be a slow process because you do not want to irritate your skin with harsh products or do too much too fast. But if you talk with your skincare professional you can find a daily skincare routine tailored to your goals with the appropriate professional treatment incorporate to help you achieve your goals.