Hyperpigmentation affects many people and can include a range of conditions such as sunspots or melasma. While not typically of medical concern, hyperpigmentation can cause self-consciousness in your appearance. Dermatologists like Dr. Damstetter understand the various causes of hyperpigmentation and the best treatment options to safely and effectively achieve a more even skin tone. While treatment is not usually medically necessary, you can choose to address your hyperpigmentation through various treatment options at Reserve Dermatology in Glenview, Illinois.
Hyperpigmentation is a very common skin concern that is usually harmless. Hyperpigmentation will cause patches of the skin to appear darker in color than the surrounding skin due to excess melanin.
There are several types and causes of hyperpigmentation. The most common include:
- Age-related hyperpigmentation, referred to as sunspots, age spots, or liver spots
- Scarring (including acne scars)
“Dr. Liz is truly the best dermatologist I’ve ever been to. She is attentive, kind, and genuinely cares about her patients and their overall skin health. I can not recommend her enough!!!”
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Hyperpigmentation has several causes, depending on the type of hyperpigmentation you are facing.
Many types of hyperpigmentation are caused by sun damage over time. For example, age spots are more likely to develop as a result of excess sun exposure over the course of your lifetime. Other types of hyperpigmentation, like freckles, can be caused by a combination of genetic factors and sun exposure. Freckles are an inherited trait and may be present at all times for some patients, while others may develop freckles in warmer months as a result of sun exposure.
Damage to the skin can also result in hyperpigmented scars. This applies to traumatic injuries, surgeries, or skin conditions including acne.
Finally, hormonal changes can cause hyperpigmentation. This is especially true for patients who take hormonal birth control or during pregnancy. Melasma is especially common as a result of hormonal changes.
Liz Damstetter, MD
Hyperpigmentation does not require treatment for medical reasons. However, some patients may choose to address their hyperpigmentation for cosmetic purposes. They may feel self-conscious about the appearance of dark patches, scars, and other unwanted pigmentation.
In some cases, topical lightening creams can be beneficial. These creams contain hydroquinone, tretinoin, or cortisone, which can reduce melanin in the cells where they are applied. The appropriate topical treatment will depend on factors like the severity of the hyperpigmentation.
Laser treatments can also be beneficial for hyperpigmentation. Lasers and light therapy, like IPL, work to break apart pigmented cells, resulting in a smoother and more even skin tone.
Chemical peels are a popular treatment for various forms of hyperpigmentation. A peeling solution is applied to the area of concern over a series of in-office treatments. This is best done in combination with an appropriate skincare regimen.
Finally, microneedling can be beneficial for some patients dealing with hyperpigmentation. This treatment option is common for those who have acne scars, for example. Microneedling stimulates new collagen growth for a rejuvenated look.
In addition to these treatment options, Dr. Damstetter can give you advice and recommend products that will prevent future skin damage and hyperpigmentation. Wearing SPF 30+ daily is especially important to avoid sun damage. This also protects your skin from an increased risk of skin cancer.
Effective products to lighten unwanted hyperpigmentation for all skin types:
To learn more about hyperpigmentation and your best treatment options, schedule an appointment with Dr. Liz Damstetter. Call Reserve Dermatology in Glenview Illinois or contact us online.