Hyperpigmentation: What You Need to Know

Do you find your skin plagued with discoloured patches and freckles when you look at yourself in the mirror? This aesthetic issue is a common headache of most and can be caused by various reasons like exposure to the sun or inflammation. While you might think that they can easily be concealed with makeup, it actually goes deeper than that since it could cause us to feel conscious about our looks when we step out of our home au natural. Continue reading to gather more insights about this issue and how you can combat it.

 

What Is Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation occurs when certain areas of our skin start bearing more melanin than usual. They appear in the form of:

  • Blemishes
  • Freckles
  • Visible Blotches

With the understanding that melanin is the pigment that gives our eyes and hair their colour; when they show up in excess, they would appear as freckles and visible blotches. In general, these blemishes are not a medical concern and would not affect your health in any adverse manner. However, some people might find them an imperfection that sets them further on their journey towards smooth and flawless visage. Thus, there is a greater need to explore treatments and remedies that would return our complexion to its original condition. 

 

What are the Types of Hyperpigmentation?

There are 3 common types, namely, post-inflammatory, photoaging and melasma.

1. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

This is a term for dark spots that show up once your pimples disappear. Essentially, these dark spots occur after a pimple has healed, however, it is also important to note that it can happen after the skin has experienced some trauma including an insect bite or a scratch.

2. Photoaging

Also known as sun spots, photoaging typically affects those in their later years, following prolonged and unprotected sun exposure. Typically, dermatologists predict that people would experience this issue well into their late thirties or early forties. Signs of photoaging are distinctive; they usually appear larger than freckles and appear as clusters of darker spots on your complexion.

3. Melasma

Characterised as gray-brown patches on the upper lip, cheeks or center of the forehead, melasma is a condition that is typically influenced by hormones. For some, it may also form on other parts of the body such as the forearms and neck. Because of how this issue is caused by fluctuations of the hormone level, it may be more common for women in pregnancy and for those who have been consuming birth control pills. Similar to photoaging (sun spots), prolonged and unprotected sun exposure can exacerbate melasma.

 

What is The Pigmentation Removal Process?

Hyperpigmentation occurs when the body produces an excess of pigment within the skin that would result in freckles, age spots or sunspots on our outer layer. During each session at the aesthetic clinic, specialists would target these dark spots with non-invasive energy that breaks down these blotches of discolouration into smaller particles with heat. In time, these smaller fragments would be recognised as waste by the body and would flake away as they rise to the surface.

Wondering how the procedure would feel? Most have described the experience to be a slight sensation of heat, but fret not as it does not hurt at all. Depending on the treatment area, the procedure could take from 15 to 30 minutes. Unlike other treatments, this procedure ensures your layer of skin does not thin while ensuring a cleaner, fairer and brighter tone.

 

What Are The Causes of Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation happens in our body for a number of reasons like the number of hours we spend in the sun to any sudden changes to our hormone levels. To prevent the condition from developing, it is important to understand what causes it in the first place. Read on to discover the causes that might exacerbate this issue.

1. Prolonged Exposure to the Sun

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays have been found to be the number one cause of dark spots since it causes our body to produce an excess of melanin, the natural pigment that turns our complexion a shade darker. When we find ourselves experiencing prolonged and unprotected exposure to the sun, these dark spots might form in common areas like our face and on our hands.

2. Pregnancy and Other Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes could lead to this condition. When our body experiences a sudden change in hormone levels, such as during pregnancy, it could ramp up melanin production that causes dark patches to appear.

3. Side Effects from Certain Medications

Do not be surprised if you start observing dark spots on your face or body when you are taking prescribed medication. Certain medications carry side effects that could make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure or increase the level of pigmentation.

4. Inflammation Due to Chronic Skin Conditions

When your skin is inflamed or irritated, you are more likely to develop dark spots. Similarly, inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and even acne-related issues can cause pigmentation disorders to occur.

5. Chronic Illnesses and Diseases

If you suffer from certain chronic illnesses, you might be more susceptible to developing dark spots and patches on your face or body. Some of these illnesses would include diabetes, liver disease, and various forms of cancer.

 

Aftercare Pigmentation Treatment: Do’s and Don’ts

It is essential that you take extra care of your skin after your pigmentation treatment. Your skin has gone through a drastic change over a short period of time and it is likely that it would be stressed and sensitive to the external environment. Hence, it is important that you take note of certain do’s and don’ts to keep your skin healthy and glowing, and avoid certain aftercare practices that might exacerbate your issue.

1. Use Sunscreen

The use of sunscreen is crucial. Unprotected exposure to the sun can lead to darkening caused by higher levels of pigmentation. Essentially, there are two types of sun rays to look out for — UVB rays and UVA rays. UVB rays have a stronger effect on the skin and would be typically stronger during the summer. Whereas, UVA rays remain constant throughout the year. It is important to note that UVA rays can pass through glass windows — it would be wise to put on a moisturiser with SPF 30 daily even if you are located indoors during the day. Do look out for sunscreen with a higher SPF rating as that would stand for greater protection from UVB rays.

2. Ensure That You Are Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep is essential in the maintenance of our overall health. In fact, it works the hardest at night, while you are asleep. During this downtime, it repairs damaged cells and creates new ones when the body is at rest. Hence, it is crucial that you get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night to get glowing, radiant skin. If you are using a moisturiser (free from chemicals), leaving it on throughout the night while you sleep will penetrate to the deeper layers of your skin and keep it in peak condition.

3. Don’t Over-Exfoliate

It is easy to over-exfoliate, especially if you are striving to keep your skin clean, free from dirt and radiant. However, over-exfoliating will cause irritation and this practice can worsen its overall health and appearance. If you are exfoliating, ensure that they do not contain any sulfates, parabens and phthalates that may potentially dry out and dull your skin.

4. Avoid Picking Your Skin

Picking and scratching, especially when it is healing from a wound or acne can lead to dark patches. When it comes to post-treatment care, being gentle is the key. If you are tending to any wounds, scabs and acne, attend to it with proper care or they might lead to permanent scarring.

 

Any Side Effects to the Pigmentation Treatment?

The non-invasive treatment may show signs of:

  • slight pinkish complexion for up to 15 minutes following the session
  • slight sensation of warmness, it is completely painless
  • the chances of scarring would be extremely low

Because of how revolutionary and advanced the treatment is, the procedure can help you realise your desired complexion without any side effects. If you are interested in such a procedure, rest assured since it would be painless and comfortable. While you might experience a slight sensation of warmness, it is completely painless.

Some fear that the procedure might lead to visible side effects like scars and marks, but since the treatment’s technology does not penetrate the dermis layer of the skin, the chances of scarring would be extremely low.

 

When Will You See Change With The Pigmentation Treatment?

In general, most clients would require a few sessions to achieve their desired results. But you can expect to see results as early as three weeks following the treatment, after which, you will continually noticing further improvements. After the suggested few sessions, you will start seeing obvious change.

 

The Bottom Line

If you are looking for an option with permanence, you can consider pigmentation removal treatment to attain unblemished and flawless skin. Not only is it convenient and pain-free, but the procedure, accompanied by a complementary post-treatment plan, will ensure lasting and effective results that ensure the discolouration does not return.