Bellagena is a skin care studio and med spa located in Bradenton, Florida
Why Hyperpigmentation Happens, and How to Treat It with Bellagena Med Spa of Bradenton

Why Hyperpigmentation Happens, and How to Treat It

Written by:

Julia Padilla - Carr

Julia had the vision of creating a clinical skin care studio with the traditional spa atmosphere for many years. Julia is a Licensed Aesthetician, Licensed Electrologist, and Certified Laser Hair Removal Technician in the State of Florida.

Even if you haven’t heard of “hyperpigmentation,” you’ve certainly heard of freckles, age spots, liver spots, or sunspots. And depending on how old you are (and how much you enjoy our Florida sunshine), you’re probably all-to-familiar with dark dots, discolored patches, or scars on the skin, even if you don’t know what to call them.

Hyperpigmentation is one of the most common complaints we hear about at Bellagena. And that’s because it’s one of the most common skin ailments, period—and sun exposure only makes it more common for Bradenton skincare.

So here’s your guide to hyperpigmentation: what it is, why it happens, and how to treat it effectively.

What is hyperpigmentation?

The word “hyperpigmentation” simply means “too much pigment.”

Pigment is what gives living things their natural color. In humans, our skin, hair, and eyes are all colored by melanin. The more melanin there is, the darker the tissue.

Hyperpigmentation is when parts of your skin produce or collect more melanin than the surrounding areas, causing dark spots. These spots may be brown, black or even blueish, and can occur anywhere on the body. Melasma is a common type of hyperpigmentation, especially among women, that usually occurs on the face and/or forearms.

People of color, who have naturally melanin-rich skin, are often more prone to hyperpigmentation—especially as a result of inflammation, injury or trauma.

Remember that hyperpigmentation is often harmless, but it can also be an indicator of more serious health concerns like skin cancer.

What causes hyperpigmentation?

Many different conditions and experiences can cause portions of the skin to produce too much melanin.

  • Trauma and injuries, as well as acute or chronic sun exposure, are common causes of hyperpigmentation.
  • Changes in hormones, especially as caused by pregnancy or menopause, can trigger uneven and elevated melanin production. This is called PIH, or Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation.
  • Some medications can also cause dark patches on the skin.

How can you treat hyperpigmentation?

Fortunately, there are effective hyperpigmentation treatments and products out there, both performed by certified aestheticians in the med spa and in the form of topical creams and lotions that can be applied at home.

When it comes to procedures and products, there are two primary approaches to these hyperpigmentation treatments, often used in combination: First, you want to remove the darkened skin; second, you want to address the cause of the hyperactive melanin production.

Cosmetic procedures to pinpoint and lighten specific spots of the skin include laser therapy, IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and chemical peels. Each of these procedures is customizable and able to be focused directly on the darkened areas. What works best for you will depend on the cause of your hyperpigmentation as well as your skin type.

Many topical applications advertise skin-lightening results, but be warned, their effectiveness varies widely. When you’re exploring topical hyperpigmentation treatments, keep your eye out specifically for these ingredients, which have proven scientific effectiveness in reducing dark spots by inhibiting melanin productions:

  • Niacinamide
  • Vitamin C
  • Azelaic acid
  • Tranexamic acid

Additionally, mandelic acid exfoliates and encourages cell turnover, accelerating the lightening process by removing old, darker cells.

And of course: limiting sun exposure—and using sunscreen!—is also a common, easy, and effective treatment for some forms of hyperpigmentation.

Ask an expert about your hyperpigmentation.

As with any skin condition, hyperpigmentation is personal and often unique based on a number of individual variables. Ask your aesthetician about the causes of your skin condition as well as treatments that can safely and effectively give you the appearance you’re looking for.

Don't Get Left Out!

Related Articles