January 11, 2016

Hyperpigmentation may be caused by sun damage, inflammation, or other skin injuries, including those related to acne vulgaris. People with darker Asian, Mediterranean, or African skin tones are also more prone to hyperpigmentation, especially if they have excess sun exposure.

Many forms of hyperpigmentation are caused by an excess production of melanin. Hyperpigmentation can be diffuse or focal, affecting such areas as the face and the back of the hands.

Types of Pigmentations:

  • Melasma – Melasma is a skin condition presenting as brown patches on the face of adults. Both sides of the face are usually affected.This type of hyperpigmentation is caused by hormonal fluctuations, and is a normal occurrence during pregnancy. It can also occur as a result of thyroid dysfunction and as a side effect of taking birth control pills or hormone therapy medication. Melasma occurs much more often in women than in men, and usually is associated with hormonal changes.
  • Ephilides (Freckles) – Freckles are common pigmentation type and usually a hereditary skin blemish. It is a small, defined macular lesions of uniform color, found most often on the face, neck, chest, and arms. Color may vary from red to tan to light brown, and they may vary in number from a few to hundreds.
  • Lentigo or Lentigines (Sun Damage) – Age spots, sometimes called ‘liver spots’, are a form of pigmentation. The small, dark spots are generally found on the hands and face, but any area exposed to the sun, can be affected.
  • PIH or Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation – This type of pigmentation usually occurs after some type of injury to the skin such as skin lesions, psoriasis, burns, and acne. It may also be caused by traumatic or aggresive skin care treatments. It usually goes away as the skin regenerates and heals.

The recommended treatments depend on various factors (social downtime, urgency to address concerns and budget) and will be discussed during consultation.