The Science Behind Hyperpigmentation, And Possible Treatments

Are you aware of the term hyperpigmentation? It is simply a medical term that is used to describe the darker patches formed on the skin. This causes uneven skin tone and discoloration, which is a skin issue with a lot of people. These darker patches result from excess melanin production, which can occur due to acne scars and sun damage or maybe because of hormone fluctuations. Furthermore, melanin is the natural pigment present in our skin, hair, and eye, which lends them a color. 

science behind hyperpigmentation

In addition, it shows up on the face in the form of age spots, freckles, beige or brown marks, or even a gathering of patches of dark colors on the skin, which is a condition called hyperpigmentation. People who live in the tropical climate have common skin issues called pigmentation and tanning. Besides, they tend to get fewer wrinkles but pigment heavily. 

If you are also dealing with hyperpigmentation, remember that you are not alone. It is a skin problem, and there are several treatment options available nowadays. When you understand what is happening and how you can prevent your skin, you'll get to know what type of treatment your skin needs. So, in this blog post, I'll walk you through the science behind hyperpigmentation and possible treatments. Keep reading!

What Causes Hyperpigmentation?

The most significant cause of hyperpigmentation is sun exposure. When our skin is exposed to UV rays, melanocytes are simply spurred to produce more melanin to protect the skin from burning. Moreover, this sun-fueled melanin production makes dark spots on the body that we usually recognize as sunspots. They become dark in summer and light in the winter; also, they are generally small. 

post inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Additionally, acne is also a major cause of dark spots. When you think that you have won a battle against the stubborn pimple, a brown spot starts to appear in its place. This type of hyperpigmentation is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Furthermore, an increase in estrogen often from pregnancy can also cause muddy-looking spots on the chin, cheeks, or forehead. This blotchiness is called melasma, and it varies from common hyperpigmentation as hormonal forces usually initiate it. 

How Can You Prevent Hyperpigmentation?

Though you can not change your genes, you can follow some simple self-care steps to prevent hyperpigmentation. Sunscreen is crucial, as UV rays and blue light can create darker pigmentation and causes more speckles in the process. Furthermore, sunscreen is specifically essential for those on birth control, pregnant, and menopause; at that time, skin is more sensitive. On the other hand, those who spend enough time in front of the screen and use products that make skin extra sensitive, like acids or retinols, must be very careful.

 reasons behind hyperpigmentation

How Can You Treat Hyperpigmentation?

The approach toward treating hyperpigmentation varies from at-home and less invasive to the in-office extensive procedures. However, one needs to always start with the lowest level and slowly move upwards until you get your desired treatment goal. Now, let's analyze the diverse types of treatments that can be beneficial for treating the pigmented skin flaws. 

1. Topical Treatments

Not all pigmentation problems need to be treated with lasers. For many skin problems, topical creams are sufficient to make a difference, and it is excellent to start with this type of non-invasive treatment. To start, you can use a gentle cream with retinoids. I would suggest you try  Encapsulated Retinol Cream as it contains 0.5% retinol that helps to diminish the development of uneven skin tone and texture.


Besides, if you pair retinoid with the gold-standard ingredient like hydroquinone, it starts to lighten dark spots in four to six weeks. Use Brightening Cream with retinol; it is formulated with 2% hydroquinone, which helps to balance the melanin production.

2. Chemical Peels

This is another type of treatment for pigmentation that should be done carefully with the help of a professional. If it is done in the inexact method, peels can be very harmful to the skin; however, this is a powerful form of treatment if it's done professionally. Moreover, for extra anti-pigmentation profits, topical treatments must be combined with mild chemical peels. 

post inflammatory hyperpigmentation

The best gentle chemical treatments are vitamin C, bakuchiol, hyaluronic, peptides, retinol, zinc, or titanium-based sunscreen. All these peels exfoliate the dead skin cells from the skin's top surface and give a layer of healthy, fresh skin with a more balanced tone. 

3. Intense Pulsed Light

Intense pulsed light or IPL therapy is another type of treatment that works quickly and gives good results. However, it needs a trained professional to use it correctly. This treatment is also known as a photo facial. If you opt for this therapy, make sure you don't skip sunscreen during the day since both lasers and treatment irritate your skin, making it exposed to pigmentation from the sun. 

science behind hyperpigmentation

IPL treatment goes deep and stimulates collagen growth within the dermis. Then, the skin naturally sheds away the dead skin, and a new layer of skin develops that doesn't contain excess pigmentation. IPL's are more gentle than the lasers; it uses natural light to obtain the same effect.

Whether you have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or another form of pigmentation, there is a treatment out there that will indeed work. Also, these treatments are effective and gentle, but it is important to remember it requires time to treat hyperpigmentation. Still, the most crucial product is sunscreen and a consistent skincare routine. All other treatments and products will be wasted without sunscreen. 

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