Do you have patches of skin that are darker than the skin surrounding it? If so, you may have hyperpigmentation. This is a common occurrence in people of all ages and skin colors; and while it is not harmful, it can cause cosmetic concerns. If you are bothered by the appearance of your hyperpigmentation, Dr. Gray offers a number of effective treatment options to lessen the appearance of dark spots for a more even skin tone.
What is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation describes skin that looks darker than the surrounding tissue. It can cover large areas of the face or body or can occur in small patches. The main cause of hyperpigmentation is the excessive production of melanin in the skin. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its color and is produced by the skin cells known as melanocytes. While it is not usually harmful to your health, it can sometimes be a symptom of a medical condition.
Overall, there are many different types of hyperpigmentation. The most commonly seen types are:
· Melasma: Melasma is hyperpigmentation caused by hormonal changes, and is especially prevalent in pregnant women. It can appear on any area of the body but is most commonly seen on the face and stomach.
· Sunspots: Also called liver spots, sunspots are common and are caused by sun exposure over time. They usually appear on sun-exposed areas such as the face and hands.
· Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: This form of hyperpigmentation is caused by inflammation of the skin. One very common form of this includes dark marks or scars left on the face following acne breakouts.
Hyperpigmentation Treatment Options
While hyperpigmentation is not a harmful occurrence, it can cause self-consciousness or cosmetic concern for those living with it. There are many different hyperpigmentation treatment options used today, including:
Chemical Peels: Chemical peels are an effective treatment option for many different types of hyperpigmentation. They work by exfoliating and removing the topmost layers of the skin to reveal a more even complexion underneath.
Laser Resurfacing: At our office, we use a fractionated CO2 laser to effectively eliminate hyperpigmentation, as well as improve fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone and texture, and more.
IPL Treatments: Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments use light energy of different wavelengths to penetrate the dermis, destroying pigment cells. This is a great treatment option for targeting hyperpigmentation such as sun damage or age spots.
Topical Prescription Medications: Different topical treatments may be helpful in lightening the appearance of hyperpigmentation, including hydroquinone. Dr. Gray will work with you to determine which prescription treatment options are best for you and your cosmetic goals.
Schedule Your Appointment
For more information regarding hyperpigmentation treatment options in the Bellvue, WA area, contact Pinnacle Dermatology & Skin Rejuvenation today. Your first step toward achieving your cosmetic goals is to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Gray.