Hyperpigmentation is a benign darkening of the skin that is often caused by excessive sun exposure or as a result of inflammatory lesions. Dr. Dolder at Greenwich Point Dermatology in Greenwich, CT, is very experienced in helping reduce and resolve hyperpigmentation in patients of all ages using a combination of different treatments and therapies.
What causes hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is the result of an overproduction of melanin by melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells in our skin. Melanin is the same substance that gives us a golden tan in the summer, but it can also cause discoloration and an uneven complexion.
Sun exposure is the leading cause of hyperpigmentation, but other causes include medications, acne, sores, scabs, ingrown hairs, and more.
What are the types of hyperpigmentation?
There are several types of hyperpigmentation, many of which are common and all of which are benign. These include:
- liver spots (lentigines)
- age spots
- Melasma *link to Melasma page or chloasma (hormonally influenced, especially during pregnancy)
- post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (such as after acne, injury, or bug bite) Areas of hyperpigmentation can occur anywhere on the body, but most often occur in areas of more frequent sun exposure.
What are my treatment options for hyperpigmentation?
While hyperpigmentation is not harmful, it can be unsightly and give an appearance of premature aging. Extreme cases of hyperpigmentation can also affect one’s self-esteem.
Treatment focuses on lightening and brightening the areas that are darker to result in a more even complexion. Depending on the severity of the hyperpigmentation and whether you are pregnant or nursing, certain protocols are better.
Treatment options include:
- topical creams
- chemical peels
- light and laser treatment
The best treatment is prevention, so wearing sunscreen and sun-safe clothing daily is essential for clear skin. During your appointment, Dr. Dolder can help you decide which course of treatment is best for you.