Hyperpigmentation: Causes and Treatments

Posted by Team Bella in

Guest blogger Nicole Roketenetz, Esthetic Director and Medical Esthetician at Bella Santé, explains hyperpigmentation causes, treatments and prevention.

Bella Santé estheticians hear this question every day:  "Where did this dark patch of skin come from?" Referred to as freckles, sun spots, age spots, liver spots, or the mask of pregnancy, dark skin spots are all types of hyperpigmentation, and (good news!) they’re all treatable.

What IS Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is something that plagues the majority of us, and it can be a condition that makes us appear older. The culprit is actually part of your skin’s defense mechanism: the production of melanin. Melanin protects our cells against stresses that involve cell damage. UV radiation from the sun, reactive oxygen species, high temperatures and chemical stresses are all culprits that stress and damage skin.

Keep in mind that you won’t necessarily see hyperpigmentation come to the surface of the skin right away. This means that in some cases, we won’t know the exact cause of your hyperpigmentation. If you do see it come up after a skin trauma or injury it is called PIH or Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation. This will come up quick but can sometimes take a while to lighten.

Hyperpigmentation: Prevention and Home Treatment

Take a look at your daily routine to integrate skin lighteners and protectors. Vitamin C serum will protect from environmental damage. A pigment corrector or regulator will limit the amount Tyrosinase (a melanin catalyst) your skin creates. Retinol should also be part of your regime. Together, these products work to protect skin, slow down melanin production, and aid in the healthy production of new skin cells. And never, ever, forget the sunblock. We recommend a physical sunscreen over the chemical kind, but make sure you’re using something every day. After you tackle your home care regime, consider effective, results oriented professional treatments to lighten the skin.

Treating Hyperpigmentation: MedSpa Treatments

Peels - With so many to choose from, peels are the most common treatment for hyperpigmentation. An effective peel can be found for many different types of skin. Be aware that it takes about 6-8 peels to get the best results.

Microneedling - A new med spa offering that’s been proven to help lighten and brighten skin, microneedling creates micro injury to skin in order to promote the production of healthy collagen and elastin. Skin becomes brighter and healthier with each treatment. Depending on your skin, I would recommend 3-6 treatments.

HydraFacial - A physical and chemical exfoliation treatment, the HydraFacial includes infusion of cell loving vitamins and minerals. While it’s recommended to guests that they experience a series to see the most improvement, you’ll see immediate, glowing results after even one treatment.

Laser Therapy - Laser causes a thermal heat response to create healthy, younger and brighter skin. This option often comes with a minor recovery period. Some results are seen a few days post treatment; full results within 4-6 weeks.

As I would recommend for every condition or customized treatment plan, speak with a trained esthetician to determine which path to lightening up will work best for you.