Hyperpigmentation is a very common condition that is indicated by darker patches of skin. The condition is harmless although it can affect one’s self-esteem. Dark patches or spots occur due to a wide array of reasons from hormonal fluctuations, injuries and medications to the most common cause – excessive sun exposure. UV rays disrupt melanocytes thus leading to excessive production of melanin or pigment that gives your skin its natural color. Although it might seem like impossible to get rid of, there are numerous ways to treat hyperpigmentation and this article will show five of them.
1. Microdermabrasion for minimal discoloration
Microdermabrasion uses fine crystals to essentially exfoliate the outermost layer of the skin in order to get rid of sunspots, dark patches, and other imperfections. This treatment is recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology to tackle hyperpigmentation because it’s a non-chemical procedure that doesn’t destroy skin tissues. Due to the fact, microdermabrasion offers modest results; it’s usually suggested to individuals with minimal or mild discolorations.
During the treatment, dermatologist’s microdermabrasion tool shoots a steam of tiny crystals at the surface of your skin. In turn, dead skin cells that comprise the outermost layer of the skin are blasted away. This tool vacuums up the crystals and loosened skin cells. The procedure is painless and lasts less than an hour.
2. Chemical peel for more stubborn spots
If you have more stubborn dark spots and patches on your skin, then your best option is chemical peel. When it comes to this skin pigmentation disorder, chemical peels improve the appearance of skin in cases like age spots, melasma, or discolored patches caused by acne scarring.
Chemical peels are divided on three levels of potency:
- Superficial – uses mild alpha or beta hydroxy acid, improves mild discoloration or blotchiness
- Medium – uses stronger concentration of glycolic or trichloroacetic acid, improves age spots, freckles, moderate discoloration
- Deep – uses phenol, improves more significant discoloration problems.
Superficial or moderate peels can be performed in dermatologist’s office and don’t require anesthesia. The process is over in about 30 minutes and you might experience some stinging. In the end, your dermatologist will apply soothing lotion to calm your skin. On the other hand, deep peels are usually performed in outpatient surgical centers under general anesthesia.
3. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) for sun-induced discoloration
The IPL involves light-based energy pulsed onto the skin while targeting blood vessels at the same time. It’s a popular choice for sun-induced discoloration. The light seeks out discoloration in the skin in order to lift it up and eliminate it. It’s important to bear in mind that treated areas will turn dark and flake off in a few days.
4. Fractional laser resurfacing for serious discoloration
This is the most intense treatment for hyperpigmentation and is only recommended to people with serious and persistent discoloration. This treatment is efficient at focusing on small areas of your skin and emits stronger laser energy to boost collagen production and limit scar formation. The light range depends on severity of the condition.
5. Skin brighteners and sunscreen
Regardless of what type of treatment you need, you should make sure you invest in high-quality safe sunscreen that will prevent any further damage. Always bear in mind that dark patches occurred primarily due to sun exposure and protecting your skin is a must to fight it and prevent it from coming back.
Nowadays, you can find a wide array of skin brighteners on the market. They promise the same thing, making dark patches invisible, youthful look etc. but before you buy them you should check their efficacy and experiences of other people. When in doubt, you can consult your dermatologist.
Hyperpigmentation, skin condition indicated by dark spots and patches, is harmless but it affects our confidence. Although these patches and spots seem impossible to get rid of, there are various treatments you can do to eliminate them. Always bear in mind that regardless of treatment and its success, shielding your skin from sun is a must.
Author Bio: Ella James is an aspiring author who is pursuing Health Services Administration degree from St. Petersburg College. She is an active contributor to Consumer Health Digest, which is a leading Health News. Get connected with her on Facebook and Twitter.