Helping You Lessen The Appearance Of Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a term used by dermatologists to describe areas of the skin that appear darker in color. Patches of darker skin can appear in all shapes and sizes, and it may cover large areas of the body. Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin produces more melanin in certain areas, causing the appearance of darker patches of skin. As we age, it is normal to develop sunspots or darker areas of skin, especially in areas that have been exposed to the sun. Hyperpigmentation by itself is not harmful; however, it may be caused by other health conditions or may be a symptom of another disease. 


Types of Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation has a wide range of appearances depending on a person’s skin tones. There are many causes, but the three most common types include:

  • Melasma – This type is most often associated with hormonal changes such as during pregnancy or after pregnancy and may also be associated with the use of oral contraceptives
  • Sunspots – Exposure to the sun over the years can cause areas known as sunspots or liver spots. Sunspots usually occur on areas of the body where there has been excess sun exposure such as the face, forearms and hands.
  • Post-inflammatory – Occasionally, areas of darker pigmented skin can appear after an injury such as a burn, cuts or acne, and with lupus. 

Diagnosing and Treating Hyperpigmentation

Our expert dermatologists at Complexions Dermatology are trained in diagnosing and treating hyperpigmentation. We will examine your skin and take a detailed health history to determine the accurate cause of your condition. While it may not be possible to avoid hyperpigmentation, there are a few ways to lessen its appearance, such as:

  • Wearing sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30
  • Use wide-brimmed hats and clothing to reduce exposure to sunlight
  • Avoid the peak hours of sunlight between 10 am and 4 pm
  • Some medications

People who have hyperpigmentation have had success in minimizing the appearance of darker patches of skin using topical creams that include ingredients that lighten the skin. There are also cosmetic procedures that can be performed to help lighten areas of dark pigmentation which include:

  • Laser therapy
  • Intense pulsed light therapy
  • Chemical peels

If you have questions or concerns about hyperpigmentation and would like to make an appointment, call Complexions Dermatology at our Danville location (434) 792-0423 or our Colonial Heights location (804) 805-8442.

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Monday – Friday
8:00 am – 5:00 pm