Hyperpigmentation: Treatment and Prevention
It almost feels like it happens overnight. One day you wake up to find an assortment of little dark spots on your skin, and they’re not cute. What you’re seeing is called hyperpigmentation. These dark patches are the visible result of an over production of melanin. But where did they come from? They’ve reared their ugly head due to excess or unprotected sun exposure, or even hormone fluctuations from a previous pregnancy.
So now what?
Let’s look at our options. Here’s a hint: think prevention.
Because laser treatments and deep peels are out of the question for those with dark or olive-toned complexions, treating hyperpigmentation is incredibly difficult. This is why preventative skin care is absolutely imperative. Even if you don’t burn in the sun, you are still exposing your skin to the damaging affects of UVA/UVB rays. Unlike lighter complexions, which can reverse hyperpigmentation much easier, more often than not, darker complexions are left to suffer the consequences of not wearing SPF. An additional preventative and curative tool for treating hyperpigmentation is the daily use of vitamin C and ferulic acid. Our favorite is Skinceutical’s CE Ferulic. Use this product daily with a sunscreen appropriate for your skin type.
When it comes to correcting hyperpigmentation that already exists, look to pigmentation serums that contain hydroquinone. Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, this lightening agent can work wonders to minimize the appearance of dark spots. If you happen to have sensitivity to hydroquinone, opt for gentler lighteners such as kojic acid, aha blends and retinols.
For additional information on specific lightening ingredients, take a peek at the following link:
In addition to the above-mentioned, at-home solutions, there are in-spa treatments that can, with time, even out discoloration while improving the overall functionality and health of the skin. Light AHA peels, light to medium strength hydrafacials and dermabrasions are excellent options. Lightening discoloration will not happen over night, but with consistency and a little patience even darker tones can see considerable transformation over time.
And remember, prevention is the key!