Hyper-pigmentation treatment

November 12, 2012

Hyper-pigmentation treatment

Hyper-pigmentation affects the color of the skin and is a result of excess pigments.

Hyper-pigmentation is an unusual darkening of the skin caused by excess pigments. This harmless condition may be the result of the natural aging process – as with age or liver spots – it is caused by an increase of melanin in the skin. Melanin protects the skin from over exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays and may cause freckles, age spots or increased darkening of already dark skin spots.

Other possible causes of hyper-pigmentation include the use of certain medications; changes in hormone levels during pregnancy; injury; acne and skin type.

Is there any treatment?

Hyper-pigmentation frequently occurs in areas which are highly visible – the face and hands for example – since it is due, in large part, to sun exposure. However, recent developments have resulted in several options for hyper-pigmentation treatment which is good news for sufferers who may be extremely self-conscious about this skin darkening condition. Hyper-pigmentation treatment will target these darkened skin areas.

First steps

If you are considering hyper-pigmentation treatment you will first need to consult with a qualified facial plastic surgeon who will determine three things before treatment -

  • Your skin type

  • The cause of the hyper-pigmentation

  • What your hoped for outcome is.

When looking for a surgeon be sure to find with advanced training, much experience and who is highly skilled in the field. Word of mouth is generally an excellent way to find a physician who has proven expertise and there are a number of directories available which will also give you the information you require.

Once you have found the surgeon of your choice you should attend an initial appointment during which he or she take a thorough medical history, carefully examine your skin and then discuss the hyper-pigmentation treatment options. The physician should also fully explain any risks associated with the treatment, the recovery period and of course the cost.

Treatment options

Some cases of hyper-pigmentation are easily resolved with a simple switch of medication, others may involve a change in skin care routine or the use of bleaching creams, however, some treatments are more invasive.

  • Hydroquinone – a bleaching agent, available over the counter in a weak solution or on prescription at a higher strength. Sometimes combined with Retin-A, this cream will block the melanin in skin.

  • Retin-A – a prescription only exfoliating cream which increases new skin cell growth and in doing so reduces any dark or uneven blemishes.

  • Lumixyl – an alternative to hydroquinone this is a more natural product, is topically applied, readily available at the doctor¬ís office, it appears to have less side effects than other hyper-pigmentation treatment creams.

  • Elure – a skin care routine involving facial wash, lotion and night cream. This produce temporarily reduces melanin and is reported to show visible results within one month. Only available at the doctor¬ís office.

  • Chemical peels

  • Alpha hydroxyl acids – such as glycolic acid at 8%. This process works as an exfoliant and will remove or reduce hyper-pigmentation

  • Beta hydroxyl acids – also works as an exfoliant. This process uses products such as salicylic acids.

  • Intense pulsed light

  • Laser resurfacing

  • Microdermabrasion

Some of these hyper-pigmentation treatments are also used in the removal of birth marks.

And finally

Once your treatment program has been decided your medical practitioner should give you an information pack outlining the things you need to do as well as providing all the necessary information. The treatment you have chosen may remove all of the hyper-pigmentation in one application or it may be more gradual. Recovery times will also depend on the treatment chosen.

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