Hyperpigmentation is usually harmless but can make you feel self-conscious and unattractive. You may have patches of skin that are darker in color than other portions of the surrounding skin, which may be the result of acne scars or sun damage. If you suffer from hyperpigmentation, consult the Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center in Glen Allen, Virginia, where Patricia O’Connor, MD, and her team can help you with effective treatments to even out your skin tone and promote a radiant complexion. Call the Richmond-area office today, or send us a message to book an appointment on our contact page.
Hyperpigmentation can affect people of any skin type and tone. The darkened patches of skin occur due to an excess of melanin, the brown pigment in skin. When deposits of melanin clump together, you get spots of melasma or post-inflammatory discoloration due to acne or trauma. Age spots are another common form of hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage.
Melasma describes larger areas of darkened skin that appear most often due to hormonal changes in combination with sun exposure. Women who are pregnant, as well as women taking birth control pills, sometimes develop melasma. Melasma may also have a genetic component.
Inflammation from other primary skin diseases (like eczema, psoriasis or lupus), drug reactions, acne, surgical scars, insults like bug bites, and freckles are other forms of hyperpigmentation.
If you don’t have serious hyperpigmentation, stop it from developing. Protect yourself from harmful ultraviolet rays by covering up or using sunscreen when outdoors. You should also avoid tanning beds altogether. When you choose sunscreen, ensure it’s a broad-spectrum type that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. In some cases, using smart sun protection will help areas of hyperpigmentation to fade on their own faster than they otherwise would.
Avoid rubbing or picking at spots that have hyperpigmentation. You may aggravate the area and cause it to worsen.
The team at Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center want to help you achieve an even skin tone that boosts your confidence and self-esteem. Prescription creams are available to lighten the skin. They contain hydroquinone to slow the production of melanin, so dark spots gradually fade. Over-the-counter versions of these creams are available but carry a lower concentration of the active ingredient.
In cases of significant hyperpigmentation, the doctors may recommend prescription products containing tretinoin or cortisone creams. These can irritate the skin, so they should only be used under close supervision.
Laser and other light therapy can also help even out your skin tone and erase hyperpigmentation. Chemical peels also offered at the office, are another effective way to improve discoloration and other skin imperfections.
If you have uneven skin tones and spots of hyperpigmentation that mar your complexion, consult with the team at Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center. Call the office for an appointment orsend us a message to book an appointment on our contact page.
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