Hyperpigmentation is a broad term used to cover multiple forms of the same problem: areas of your skin that are darker than the rest. This happens because sometimes the parts of your body that produce skin pigmentation begin to overproduce. What causes this problem is what determines the kind of condition or inherited trait that your skin is expressing. All of them can be more than a little annoying to those of us who prefer our skin being evenly toned. The sheer variety of potential causes for hyperpigmentation is why there are so many treatment options available. The exact one you might want to consider will vary depending on the size of the area and the overall difference in tone found in the darker spots, but we can point you in the right direction with the following options. We do want to note that there is no single perfectly effective treatment though and that anyone with an overall darker skin tone will want to be wary of some of these treatments as they can accidentally lead to light patches of skin instead of dark patches.
Supervised Chemical Peel
We’re starting with one of the options that has the highest potential for pigmentation issues so that we can get this one out of the way. Medically supervised chemical peels have been used for a while to help offer a way to even out skin tone. Only the strongest kinds of peels have a brightening effect though.
It is worth noting that while this is an option, you will want to discuss it seriously with your dermatologist before considering it. There is potential for all skin tones to experience uneven brightening of the skin when a peel is used for this purpose, but it can still be one of your better options when dealing with large patches of darkened skin.
For those of us who prefer to minimize risks while still using a highly effective treatment, this compound is one of the better options. It helps by disrupting the skin’s ability to keep producing melanin at quite the same rates that it was to produce hyperpigmentation issues. The end result is a gradual reduction of pigmentation when paired with other treatments as well. This treatment is particularly problematic for anyone with a darker skin tone though due to its nature. It is generally safe for people with lighter skin tones, but you may wish to talk with your dermatologist about how to minimize potential sun-related difficulties from using it.
We’ve hit the point where we’re dealing with the tools and treatments that are less likely to cause problems. Spot treatments are a generalized over-the-counter solution that doesn’t come with as many warnings as their more potent relatives. They are designed to gradually help brighten spots to minimize their appearance against the rest of your skin.
Most of these treatments aren’t as effective a hydroquinone, but are still usable. You’ll need to stick with them for far longer to see any meaningful results though. These can be particularly effective for light to middling hyperpigmentation as opposed to the previous options which were best for darker hyperpigmentation.
This is one of the most basic tools in your kit for dealing with any kind of hyperpigmentation. It works because the pigment builds up through the layers of skin and that’s why it seems to gradually get darker. Removing layers of skin regularly helps to minimize how dark an area of hyperpigmentation can actually get. Ideally you need to pair this option with others to have the biggest effect. If you don’t, you’ll be dealing with a situation where you’re treading water at best instead of moving towards an actual solution. Don’t be too zealous with your exfoliating though. You don’t want to accidentally cause an entirely different issue while trying to solve another.
While neither targeted nor all that potent, sunscreen has the least potential issues while still being one of your most effective options when it comes to minimizing hyperpigmentation. Remember that your skin produces pigment as a means to protect itself from the effects of exposure to the sun’s rays. Pigmentation is literally your skin’s reaction to damage it has taken and an attempt to minimize any further damage. Applying sunscreen goes a long way to reducing the production of extra pigment by absorbing or deflecting UV rays to prevent them from penetrating the skin. The end result is healthier and happier skin.
Treating hyperpigmentation isn’t actually that hard. It is frequently a matter of juggling a few smaller scale treatments for the problem and gradually letting it fade away. This does generally take careful discussion with a dermatologist to properly manage. Taking that step will help put you on the path to a more even skin tone.