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Hyperpigmentation Treatment

Hyperpigmentation is the unsightly, but usually harmless darkening of certain portions of the skin. Melanin is the brown pigment present in the skin that is responsible for skin color. If the amount of melanin present in the skin is higher, the skin will be darker. Hyperpigmentation is caused by an increased melanin production in certain areas of the skin which makes these patches darker than the rest of the skin surrounding it. The most common form of hyperpigmentation is liver or age spots.
The deposits of melanin that cause Hyperpigmentation are located in either the dermis or epidermis layer of the skin. The epidermis is the outer layer of skin and so melanin deposits in this layer respond well to treatment. The dermis layer of the skin is below the epidermis and so hyperpigmentation treatment may take a longer time to show results. Methods of treatment for hyperpigmentation vary according to type, cause, severity, onset and location of the Hyperpigmentation. Some of the most common forms of Hyperpigmentation and their preferred methods of treatment are listed below.

Common methods of treatment for hyperpigmentation.

•    Freckles and age spots are very effectively treated with a spot peel of phenol or glycolic acid. Repeated sessions may be necessary to completely eliminate the discoloration. Raised hyperpigmented skin can also be treated with electro-fulguration. This treatment for hyperpigmentation involves a procedure to destroy the unwanted tissue by means of an electric current.

•    Dark circles are caused by the darkening of the skin around the eyes. This condition is known as Peri-orbital melanosis. This is a delicate area to treat as the skin is extremely thin and can get easily damaged. Electrical stimulation or Spot glycolic acid peels are the main methods of treatment. Iron supplements and an increased consumption of anti oxidants in a person’s daily diet have been proven to positively influence and treat hyperpigmentation. 

•    Melasma and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is generally treated with regular application of topical creams. These creams contain hydroxy quinone, tretinoin or topical steroids. In addition to this, Alpha hydroxy acid creams or azelic acid is effective in this type of Hyperpigmentation treatment. These skin hyperpigmentation treatments can also be employed in the treatment of Photomelanosis.

In recent years, laser treatment has become the preferred method of treatment of Hyperpigmentation. This hyperpigmentation cure removes the entire affected portions of skin to reveal the even toned skin below. This method of treatment allows for the maximum removal of unwanted skin tissue with no or minimal damage of normal tissue. 

In addition to these remedies, there are also several hyperpigmentation treatments such as cryo-spray using liquid nitrogen, Spot dermabrasion,  intense pulse light treatment and Iontophoresis. When treating hyperpigmentation, only a certified dermatologist will be able to determine the type and intensity of treatment required.