Hyperpigmentation is a relatively harmless condition, but can affect a person’s self-image and psyche. This skin condition is characterized by dark patches on the skin due to exposure to UV radiation or as a sign of aging. It is caused by an excessive production of melanin in the body. Hyperpigmentation affects people of all ages and with all skin types. However, fair-skinned people are at a higher risk of suffering from this condition than dark skinned people.
This condition can be treated in a number of ways including:
- Laser: Laser treatment for hyperpigmentation improves skin tone and boosts collagen production. With advancement in laser technology, scarring is no longer a very big risk with this form of treatment. Depending on the degree of hyperpigmentation argon or carbon dioxide lasers may be used in with short pulses or long pulses. Treatment can take anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes and is relatively pain free.
- Chemical peels: Chemical peels rid the skin of its top most layer and bring new cells to the surface. This gives the skin an even tone and eliminates dark spots and patchiness. A light salicylic acid or glycolic acid peel is ideal for hyperpigmentation treatment. This is often used in cases where the patient’s skin is resistant to over the counter topical treatment. The concentration of active ingredients in the peel depends on the skin tone. Mild skin discolouration and blotchiness can be treated with a superficial peel while age spots and freckles require a medium peel.
- Topical ointments: Topical ointments are usually the first form of treatment for hyperpigmentation. Hydroquinone or retinol are the most commonly prescribed ointments. Broad spectrum sunscreen that offers protection against UVA and UVB rays can also help prevent further sun damage and dark spots. Skin lightening creams with soy or niacinamide as active ingredients also help brighten skin tones.
Apart from these forms of treatment, there are also a number of home remedies for this condition. Some of these home remedies are:
- Rubbing a freshly sliced or the juice of a grated potato on the skin
- Applying a combination of cucumber and lemon juice on the skin
- A grated papaya face mask
- Soak almonds in milk overnight and then skin them and puree with the milk. Apply this mixture on the affected areas.
- A mask of guava and banana pulp. Consult an Expert & get answers to your questions!