Hyperpigmentation is a common skin concern that manifests as dark or unevenly colored patches on the skin.
It occurs when the pigment-producing cells in your skin (melanocytes) overproduce melanin (a pigment that gives skin its color). Common causes of hyperpigmentation include:
● Sun exposure
● Addison’s disease
● Some medications
While hyperpigmentation is generally not harmful to your health, it can be a source of insecurity and frustration for many people. If you’re looking to get rid of hyperpigmentation, here are five doctor-approved ways to do it.
One of the biggest culprits of hyperpigmentation is sun exposure. The sun’s UV rays can stimulate the production of melanin. This is what causes your skin to tan or darken. But as you get older, sun damage can lead to spots of hyperpigmentation.
To protect your skin, be sure to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 anytime you are outside during the day, even on cold or cloudy days.
Keeping your skin hydrated can help to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Dry skin can make hyperpigmentation look more noticeable, so using a moisturizer can help to soften and smooth the skin.
Skin that is well-hydrated will also be able to better facilitate cell turnover, which is the repairing process by which new skin cells replace old, damaged cells.
Don’t Pick at Acne, Bug Bites, and Other Scrapes
Picking at acne, bug bites, and other scrapes can lead to inflammatory hyperpigmentation. When you pick at these types of blemishes, you can damage the skin and stimulate the production of melanin, which can lead to hyperpigmentation.
Instead of picking at these blemishes, try using a spot treatment or consulting with a dermatologist to find a safer and more effective way to treat them.
Over-the-Counter Topical Ingredients
There are several over-the-counter topical ingredients that may help to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. These include:
● Vitamin C: Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a powerful antioxidant that can help to lighten hyperpigmentation and even out skin tone. It can also help to protect the skin from further damage from the sun.
● Licorice root: Licorice root is a natural plant extract that has been shown to lighten hyperpigmentation and improve the overall appearance of your skin.
● Kojic acid: Kojic acid is derived from mushrooms and has been shown to be effective at lightening hyperpigmentation.
● Retinoids: Retinoids are a type of vitamin A derivative associated with many benefits for your skin, including increasing cell turnover and reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
If over-the-counter topical treatments are not effective, you may want to consider medical treatments to get rid of hyperpigmentation. These treatments can include:
● Chemical peels: Chemical peels use a solution to remove the top layers of skin, revealing newer, healthier skin underneath.
● Laser resurfacing: This therapy uses a laser to remove the top layers of skin and stimulate the production of collagen.
● Hydroquinone: Hydroquinone is a skin-lightening agent that works by inhibiting the production of melanin. Hydroquinone is available in both over-the-counter and prescription strength, and it is often used in combination with other treatments like tretinoin and corticosteroids.
● Tretinoin: Tretinoin is a prescription retinoid medication that is derived from vitamin A. It is often used to treat acne, but it can also be effective at reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Tretinoin works by increasing cell turnover and inhibiting the production of melanin.