Hyperpigmentation – Know About Its Treatment Options!!

Hyperpigmentation – Know About Its Treatment Options!!


By Dr. Meeta Mantri, Dermatology,

Hyperpigmentation is the increase in melanin which causes the skin and nail to darken in color. It occurs when excess melanin is deposited within the skin. It is a very common skin disorder which leads to skin patches becoming darker than the normal surrounding area, resulting in uneven and abnormal skin tone. It can be seen affecting people of any color or race. It is a cosmetic problem and may look unsightly causing a dent in your self esteem and making you self conscious about your body image.

Common causes of Hyperpigmentation: 

  1. Sundamage: Melanocytes are activated if there is long term exposure to the sun. Inflammation is commonly caused when the sunlight hits the skin cells. Melanocytes leads to constant production of melanin pigment, thus darkening certain areas of the skin. Examples : tanning, freckles, lentigenes, melasma.
  2. Inflammation of the Skin: Hyperpigmentation can occur after certain skin rash, allergy resolves.
  3. Medications: Certain antibiotics, anti-seizure drugs, hormone medication, non-steroidal chemotherapy drugs can cause skin pigmentation as a side-effect.
  4. Hormonal changes such as during pregnancy, birth control pills, thyroid disorders, adrenal gland disorders Nutritional defeciency of vitamin b12 can cause generalised darkening of skin

Dermatological Treatments for Hyperpigmentation: 
Consultation with a dermatologist is important to pinpoint exact cause of hyperpigmentation of your skin and treat the root cause of your problem accordingly and effectively.

  1. Chemical Peel – Hyper-pigmentation treatment also includes chemical peels and they have been shown to be very effective. However, you should get it done from an experienced professional as scarring and pigment irregularities could occur if not done by an experienced and proper clinician.
  2. Laser Treatments – Q-switch Nd-Yag laser are gold standard for treatment of hyperpigmentation. this laser beam causes fragmentation of melanin pigment from the skin and its subsequent removal by macrophage cells. These treatments are highly effective and safe when done by a trained and qualified dermatologist.
  3. Skin Lightening Products – Products with skin lightening elements such as retinoids, kojic acid, hydroquinone and Vitamin C are used often to decrease hyper-pigmentation. These products are usually given by a dermatologist as a maintenance therapy and should not be used as a self prescribed medicines without recommendation and advise from your dermatologist.

Before you can embark on any of the treatments mentioned above you should consult a dermatologist first and then decide on the steps that are required to be taken.