Best Treatments for Pigmentation on the Face
Hyperpigmentation causes patches of skin to become darker than the surrounding skin. The medical condition is generally harmless, and with the right hyperpigmentation treatment, an individual can quickly and safely address this issue.
What Is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation occurs due to an increase in melanin in the body. Melanin is a dark biological pigment that determines a person’s skin and hair color, and the body increases its production of melanin due to pregnancy, Addison’s disease (a disorder that prevents the adrenal glands from producing sufficient hormones) or other medical conditions.
Hyperpigmentation commonly affects skin on the face, arms and legs. In some instances, hyperpigmentation occurs after an injury or skin inflammation; in these cases, hyperpigmentation may affect skin on any portion of the body.
Sun exposure and inflammation are the two biggest risk factors associated with hyperpigmentation. In either instance, people may experience increased melanin production that leads to hyperpigmentation. Other risk factors associated with hyperpigmentation include:
- Dark Skin: People with darker skin are more prone than others to hyperpigmentation.
- Drugs: Certain drugs increase a person’s sensitivity to sunlight.
- Skin Trauma: A skin burn or wound may lead to hyperpigmentation.
An individual who understands the risk factors associated with hyperpigmentation is better equipped than others to address this condition in its early stages. Plus, this individual can work with a dermatologist to identify the root cause of his or her hyperpigmentation and review different hyperpigmentation treatment options.
How Do I Get Rid of Pigmentation on My Face?
Common treatments for pigmentation on the face include:
1. Topical Creams
Topical creams often include azelaic acid, corticosteroids and other ingredients that help lighten the skin. The effectiveness of topical creams varies, and it may take an individual several months before a topical cream delivers the desired results. An individual should consult with a dermatologist before using a topical cream to treat hyperpigmentation; this ensures that an individual can find a topical cream that accommodates his or her skin type and limits the risk of side effects.
2. Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing is a non-surgical procedure used to address facial wrinkles, scars and other skin damage, and it involves resurfacing the skin to remove surface-level and deep lines and facial wrinkles. The hyperpigmentation laser treatment has minimal side effects, and it delivers results that last up to five years. Laser skin resurfacing can also be completed in conjunction with facelift surgery and other facial rejuvenation procedures.
3. Chemical Peel
A chemical peel uses acids to remove the surface layer of the skin. Over-the-counter chemical peels are available, but if they are used incorrectly, they may cause blisters or scarring. Comparatively, dermatological chemical peels are available; these chemical peels are stronger than over-the-counter chemical peels, which also increases their risk of side effects.
Microdermabrasion involves the use of a drill-like handheld tool that features a wire brush or other abrasive attachment. During a microdermabrasion procedure, the tool is swiped across a patient’s skin to remove the surface layer of the skin. A typical microdermabrasion treatment requires multiple sessions to correct hyperpigmentation.
The best hyperpigmentation treatment depends on the individual, the severity of his or her hyperpigmentation and other factors. To determine the best course of action to address hyperpigmentation, it is important to consult with a dermatologist who understands the ins and outs of hyperpigmentation treatment.
What At-Home Hyperpigmentation Treatments Are Available?
In addition to the aforementioned hyperpigmentation treatments, many at-home options are available to address hyperpigmentation, including:
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera helps heal wounds and relieve sunburns. In a 2012 study, researchers found that aloe vera lightens the skin and provides a non-toxic hyperpigmentation treatment. In certain instances, doctors recommend applying aloe vera to pigmented areas of the skin before bedtime, removing aloe vera with warm water in the morning and repeating this skincare regimen until the skin improves.
2. Licorice Extract
Licorice extract helps lighten dark spots and balance skin tone. It can be used as a topical solution applied via cotton swab. Or, some people use a licorice extract face mask.
3. Green Tea Extract
Research shows that green tea extract delivers anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic effects. It also indicates that green tea extract provides a depigmenting effect when applied to the skin.
4. Black Tea Water
The benefits of black tea water to treat hyperpigmentation are reflected in a 2011 study of guinea pigs. In the study, researchers found that black tea water used twice a day, six days a week for four weeks helped reduce the appearance of dark spots on guinea pigs.
None of the aforementioned at-home hyperpigmentation treatments offer any guarantees. To address hyperpigmentation, it often helps to consult with a dermatologist. Then, an individual and his or her dermatologist can explore ways to safely and effectively treat the different types of hyperpigmentation.
What Are the Different Types of Hyperpigmentation?
Common types of hyperpigmentation include:
1. Age Spots
Age spots are small, discolored patches of skin. They appear on the face, hands and other parts of the body due to excess exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Research shows that age spots are most common in people over the age of 40, but they can appear on individuals of all ages.
Melasma causes tan or brown patches to form on the skin, most often on the face, forehead and stomach. The condition may also affect pregnant women but disappear on its own after pregnancy.
3. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation refers to spots or patches of dark skin that occur due to an inflammatory condition. For instance, some people experience hyperpigmentation caused by acne, which results in spots or patches on the face or neck. Hyperpigmentation may also occur due to eczema, which makes the skin itchy and red.
For people who believe that they are dealing with any of the aforementioned types of hyperpigmentation, it is paramount to consult with a dermatologist. That way, an individual can receive a proper hyperpigmentation diagnosis, as well as find the best way to alleviate his or her hyperpigmentation symptoms.
How Is Hyperpigmentation Diagnosed?
To diagnose hyperpigmentation, a dermatologist first conducts a physical exam and reviews a patient’s medical history. He or she may then request a skin biopsy; this assessment helps a dermatologist pinpoint the cause of a patient’s hyperpigmentation symptoms.
If a dermatologist believes a patient is dealing with hyperpigmentation, he or she then develops a treatment plan based on the patient’s symptoms. Sometimes, a dermatologist prescribes medication that contains hydroquinone, which helps lighten the skin, to treat hyperpigmentation. A dermatologist may also recommend topical retinoids, which may lighten dark spots on the skin over the course of several months.
A dermatologist provides tips to help an individual minimize the risk of future hyperpigmentation as well. These tips often include:
- Apply Sunscreen Regularly: The use of sunscreen that contains zinc oxide as a primary ingredient and has a sun protection factor of 30 or higher helps protect the skin against overexposure to the sun’s UV radiation. Sunscreen should be applied approximately every two hours when a person is out in the sun, and it may need to be applied more frequently if an individual is swimming or sweating.
- Use Skincare Products: Assorted skincare products are available to help prevent hyperpigmentation. Before a skincare product is used, it is essential to meet with a dermatologist to explore different products and find a product that can deliver the optimal results.
- Wear UV-Protective Clothing: Wearing a broad-rimmed hat and UV-protective clothing and accessories helps safeguard the skin against excess exposure to UV radiation that otherwise leads to hyperpigmentation.
- Develop an Effective Skincare Regimen: A dermatologist can work with a person to develop a skincare regimen, as well as recommend products that help this individual avoid hyperpigmentation and maintain healthy, beautiful skin.
There is no need to leave anything to chance, particularly when it comes to hyperpigmentation. By meeting with globally recognized facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Babak Azizzadeh, an individual can take the necessary steps to treat hyperpigmentation.
Dr. Azizzadeh’s Approach to Hyperpigmentation Treatment
As a dual board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Azizzadeh understands the challenges associated with treating hyperpigmentation. Dr. Azizzadeh also recognizes that no two hyperpigmentation patients are exactly alike, and to deliver the best-possible results, he takes a holistic approach to hyperpigmentation treatment.
Dr. Azizzadeh provides a personalized treatment plan for each of his hyperpigmentation patients. To do so, Dr. Azizzadeh first learns about a patient and his or her hyperpigmentation symptoms. Dr. Azizzadeh then develops a custom hyperpigmentation treatment plan for his patient, executes the plan and monitors his patient’s progress throughout treatment.
Schedule a Hyperpigmentation Treatment Consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh Today
Dr. Azizzadeh is available to meet with an individual and discuss different hyperpigmentation treatment options. To schedule a hyperpigmentation treatment consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh, please call us today at 310-657-2203.