Hyperpigmentation

If you have patches of darker pigmentation on your face, you’re not alone. And, if you’re wondering what causes hyper-pigmentation and how to get rid of it, you’ve come to the right place. Although completely removing the signs of hyper-pigmentation is very difficult there are steps you can take to reduce or prevent brown spots, blotchy skin, and a rough skin texture, helping your skin look younger for longer. Read on to discover what hyper-pigmentation is, what causes it, and how you can treat it.

Hyperpigmentation happens when your skin produces more melanin than normal. Melanin is the pigment responsible for giving your skin its colour. The excess pigment is deposited deep within the skin, giving it a darker look than the skin around it.

What causes Hyperpigmentation?

There are different types of hyper-pigmentation and it is important for a Dr to carry out a consultation to diagnose which type you have so that the correct treatment can be prescribed.

Below are the different types of hyper-pigmentation:

Sun damage
Sun damage tends to appear as sunspots (also called liver spots or solar lentigines). They’re related to excess sun exposure over time. Generally, they appear as spots on areas exposed to the sun, like the hands and face.

Melasma (Chloasma)
Melasma (also known as chloasma or the mask of pregnancy when present in pregnant women) is a dark skin discoloration that can be caused by sun exposure, genetic predisposition, hormone changes, and skin irritation.

Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) occurs after there is damage or irritation to the skin. The skin involved turns brown, or purple, which brings about the term hyper-pigmentation. It is very common in skin of colour.

Medications
Certain medications such as the contraceptive pill can cause hyper-pigmentation. Also, some chemotherapy drugs can cause hyperpigmentation as a side effect.

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Skincare

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – the first step in looking after your skin is making sure your skincare is optimal!

Once Dr Norup has diagnosed your condition, she will put together a skincare prescription of highly effective products to tackle your pigmentation. These products will contain certain ingredients that work in the deeper layers of the skin to interrupt pigment production and block it from reaching the skins surface. Some of them also have an antioxidant effect that protects against pigment-inducing UV or environmental damage. Some of the key ingredients in these products are detailed below

Vitamin C
An anti-oxidant powerhouse that interacts with copper to inhibit the melanin stimulating enzyme Tyrosinase, reducing pigment formation and encouraging a brighter, more even tone. It gets an exponential boost when paired with Vitamin E as in Alumier’s EverActive C&E

Retinol
Retinol is a long-term game-changer for the skin. It removes the appearance of existing pigmentation and supports natural cell turnover to rapidly brighten and even skin tone. It also stimulates the internal Hyaluronic Acid in the skin, keeping skin moisturised, hydrated, plump and bouncy.

Prescription-only products – Hydroquinone and Tretinoin:
Hydroquinone is a skin-lightening agent. It bleaches the skin, which can be helpful when treating different forms of hyper-pigmentation. When combined with Tretinoin it is even more effective against stubborn pigmentation.

Sunscreen
Daily sunscreen is absolutely essential in preventing hyperpigmentation. Your skin cells respond to UV light by producing more melanin as a self-protective mechanism, and SPF blocks the light that injures the cells to protect against the melanin-triggering effects of UV.

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In-Clinic Treatments

Along with your skincare prescription, Dr Norup will put together a treatment plan to tackle your condition. Below are some of the treatments we offer at the clinic..

Peels
Peels rely on acids to remove the top layers of the skin. The exfoliative effects spur cell regeneration, boost collagen, fade discoloration, and peel away imperfections to rapidly improve texture and tone.

At The Norup Clinic we offer peels that effectively and safely treat melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The pigmentation on the skin becomes lighter and the effect continues over time. The progressive result improves the skin and keeps hyperpigmentation under control.

Plasma Facial and Mesotherapy
The plasma absorbs the pigmentation and allows for a Meso-serum specific for the prevention/treatment of pigmentation and stimulation of collagen to penetrate without injection. This is a highly effective but non-painful treatment that lifts and prevents laxity. It also helps crepey thin skin.

Laser Treatments
IPL laser can be effective in removing pigmentation. The IPL Laser is attracted to the darker pigment, shattering the pigment and drawing it to the surface. This treatment will work as an effective sun damage skin treatment and reduce dark blemishes and sunspots. It also has the added benefit of rejuvenating the skin – your skin will be left brighter, clearer, and more even toned.

IPL is for hyperpigmentation treatment but not for hormonal pigment such as melasma.

Oral medication
For severe melasma, oral medication can be given to support your skincare and in-clinic treatments.

If you’d like to find out more please book a consultation (01372 465 277) to discuss hyperpigmentation treatments.

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