Hyperpigmentation: Types, Treatment, and Causes

Hyperpigmentation Types, Treatment, and Causes

One of the most common skin imperfections is hyperpigmentation. It can be frustrating because it can be challenging to get rid of and affect your self-confidence. Nowadays, having the best appearance is essential because, with beauty, you can do anything and achieve all the best things in the world.

That’s why many people are always looking for the best solutions to hide and get rid of hyperpigmentation. Thankfully, cosmetic science is a constantly evolving branch of knowledge. There are now many ways to get rid of hyperpigmentation.

Let this article guide you on everything you must know about hyperpigmentation: the types, treatments, and causes of this skin imperfection.

Hyperpigmentation Explained

In simple terms, hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area of skin. It is caused by an excess of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. Melanin is produced by cells in the skin called melanocytes. These cells are located in the bottom layer of the skin’s epidermis.

When the skin is exposed to sunlight, the melanocytes produce more melanin to protect the skin from damage. This can cause the skin to darken or tan. In some cases, though, the melanocytes produce too much melanin, which leads to hyperpigmentation.

Usually, hyperpigmentation is not harmful and does not need to be treated. However, some people want to get rid of it for cosmetic reasons.

Types of Hyperpigmentation

There are two types of hyperpigmentation: exogenous and endogenous.

Exogenous hyperpigmentation is caused by external factors such as sun exposure, trauma, or inflammation. This type of hyperpigmentation is also called sun spots or age spots. Many people experience exogenous hyperpigmentation as they age because it is caused by cumulative sun damage.

Endogenous hyperpigmentation is caused by internal factors such as hormones or medications. This type of hyperpigmentation is also called melasma or chloasma. It usually appears as dark patches on the face, especially on the cheeks, nose, forehead, and upper lip. Endogenous hyperpigmentation can affect people of all ages, but it is more common in women than men.

Causes of Hyperpigmentation

There are many different causes of hyperpigmentation. Some of the most common include sun damage. As mentioned earlier, sun damage is one of the main reasons why people experience exogenous hyperpigmentation.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), sun exposure can cause hyperpigmentation in people of all skin colors. However, it is more likely to occur in people with darker skin tones.

Other common causes of hyperpigmentation include hormonal changes. These can trigger hyperpigmentation in some people. For example, hyperpigmentation is common in pregnant women. This is because pregnancy causes hormonal changes that can stimulate the melanocytes to produce more melanin.

Hyperpigmentation can also be caused by certain medications. For example, some birth control pills contain hormones that can cause hyperpigmentation. In addition, certain medications that are used to treat acne can also cause hyperpigmentation.

Another reason behind hyperpigmentation is inflammation or injury to the skin. This can occur due to several things, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, cuts, or scrapes.

A rare cause of hyperpigmentation is an autoimmune disease called vitiligo. This condition causes the loss of skin color in patches. It is not known exactly what causes vitiligo. Still, it is thought to be due to genetic and environmental factors.

According to the experts, hyperpigmentation is the second most common type of vitiligo. Even though this type of hyperpigmentation is rare, it is still essential to be aware of it.

Treatments Available for Hyperpigmentation

There are many different treatments for hyperpigmentation. The type of treatment that is right for you will depend on the severity of your hyperpigmentation and the underlying cause.

Some people may not need treatment because their hyperpigmentation is mild and does not bother them. If you want to treat your hyperpigmentation, many options are available.

One treatment option is light therapy. This involves using light to break down the melanin in the skin. Light therapy can be done at a dermatologist’s office or at home with a particular device. According to the AAD, light therapy is a safe and effective treatment for hyperpigmentation.

Another treatment option is topical medications. These are applied to the skin and can help to fade hyperpigmentation. Topical medications can be purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by a doctor.

In addition, chemical peels and microdermabrasion are two other treatment options. These procedures can be done at a dermatologist’s office and help improve hyperpigmentation appearance.

If you have hyperpigmentation that is caused by an underlying medical condition, treating the condition can often help to reduce the hyperpigmentation. For example, if hyperpigmentation is caused by an autoimmune disease, treating the disease can often help to reduce hyperpigmentation.

Preventing Hyperpigmentation

There are many different ways to prevent hyperpigmentation. One of the best ways to prevent hyperpigmentation is to protect your skin from the sun. This can be done by wearing sunscreen every day and avoiding sun exposure when the sun is at its strongest.

In addition, it is essential to avoid triggering factors that can cause hyperpigmentation. For example, suppose you are taking a medication that can cause hyperpigmentation. In that case, you may want to talk to your doctor about alternative treatment options.

Finally, it is also essential to be gentle with your skin. This means avoiding harsh cleansers, exfoliants, and treatments that can irritate the skin. Such items include retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid.

Possible Complications

As mentioned earlier, having hyperpigmentation does not mean your days are numbered. However, hyperpigmentation can lead to some complications down the line. For example, hyperpigmentation can lead to:

  • Skin cancer
  • Age spots
  • Melasma
  • Vitiligo

In particular, skin cancer is a significant concern regarding hyperpigmentation. This is because hyperpigmentation can make detecting early signs of skin cancer more difficult.

If you have hyperpigmentation, you must see a dermatologist for regular skin cancer screenings. In addition, you should perform regular self-exams and be on the lookout for any changes in your skin.


Hyperpigmentation can be frustrating to deal with. However, there are many different treatments and prevention options available. By being proactive and working with a dermatologist, you can help to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and improve your overall skin health.

Fresh Aesthetics Medical Spa is willing to help you address hyperpigmentation and deal with it straight ahead. They offer cosmetic procedures that can diminish the appearance of hyperpigmentation, such as facials and chemical peels. They also have other skincare and wellness services that aim to achieve a fresher, more vibrant you the moment you step out of their office.


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