Hyperpigmentation treatment options

Hyperpigmentation or discolouration of the epidermis is not a rare occurrence. Although it is not a life-threatening condition, it can signal an underlying disease which is why it is important to look at the issue to find out if there is a cause. For some, hyperpigmentation is a compelling reason to feel self-conscious and therefore, might lead to loss of self-confidence and even depression. Therefore, hyperpigmentation treatment is recommended if there is any indication it is a medical condition or an aesthetic problem.

All about hyperpigmentation

  • Causes

Hyperpigmentation is caused by overactive melanocytes, the cell responsible for producing skin colour. Therefore, the types of hyperpigmentation can be classified into several categories such as: post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), liver or age spots, and melasma. PI occurs as a result of lesions, burns, and the effects of skin care treatments. Age spots are related to UV exposure while melasma is associated with a thyroid malfunction. Other conditions which lead to hyperpigmentation include birth control and hormone replacement therapy. Although it is not a life-threatening condition, hyperpigmentation must be treated or addressed to improve its appearance or at best, find out if there is an underlying medical issue.

  • The procedures and treatments

An intensive and detailed skin analysis is done to determine the origin of the condition before hyperpigmentation treatment can follow. Every lead will be pursued such as UV exposure, medications history, current therapies and surgeries undertaken. Once the origin is pinpointed, the appropriate treatment can start. Attending physicians can prescribe topical agents and non-surgical procedures. One of these two treatments can achieve positive effects, but a combination therapy can deliver the best results.

Depending on the severity of the problem, topical agents work to clean up the discolouration or remove spots. In this regard, AHAs or alpha hydroxi acids are used to exfoliate and restore the youthful appearance of the skin. Other amazing topical agents include hydroquinine for skin lightening, azelaic acid to remove acne lesions, kojic acid, and mandelic acid which is administered as a peeling agent.

Prevention is important

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure or so the saying goes. This applies very well to the condition of hyperpigmentation. If hyperpigmentation treatment were to be avoided, there are certain things one must do such as daily sunscreen application and following a rigid cleansing regimen. Cleansing, exfoliation, moisturisation and protection should form part of a holistic approach to prevent or reduce the occurrence of hyperpigmentation.

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