September 29, 2022

What you can do

Hyperpigmentation refers to a medical term that refers to darker skin patches. These spots are the result of excessive melanin production. It could be caused by anything from acne scars to sun-related damage to hormonal changes.

If you’re experiencing hyperpigmentation, you’re not the only one. Hyperpigmentation is a typical skin condition, and various treatments are available.

Continue reading to learn more about the options available for products to test at home, the types of results you can expect from treatments like microdermabrasion, and much more.

1. Lightening creams

Creams that lighten the skin are over-the-counter (OTC) treatments that use specific ingredients to decrease the amount of the appearance of pigmentation. Some of these creams can be found in stronger prescription types. They’re typically applied once or twice daily to lighten the complexion over the course of time. The topical treatments to lighten the skin are available in gel form.

Common ingredients in OTC products to lighten the atmosphere are:

  • licorice extract
  • N-acetylglucosamine
  • vitamin B-3 (niacinamide)
  • Triluma Cream

Who should be able to try this?

Gels or creams that lighten the skin are best for flat spots like melasma or age spots. They are effective on patches of discoloration that occur on all skin kinds.

OTC products are affordable (and sometimes cheaper) solutions for hyperpigmentation; however, they can be more time-consuming than professional treatments.

What products are you able to try?

The most popular options are:

  • ProActiv Hydrator for Complexion that is Perfect for You. Perfect for oily skin types, this lightening cream minimizes hyperpigmentation and redness all in one package.

Online retailers allow you to get access to products for skin and beauty which you would not otherwise be able to get. It is best to purchase products from companies and retailers with who you are confident.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends taking care when buying OTC products for skin lightening since they could contain trace amounts of mercury

2. Face acids

Hyperpigmentation

Face acids, also known as skin acids, function by exfoliating or shedding the outer layers of skin. When you exfoliate your face, the new cells that are born replace those previously there. This helps to even out the tone of your skin and smooths it out overall.

Many face acids are sold OTC in beauty shops and drugstores. The most popular options are:

  • alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycolic malic, citric, or tartaric acid
  • azelaic acid
  • Kojic acid
  • salicylic acid
  • Vitamin C (in the form of the acid l-ascorbic)

Who should you try this with?

Face acids are great for mild hyperpigmentation that is more visible on fair skin tones.

What are the best products you can try?

Check for the acidity of less than 10 percent.

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. Higher concentrations may increase your chance of experiencing side effects. These are best left to professionals for peels done in your office.

The most popular options are:

  • FAB Skin Lab Resurfacing Liquid 10% AHA. This daily serum contains malic acid to improve your skin’s overall tone and reduce the appearance of pores.
  • ProActiv Mark Correcting Pads. These pads exfoliate your skin and reduce visible acne marks. They are powered by a blend of salicylic and glycolic acids.

Find the following items on the internet:

  • Malic acid
  • Glycolic acid
  • Salicylic acid

3. Retinoids

Vitamin A is the source of these ingredients, and Retinoids are among the most enduring OTC skincare ingredients. Their tiny molecular structure permits them to penetrate deeply into the skin to treat the layers underneath the epidermis.

Retinoids are available as a prescription or an OTC formula. The difference is that OTC formulas are generally less effective. If you aren’t seeing any improvements after a few months, speak to your dermatologist about a retinoid tretinoin (Retin-A) prescription.

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If you don’t have a dermatologist on staff, using the Healthline FindCare tool can help you locate a dermatologist in your local area.

Who should be able to try this?

OTC Retinoids can be safe for all skin types. However, you must double-check with your dermatologist if you have a darker skin tone and plan to use these products for a long time.

It’s also important to remember that retinoids are often utilized to treat wrinkles rather than hyperpigmentation. Retinoids might not be the ideal first-line treatment.

What are the best products you can try?

If you’re suffering from several skin issues, it is possible that you are interested in:

  • Differin Gel. It was previously available only on prescription; this retinoid can help treat hyperpigmentation and acne.
  • Pure Biology Anti-Aging Night Cream. For more mature skin, think about this blend of retinoids and hyaluronic acids to fight aging dryness, spots, and wrinkles.

Find other retinoid treatments on the internet.

4. Chemical peel

Chemical peels employ acids with higher levels of concentration to target specific areas of the skin. They can reduce signs of hyperpigmentation, taking away the epidermis. The deeper versions can penetrate the skin’s middle layer (dermis) to give more striking outcomes.

While there are many chemical peels available, OTC, You might want to look into a professional-grade peel from the dermatologist’s office. These are more potent and provide faster results.

Because of their strength their power, in-office peels could increase your risk of having adverse consequences. Consult your dermatologist regarding the specific risks you face.

Potential risks with both home and in-office chemical peels can cause irritation, redness, and blistering. If misused, the possibility of blisters or scars could develop.

If you’re in the sun regularly, chemical peels might not be the right option for your treatment. Chemical peels cause the skin to become more sensitive to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. If you do not apply enough sunscreen or other UV-protection products, the sun’s rays could cause hyperpigmentation. You’ll have to take additional precautions for a minimum of one week following your previous chemical peel.

Who should you try this with?

Chemical peels can be effective in the case of:

  • age spots
  • sun damage
  • Melasma
  • blotchy skin

They are also best suited for skin tone that is fairer and may give faster results than products for face acids.

What products are you able to try?

If you’re in search of an effective, professional-grade peel you can make at home, think about glycolic acid peels from Exuviance. It can be used up to two times every week. It may also aid in reducing wrinkles.

Juice Beauty also has several chemical peels designed to smooth uneven skin tone. Look at their Green Peel for sensitive skin if you suffer from sensitive skin. In addition, it is organic, and all the ingredients are natural.

Speak to your dermatologist for those with a dark complexion or who require a more powerful peel. They can talk about the available professional peels and assist you in deciding which one is best for you.

Buy chemical peels online.

5. Laser peel (skin resurfacing)

Laser peel (resurfacing) treatment employs focused light beams to diminish hyperpigmentation.

There are two kinds of lasers: ablative as well as non-ablative. Ablative lasers are the most powerful and involve the removal of layers of skin. Non-ablative treatments, however, focus on the dermis to stimulate collagen production and tighten the effects.

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Ablative lasers are more robust; however, they can cause more negative side adverse effects. They destroy the skin’s elements to ensure new skin cells are in a more toned and tighter form.

Who should be able to try this?

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to skin rejuvenation. Your dermatologist will assist you in determining the complexion and color to choose the appropriate treatment for your skin. Ablative lasers can be beneficial for those who have fair skin. Some people find that non-ablative lasers can cause the skin to darken rather than become lighter.

6. Intense pulsed light therapy (IPL)

IPL Therapy is a kind of treatment that is non-ablative (fractional) laser treatment. Also called photo facials, IPL therapy is a method of stimulating collagen growth in the dermis. It typically requires several sessions.

IPL treats general pigmentation problems, but flat spots are exceptionally responsive to this procedure. It could also aid in reducing lines, spider veins, and pores that are enlarged.

Who should be able to try this?

Based on Emory Healthcare, IPL works most effectively for patients with fair skin.

7. Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a procedure in the office for treating hyperpigmentation that only affects the epidermis (superficial scarring).

For the procedure, the dermatologist uses an instrument that resembles a drill, with wire brushes or another attachment for abrasive. The tool will then swiftly swing over your skin and gently remove the epidermis. You may require multiple sessions to get the best outcome.

Who should you try this with?

Microdermabrasion is best for superficial scars. It is also beneficial for people who have fairer skin. Your dermatologist can assist in determining if this procedure is appropriate for you.

8. Dermabrasion

The procedure also involves taking off your epidermis; however, its effects last to the dermis.

While dermabrasion may be utilized to smooth wrinkles out, The procedure has also been used for centuries to tackle issues with texture. This includes:

  • acne scars
  • age spots
  • The scars from chickenpox
  • injuries and scars
  • sun damage

Similar to microdermabrasion, it is recommended that your dermatologist use the drill-like hand tool, that is, a wire brush or any other attachments for abrasive. They’ll use the tool to move it over your skin in a swift yet gentle manner to the entire epidermis and the top layer of the dermis.

Who should you try this with?

Dermabrasion could be an excellent option for those looking to reduce the amount of pigmentation you have at a quicker rate than microdermabrasion.

It is most effective for fair skin tones. Medium skin tone might experience further hyperpigmentation as a consequence of the procedure. The hyperpigmented patches could fade after eight weeks.

What’s the most suitable for the different skin tones?

Skin tone impacts the length and intensity of treatment for hyperpigmentation. According to Dr. Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, MEP-C, those with fair, medium, and dark skin tones can benefit from the same treatments, but those with darker skin tones require a longer time for treatments to be effective.

Fair skin is well-suited to most hyperpigmentation techniques.

The following may be out of bounds if you get tanned often or possess darker complexions tones:

  • high-beam lasers
  • IPL therapy

Medium skin tones might have the following choices that may be helpful:

  • Chemical peels
  • microdermabrasion

Darker skin types may be benefited by:

  • glycolic acid
  • Kojic acid
  • OTC lightening creams
  • microdermabrasion
  • Chemical peels with lower strength
  • Laser treatments are only effective when they are used at a lower intensity for longer sessions

The use of topical treatments is generally more time-consuming to show tangible effects. The key to success is patience—treatment method.

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