What is Hyperpigmentation?
The word hyperpigmentation refers to excess, undesired pigment in the skin. This applies to various skin conditions such as age spots, melasma, acne scarring, and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (a darkening of the skin caused by irritation).
Most hyperpigmentation is caused or aggravated by sun exposure, but some is also caused by a pigment-producing reaction in the skin caused by irritation. This type of hyperpigmentation, called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is most common in darker skin types.
Treatments for Hyperpigmentation
To fade unwanted pigmentation, there are two main options: bleaching agents and exfoliants.
Bleaching agents are ingredients that suppress excess melanin production and distrbution and are, in general, the most effective option.
Exfoliants fade pigmentation by increasing cell turnover and encouraging the shedding of pigmented or damaged skin cells. Exfoliants such as alpha hydroxy acids and retinol also have added anti-aging benefits and can bring faster results when used in combination with a bleaching treatment.
When treating any form of hyperpigmentation, sun protection is key. Always wear sunblock with broad-spectrum protection and with an SPF of 30 or more.