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How to reduce hyperpigmentation of your skin

What is hyperpigmentation, and what causes it?

Generally, we define hyperpigmentation as the areas of your skin that become darker than the rest.  Hyperpigmentation can appear in smaller patches or cover large areas. In some cases, it can affect the entire body. Whilst this is a fairly common skin concern that affects all ages and skin types, it can be disconcerting and aesthetically uncomfortable when you are living with it every day.

There are many ways hyperpigmentation can start. Often, skin pigmentation can happen when your skin produces an overload of melanin. Melanin is what gives our skin its colour. When we experience hyperpigmentation, the excess pigment is buried deep beneath our skin, giving it a darker appearance than the skin that surrounds it. You may also see skin pigmentation after inflammation or skin trauma, including skin conditions, bites, cuts and scrapes. Inflammation can send pigment-producing cells into overdrive, giving them the opportunity to create and leave dark spots around the affected area.

How to reduce hyperpigmentation at home or with a qualified professional

There are more options today than ever before for getting rid of dark spots on our skin. From dermatological approved skin creams and serums to a course of treatments with a qualified clinician at your local aesthetics clinic. Generally, hyperpigmentation is diagnosed by a qualified doctor, and no tests are needed to confirm. It is important to note that if you think you may have skin pigmentation or are worried about dark spots that have come up, visit your local aesthetics clinician to confirm your suspicions before taking action at home.

Once you have had a diagnosis of Melasma, your qualified doctor will be able to advise on treatment options to reduce hyperpigmentation. These treatments can include:

Hydroquinone – this is a skin cream that is available on prescription. Generally, it is applied up to twice a day for six months.

Topical steroids – steroid creams that are applied to the skin have an anti-inflammatory effect but should be used with caution because of their unwanted side effects from long-term use.

Glycolic acid – is often used as a chemical peel to remove the outer layers of pigmented skin. There is a risk with this treatment course that hyperpigmentation could return.

Chemical peels – these peels come with dangerous side effects if a qualified practitioner is not treating you. Always seek the advice and support of your aesthetics clinician.

Laser treatments – always conducted within a professional setting, laser treatments are specifically designed to treat sun spots. You will need to follow your laser treatment with an effective home skincare routine.

We recommend that the above are always followed after a comprehensive consultation with your doctor and these products should not be bought over the internet for any reason. If you are looking to find a suitable alternative to treating your skin pigmentation at home, Imperial Aesthetics recommends choosing antioxidant-rich skincare products in your routine and exfoliating regularly. Products loaded with Vitamin A,C and E can help to repair any damaged skin cells and will even out your skin tone.

How can we prevent pigmentation of our skin?

Unfortunately, not all causes of hyperpigmentation are preventable. However, there are some things you can do at home to reduce the chance of skin pigmentation forming:

  • Sit in the shade or under an umbrella to minimise your exposure to the sun
  • Use suncream daily, even in cooler weather, to protect your skin from harsh UV rays
  • Wear protective clothing, including sunhats and sunglasses
  • The sun’s UV rays are at their strongest between 10 am and 4 pm – try to avoid sitting in the sun during these times.

As you can see from the above points, taking steps to avoid harsh sunlight is the best practice if you are trying to prevent skin damage, including hyperpigmentation. Even on cloudy days, the sun’s rays can still penetrate the clouds and affect your skin, so it is vital to protect your skin year-round. Using a good quality sunscreen daily of at least 30 SPF that offers effective UVA and UVB protection will help prevent the formation of sun-induced pigment spots.

This may also interest you:

Our seasonal skincare advice

Nose reshaping without surgery

Different types of filler – basic and advanced

Imperial Aesthetics gives you tips on how to reduce hyperpigmentation

At Imperial Aesthetics, we understand that sometimes to feel your best on the inside; you have to look and feel good on the outside. That’s why we offer supportive aesthetic treatments that aim to make you feel good about yourself. If you are struggling with skin pigmentation and have tried a home skincare routine without success, why not book a free consultation with one of our practices and speak to us about your concerns. Based in both Harley Street and Chalfont St Giles, our clinics are licensed and regulated, meaning you will be visiting a doctor who is qualified to support you with your skin challenges.

Enjoy the summer sun whilst protecting your skin and prolonging your beautiful complexion! You deserve to look and feel your very best every day.

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