To Schedule Appointments: 309-360-9035

Other Inquiries: 309-360-8077

Hyperpigmentation of the skin – what is it?

Hyperpigmentation of the skin – what is it?

Hyperpigmentation,  also known as pigmentation, is a common skin condition that causes the skin to darken in areas.  There are many causes for uneven skin tones/ hyperpigmentation and there are different depths of damage in the skin.  The most common is the overproduction of Melanin.  Melanin is the pigment which gives our skin color.  It is produced by skin cells called melanocytes.  When these cells become aggravated, they produce more melanin and the skin becomes tan or brown spots may develop.  Sun exposure usually increases melanin production.

There are many treatments that can be done to brighten and lighten skin and protect  it from further damage.  Sunscreens, or SPF’s of 40 or higher are suggested.


Sun and heat are two main factors that affect hyperpigmentation!  Staying cool and always having proper sun protection are vital. Other causes: Pregnancy, birth control, HRT (hormone replacement therapy), Estrogen, Acne, electrolysis, chemical peels, trauma to skin, surgical procedures, rashes, chicken pox, certain medications, perfumes sprayed on sun exposed skin, and bug bites, just to name a few.


hyperpigmentation melasma
This woman has freckles and melasma on upper lip

MELASMA is a very common skin condition presented as brown patches on the face of adults, usually women.   The most common sites of involvement are the cheeks, bridge of nose, forehead, and upper lip. Women who take birth control pills often develop this type of pigmentation and sun exposure is a major cause.  The symptoms of melasma are dark, irregular patches.  These patches often develop gradually over time.  Melasma does not cause any other symptoms beyond the cosmetic discoloration.

CHLOASMA or the “mask of pregnancy” is a condition pregnant women develop.  It is caused by the overproduction of melanin and can be found on their faces or abdomens.  It may worsen after sun exposure and can cover large areas.

AGE SPOTS,  sometimes called liver spots, are a form of pigmentation.  These spots usually occur as a result of sun rays.  The small, dark spots are found generally on the hands and face, but any area exposed to the sun can be affected.  Exposure to the sun’s rays and a daily onslaught of environmental elements such as air pollution and the toxins in our food, all wreak havoc on our skin, damaging cell walls and connective tissue.  This results in the visible signs of aging we see in our skin.  Sun damaged skin looks dull and lacks lustre, wrinkles become more prevalent and pigmentation/age spots start to appear.  Excessive sunbathing or sunbed use can have a dramatic effect on the way we age.

FRECKLES, are small, discolored patches of skin but can be classified as a form of hyperpigmentaion.  They are usually multiple in number.  With sun exposure, they become more apparent; therefore, in the winter months, they are not as noticeable.  Freckles are more commonly found in fair-skinned races with red or blonde hair and less commonly in individuals of other races.

PIH or post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.  This is pigment that occurs as a result of surface irritation, abrasion or inflammation of the epidermis.  Acne, bug bites, post  deep chemicals peels, or major trauma to the skin are just a few causes.


Hyperpigmentation darkened pigment

HypopigmentationNo melanin, or loss of color

Demarkation- uneven pigmentation from picking, procedures, scratching


Hyperpigmentation and discoloration of the skin can be treated and improved.  It is not always an overnight experience.  This disease of the skin did not happen quickly.  Research shows that most sun damage occurs before the age of 10 and shows up later in life.  Microdermabrasion, chemical exfoliations, Hydrafacials and Jet Peels done professionally with your Esthetician,  can help even out pigmentation.  Home care products using lightening agents such as Hydroquinone, Kojic acid, Azelaic acid, Mandelic acid (from almonds) along with many natural plant extracts enhance the acceleration of the treatments.  IPL laser treatments can also be administered under a doctors care for deeper, systemic cases of pigmentation. In treating hyperpigmentation/pigmentation of the skin, clients must use SPF on a daily basis…365 days a year.  Once lightening of the skin has taken place, it is continual care to prevent future discoloration of the skin.

Check out our menu of services at INFUSE SKIN and BODY for treatments offered for the skin.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Call Now