Hyperpigmentation and its Treatment

Hyperpigmentation and its Treatment
Published : Feb 04, 2024
Last Updated : Feb 06, 2024

What is Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is mainly the patches of skin that become dark when compared to the surrounding areas of skin. There are different types of hyperpigmentation like melasma, age spots as well as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

These skin patches are often the result of excess melanin production that is caused by acne scars, sun damage, and hormone fluctuations. However, if you are suffering from hyperpigmentation then don’t worry because you are not alone.

Hyperpigmentation is a very common skin condition and you can now find several treatment options. It is important for you to know this skin disorder can affect people of all skin types.

Some forms of hyperpigmentation like sunspots and melasma often affect areas of skin that are exposed to the sun like legs, arms as well as face. Other types of hyperpigmentation form after skin inflammation or injuries like acne, cuts, burns, or lupus. They can occur anywhere in your body.

Keep one thing in your mind, having extra pigment in some areas of your skin is harmless but sometimes it indicates another type of medical condition.

How to treat hyperpigmentation?

Though hyperpigmentation is harmless if you want to get rid of it then here are some effective treatment options. Before trying any treatment, it is vital to consult the doctor to ensure it is safe for you.

Lightening creams

Lightening creams are usually over-the-counter treatments that work to decrease pigmentation. Some of the creams come in stronger prescription forms.

In order to lighten the skin with time, the cream is applied only once or twice a day. You must know that topical creams for lightening are also available in gel form.

Some of the common ingredients found in OTC lightening cream include:

  • Licorice extract
  • Hydroquinone
  • N-acetylglucosamine
  • Vitamin B-3

Lightening gels or creams are best for flat spots like age spots or melasma. They are quite effective for patches of discoloration on all skin types.

Avoid exposure to the sun

In order to protect the skin and stop hyperpigmentation to become darker, you need to use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. Also, limit your exposure to the sun.


Formulated from vitamin A, retinoids are considered one of the oldest OTC skincare ingredients. Their small molecular structure penetrates deep into your skin and effectively treats the layers present below your epidermis.

Keep one thing in your mind, retinoids come in a prescription or OTC formula. Though the OTC version is considered a little weaker. In case, you do not experience any effective results after a few months then meet your doctor about the prescription retinoid tretinoin (Retin-A)

OTC retinoids are safe for all skin tones but you must always consult with your dermatologist in case, you have dark skin and want to use the products for a long time.

Laser peel

Laser peel is also known as resurfacing is a treatment in which targeted beams of light are used in order to decrease hyperpigmentation. Generally, there are two types of lasers including ablative and non-ablative.

Ablative lasers are strong and involve the removal of layers of your skin. On the other hand, the non-ablative process targets the dermis to ensure tightening effects as well as collagen growth.

Ablative lasers are considered stronger and might lead to some side effects. Both types of lasers are responsible for destroying the elements present in your skin so that new skin cells grow back tighter and in a more toned way.

Laser peel is not a one-size-fits-all approach. The ablative laser often works better for people with fair skin. While non-ablative can cause the skin to darken instead of getting light.

It is better to meet an experienced dermatologist who will assess your discoloration and accordingly recommend the right laser peel treatment for your skin.

Intense pulse light therapy

Intense pulse light therapy is considered a non-ablative laser treatment. This therapy helps in stimulating the growth of collagen within your dermis. You need multiple sessions for this therapy. 

This therapy is given for overall pigmentation problems but flat spots respond to this treatment quickly.

Therefore, if you want to get the right treatment for hyperpigmentation then consult your dermatologist today