*Disclaimer: Individual results may vary from patient to patient based upon the circumstances and the patient’s specific situation, as well as the time taken to see final results.

Hyperpigmentation is the process of darkening of a skin or nail area caused by the increased presence of melanin in it.

it can be congenital (like café au lait, nevus of ota and others) or acquired (caused by sun damage, inflammation, or other skin injuries, including those related to acne vulgaris). People with darker Asian, Mediterranean, or African skin tones are also more prone to it, especially if they have excessive sun exposure.

Many forms of hyperpigmentation are caused by an excessive production of melanin. It can be diffuse or focal, affecting such areas as the face and the back of the hands.

What is Melanin?

Melanin is a class of pigment produced by melanocytes at the lower layer of the epidermis and is responsible for producing coloration in the body, in places such as the eyes, skin and hair. As the body ages, melanocyte distribution becomes less diffuse and its regulation less controlled by the body. UV light stimulates melanocyte activity, and where concentrations of the cells are denser than surrounding areas, hyperpigmentation is affected. Hyperpigmentation can also be caused by using skin lightening lotions.

Another form of hyperpigmentation is post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. These are dark and discolored spots that appear on your skin following acne that has healed

What is the Treatment?

Treatment of hyperpigmentation includes treating the possible cause of its occurrence:

  • Use sun block at least SPF30 as treatment and as a preventer
  • Using whiting creams which are usually effective but need time to show the results (at least 8 weeks)
  • Medlite C6 Laser:  to treat hyperpigmentation, whether it is congenital like nevus of Ota, or acquired like melisma and freckles.

Hyperpigmentation is associated with a number of diseases or conditions, including but not limited to the following:

  • Freckles: Freckles are small flat brown marks arising on the face and other sun exposed areas. They are most often seen in fair skinned people, especially those with red hair, but they are an inherited characteristic that sometimes affects darker skin types as well.
  • Melasma, also known as chloasma– patchy hyperpigmentation often found in pregnant women or women taking oral contraceptive pills, using bad quality make up or topical creams containing mercury, or having personal or familial history of a thyroid disease.
  • Post – procedure hyperpigmentationcan sometimes be induced by dermatological laser procedures, if patient did not follow doctor’s recommendations to put sun block and avoid tanning baths.
  • Post inflammatory hyperpigmentationis discoloration that is left on the skin after an underlying skin disease has been healed. These underlying conditions include:
    • Skin infections like tinea (fungal infection).
    • Allergic reactions.
    • Mechanical injuries.
    • Reactions to medications.
    • Phototoxic eruptions.
    • Trauma (e.g. burns).
    • Inflammatory reactions (e.g. acne, dermatitis, lichen planus).
    • Enocrain diseases like: Addison’s disease, Cushing’s disease, all thyroid diseases.
    • Acanthosis nigricans – hyperpigmentation of intertriginous areas associated with insulin resistance.
    • Linea nigra – a hyperpigmented line found on the abdomen during pregnancy.
    • Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, Cronkite-Canada syndrome, Porphyria, Haemochromatosis, Aromatase deficiency, Nelson’s syndrome.
    • Exposure to certain chemicals such as salicylic acid, bleomycin, and cisplatin.
    • Smoker’s melanosis.
    • Celiac disease.
    • After some infections like: Tinea fungal infections such as ringworm.
    • Mercury poisoning – particularly cases of cutaneous exposure resulting from the topical application of mercurial ointments or skin-whitening creams.