Hyperpigmentation is a common and largely harmless condition which causes patches of skin to become darker than the surrounding healthy skin.
This skin darkening occurs due to the surplus melanin, the brown pigment that provides skin with its normal color, forming deposits in the skin. This condition can impact the skin color of individuals belonging to any race.
Reger Vein and Skin Specialists, led by the judicious and hardworking Dr. Gregg Reger, provides medical spa treatments for hyperpigmentation to patients in Spring, TX, The Woodlands, and other cities and neighborhoods in this fantastic region of the country.
How does Hyperpigmentation Occur?
Age or “liver” spots are a common type of hyperpigmentation. These spots happen because of sun damage and are medically known as solar lentigines. These small and darkened patches typically occur on the face or hands or other locations that are often exposed to the sun.
Cholasma or melasma spots are akin to age spots in appearance. However, these are more significant areas of darkened skin which occur most frequently as an outcome of hormonal changes. For instance, pregnancy can prompt melanin overproduction leading to the “mask of pregnancy” on the face as well as darkened patches of skin on the abdomen and other sites.
Taking birth control pills may also lead to hyperpigmentation as it causes a woman’s body to go through changes that are similar to those that happen during pregnancy. If a woman is really concerned about the pigment, then birth control should be discontinued.
Changes in the color of the skin can also be an outcome of outside changes. For instance, skin ailments such as acne can cause dark spots after the condition subsides. Some other reasons for dark spots are skin injuries, including certain surgeries. Freckles are tiny brown spots that can occur at any location on the body. However, the face and arms are the most common sites for freckles. Freckles are an inherited attribute.
Wearing Sun Screen
Age spots, freckles, and other darkened skin patches may become more prominent or darker in the sun. This occurs as the melanin absorbs the energy of the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays to offer the skin protection from overexposure.
The most common outcome of this process is skin tanning. Tanning tends to further darken already hyperpigmented areas. Wearing sunscreen is vital. The sunscreen should be “broad spectrum” (it should be able to block both UVA and UVB rays). One day of excessive sun exposure can undo several months of treatment.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation happens when a skin injury or wound heals and leaves behind a flat area of discoloration. It frequently occurs after acne clears up. It can also happen due to aesthetic procedures such as chemical peels, dermabrasion, and laser treatment.
There are other causes for patches of darkened skin such as birthmarks, solar or actinic keratoses, scarring, and skin cancers. However, these are not categorized as hyperpigmentation.
Several prescription creams that are used for skin lightening have hydroquinone as an ingredient. Bleaches help in lightening and fading darkened skin patches by decreasing melanin production. This enables the dark spots to fade slowly to match the surrounding normal skin color.
Many effective laser treatments are available today. Pigmented lesion lasers frequently eliminate pigment without any scarring. The provider will test a spot in a discreet site on the skin as these lasers can, at times, make the skin condition worse rather than better.
The cordial Dr. Gregg Reger receives patients from Spring, TX, The Woodlands, and other towns and communities in this area of the southwest for hyperpigmentation medical spa treatments
During a consultation at Reger Vein and Skin Specialists with Gregg Reger MD in The Woodlands, our team will be happy to explain more in detail what procedures and treatments would be the best fit for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more 832-585-0090! Serving patients in The Woodlands, Spring, Houston, Texas and surrounding areas.