• 2016-4-960
    2016-4-768
    2016-4-480
    2016-4-320

    What is a dermatologic surgeon?

    Part of a progressive medical subspecialty, ASDS member dermatologists perform medically necessary and cosmetic procedures to improve the health, function and beauty of skin through every stage of life.

  • 2016-3-960
    2016-3-768
    2016-3-480
    2016-3-320

    From forehead furrows to frown lines…

    Performing more than 5 million cosmetic procedures each year, ASDS member dermatologists offer many treatments that are less intense, safer and have quicker recovery times than ever before.

  • 2016-2-960
    2016-2-768
    2016-2-480
    2016-2-320

    3 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year

    Any suspicious new growths or changes should be examined by a dermatologist immediately. ASDS member dermatologists are trained to select the best treatment choice based on the individual patient.

  • 2016-1-960
    2016-1-768
    2016-1-480
    2016-1-320

    From excess fat to wrinkles…

    Offering a range of office-based cosmetic procedures, ASDS member dermatologists can select the appropriate treatment choice to meet your individual goals.

+ / -
Email
Close
Article to be sent via email:

To email(s):
(use commas to separate multiple addresses)
  (use commas to separate multiple addresses)
Subject:
Your name:
Your email address:
Add a Message:
RSS

In This Section

Hyperpigmentation

 

Treatment Options

 
 

Learn more about the treatment options available for Hyperpigmentation.

 
 

Many patients may begin to notice the presence of tan to brown to gray patches on their skin, which are often worsened with sun exposure. This condition is called hyperpigmentation and affects both men and women. It can occur in all skin colors, but is typically more common in patients with darker skin tones.

Why treat hyperpigmentation?

Physical, emotional and social reasons for treating hyperpigmentation include:

  • Improved appearance.
  • Enhanced self-esteem.
  • Promotion of better skin health.

 

What you need to know

Hyperpigmentation occurs when the pigment producing cells of the skin, called melanocytes, begin to produce too much pigment. This leads to the development of light to dark brown to grey spots or patches on the skin surface. Hyperpigmentation can appear anywhere on the skin. Common causes include inflammation and/or trauma on the skin, medications, contact with certain cosmetic or plants and melasma. Pigmentation that follows trauma to the skin, such as a cut, burn, abrasion or surgical incision, or inflammation in the skin, such as after a rash, acne or severe skin dryness, is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and is located in a pattern similar to the original event. Medications that can cause hyperpigmentation may cause more widespread hyperpigmentation. Your ASDS physician will help to diagnosis your underlying cause of hyperpigmentation and customize your treatment plan to fit your individual needs.

Most cases of hyperpigmentation can be improved over time after the underlying cause has been removed and managed. As sun exposure worsens hyperpigmentation it is important to protect the skin with sunscreen on a daily basis. Treatment often begins with a skin care regimen composed of a daily sunscreen, moisturizers, and skin care brighteners. Some of the more common skin brighteners include hydroquinone, vitamin C, azelaic acid, tretinoin and kojic acid.

For patients who don’t see improvement of their hyperpigmentation with a skin care regimen alone, procedures may be added. These include superficial chemical peels, microdermabrasion, intense pulsed light and/or lasers. Lasers should be used with care in patients with darker skin tones by an experienced laser surgeon.

Do's and don'ts

Do

Avoid excessive sun exposure to the areas of increased pigmentation.Wear a hat, sunglasses, sun-protective clothing and seek shade when outside. Wear sunscreen daily with an SPF greater than 45 and remember to reapply.  

Don't

Forget your sunscreen.Aggressively scrub at your skin. Use home remedies such as lemon juice or abrasive scrubs as these can worsen hyperpigmentation.  

Hyperpigmentation treatment questions to ask a dermatologic surgeon:

  1. Which hyperpigmentation procedure is the correct one for me? (What are the options?)
  2. What is the estimated cost of the procedure?
  3. How long is one appointment?
  4. How often will I need to receive treatment to improve and/or clear my hyperpigmentation?
  5. How far apart are the treatments?
  6. What are the common side effects or complications associated with the procedure?
  7. How can I prepare for the treatment/procedure?
  8. Does the treatment hurt?
  9. How long is the recovery time associated with my procedure?
  10. Do you have before-and-after patient images to help to prepare me for what to expect?
  11. Will someone walk me through the process before going in for treatment?
  12. What are the risks?
  13. What should I expect after the procedure is performed? (i.e., short-term and long-term effects; activity restrictions; expected recovery period)

General questions to ask before hyperpigmentation procedures:

  1. Is a doctor on site?
  2. Is the doctor board-certified in dermatology or in another specialty with equivalent training and experience in treating hyperpigmentation?
  3. Was my medical history taken?
  4. Was I given an initial evaluation to determine if the technique or procedure is appropriate for my skin type?
  5. Did the doctor show me before-and-after photos?
Render 960px View
Render 768px View
Render 480px View
Render 320px View