How best to handle hyperpigmentation

hyperpigmentation treatment

As the temperatures rise and summer beckons, it’s no surprise that May is Sun Awareness month. On 25th May, we also mark International Skin Pigmentation Day, which is dedicated to raising awareness for preventing and treating this common skin concern.

Clear, even skin has become the aesthetic ideal in a world constantly bombarded with filtered social media images. Hyperpigmentation can significantly impact self-esteem, whether caused by acne scars, sun exposure, hormonal changes resulting in melasma, or inflammation. Here, we focus on the link between UV rays and skin tone and ways to manage and even diminish pigmentation changes to unveil your radiant skin beneath.

The sun and skin pigmentation

The sun is the number one cause of skin hyperpigmentation, which describes any skin discolouration areas. Which is why these darkened patches or spots typically appear on areas of the body that are exposed to the sun such as the face, neck, decolletage and hands.

Hyperpigmentation is caused by increased melanin, the substance which determines the colour of hair, skin, and eyes. This increase in production can be triggered by age, hormonal fluctuations, trauma, or inflammation, but the main culprit is sun exposure. Melanin acts as a natural sunscreen, absorbing UV rays, which is why we tan in the sun. Excessive sun exposure damages skin cells, and melanin particles clump together, causing that area to appear darker.

This process is exacerbated by ageing. Over time, the number of melanin-producing cells decreases, but the remaining ones increase in size, and their distribution becomes more focused.

Sun spots: prevention or cure?

Preventing sun damage in the first place is always better than trying to reverse pigment changes once they have occurred. Embrace the power of sun protection. UV rays both cause and exacerbate hyperpigmentation. Wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher shields your skin from harmful radiation. Additionally, donning protective clothing like wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses provides an extra layer of defence. Consistency is key; make sunscreen application a daily ritual throughout the year, rain or shine.

Hyperpigmentation treatments

Incorporating gentle exfoliation into your skincare routine removes dead skin cells, allowing fresh, evenly pigmented skin to surface. Opt for products containing ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). These ingredients gently dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells, promoting cellular turnover. However, exercise caution and start with lower concentrations to avoid irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Furthermore, consider incorporating brightening agents into your regimen. Ingredients like vitamin C and niacinamide are renowned for their skin-brightening properties. Vitamin C, in particular, inhibits melanin production and reduces existing pigmentation. Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, regulates sebum production and diminishes the appearance of dark spots.

Our prescription-grade skincare brand, AlumierMD, offers discolouration gift packs that work perfectly alongside our treatments.

In-clinic treatments can deliver more intensive results. Procedures like skin peels or laser skin rejuvenation target hyperpigmentation at a deeper level. Skin peels utilise exfoliative agents to remove superficial layers of skin, revealing a brighter complexion. Laser therapy, however, precisely targets pigmented areas with high-intensity light energy, breaking down melanin deposits.

Additionally, prioritising hydration and nourishment to maintain skin health is essential. Hydrated skin appears plump and vibrant, minimising the prominence of hyperpigmentation. Polynucleotides is a unique new treatment option that activates fibroblasts and stem cells, enhancing the body’s natural ability to regenerate skin cells, resulting in improved skin texture, tone, and elasticity and increased hydration.

Polynucleotides have also shown effectiveness in reducing hyperpigmentation, such as age spots, sunspots, and melasma. They inhibit melanin production, which helps fade existing pigmentation and prevent the appearance of new spots.

For more advice on handling hyperpigmentation, call 0115 772 2363 or email to arrange a consultation with Dr Claudia.