If you notice brown spots on your face, you may wonder what you can do to erase them and above all, how to prevent more from appearing. In this post, we will cover “how to treat hyperpigmentation on the face.”
Hyperpigmentation or pigmentary changes associated with skin are a natural part of the aging process yet it is often a common concern. Hyperpigmentation is characterized by uneven skin tone, brown or dark spots or patches. It may be present on the face or elsewhere in your body.
Because everyone’s skin is different, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Your best results will come from personalized advice from a cosmetic or aesthetic professional like someone from the team at The Skin Center by CPS. We are happy to help you navigate your options to achieve clearer, more even-toned skin.
What Causes Hyperpigmentation?
Before treating hyperpigmentation or any other condition, it helps to understand what causes it and the different types of hyperpigmentation. There are a variety of potential causes; sometimes, it may be obvious, but in other cases, you may need to see a doctor or dermatologist to get a diagnosis. Some potential causes include:
- Exposure to the sun and sun damage
- Skin rashes, healing insect bites, inflammation
- Responses to medical conditions like Cushing’s disease
- Exposure to blue light from screens and electronic devices
- Changes in hormone levels from taking contraceptives, pregnancy, perimenopause, or other reasons
- Acne scars, popping pimples, or skin trauma
- A condition called melasma
Melasma affects around 5 million Americans. If you are experiencing it, you are not alone. It refers to a condition where the body produces extra Melanin in places. Melanin is what gives your skin, eyes, and hair color. The extra Melanin is just in spots or areas on the face, arms, back, or elsewhere but isn’t uniform. Pregnancy hormones, health issues like thyroid disease, sun exposure, and more can trigger it.
As you can imagine, hyperpigmentation is common but fairly complex, mainly because it has many potential triggers.
With so many causes, you can’t always prevent hyperpigmentation. You can limit one of the main causes – sun damage to the skin. The most effective way to prevent further hyperpigmentation in the future is to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily consistently. Do you really need SPF on your face? YES. We cannot overstate the importance of sun protection for preventing hyperpigmentation, premature aging, and skin cancer.
Prolonged exposure to the sun’s damaging UV rays can speed up aging, resulting in problems such as hyperpigmentation, loss of skin elasticity, and a heightened risk of skin cancer.
It’s essential to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more every day, even if it is cloudy or rainy outside. The earlier you adopt this habit, the more beneficial it will be.
For best results, you need to reapply sunscreen throughout the day, according to the product label. For those who find frequent sunscreen reapplication a hassle, consider using sun-protective clothing and accessories. Options like scarves, hats, or rash guards while swimming can provide effective sun protection. There are also powder SPF products that may be easier when it comes to reapplying.
Don’t forget your eyes – wearing sunglasses that shield against both UVA and UVB rays is crucial. Not only does the sun harm the eyes, but constant squinting deepens expression lines, crow’s feet, and wrinkles around the eyes and you can develop hyperpigmentation on the skin near the eyes. So, a good pair of sunglasses serves a dual purpose.
If your hyperpigmentation was caused by a medical issue or a reaction to medication, you may need to see your doctor to clear treatment options. While age spots and hyperpigmentation don’t usually require a doctor’s visit, there are certain situations when you need to have a dermatologist or doctor examine you to rule out skin cancer or serious conditions.
These could be indicators of melanoma, a severe type of skin cancer:
- Any concerning changes in a mole, sunspot, or freckle
- Your spot or blemish turns black, grows in size, or has an irregular outline
- If you notice unusual colors or bleeding
Most of the time, it is a cosmetic issue and a sign of early, noncancerous sun damage such as actinic keratosis, which appears as rough, scaly patches caused by years of sun exposure. While the treatment is cosmetic, it is also a warning to dial up on your sun protection as well as your protection from blue light exposure.
The best way to improve the appearance of your skin and even out the skin tone is through a consultation with an aesthetic professional and learning how to take care of your skin in your 30s. The most effective options vary depending on the severity of your hyperpigmentation, its location, your natural skin tone, and its causes.
Medispa treatments like chemical peels, laser therapy, or microdermabrasion help improve the appearance by removing the skin’s top surface, revealing fresher skin. Laser skin resurfacing is an especially effective treatment for many people. Intense Light Therapy, IPL, Broad Band Laser, and BBL address hyperpigmentation and other cosmetic skin problems like scarring. DiamondGlow exfoliating facials also help while addressing other skin concerns like clogged pores. Microneedling is often sought out to help improve skin texture, but it also helps with hyperpigmentation. With so many choices, a consultation with a cosmetic professional is crucial. With help, you can find the treatment most likely to address the hyperpigmentation and possibly other skin concerns as well.
Topical treatments and DIY skincare treatments can also help improve the appearance of your skin over time, especially when used in coordination with professional-grade treatments. Some products that may help include topical vitamin C, retinoids, hydroquinone, and others. It’s important to learn how to time topical treatments in relation to your holistic skincare routine, treatments like waxing, and medispa treatments like laser resurfacing, peels, and injectables may require you to temporarily stop them right a week or so prior to your procedure. Some of these ingredients can sensitize the skin, and some treatments do. You can avoid that with guidance by choosing a combination of treatments and products that work together and learning when and how to use each.
Your Next Step: Schedule an Appointment With the Skin Center
When navigating the complex range of choices for skin care products, nonsurgical cosmetic treatments, and lifestyle changes, it helps to meet with a skilled professional. With new products and treatments being introduced in the market constantly, you save time and money with someone knowledgeable guiding you toward your best options.
The team at The Skin Center by CPS is excited to serve the Charlotte, NC, community. If you are looking for hyperpigmentation treatment in or near Charlotte, look no further! Contact us today to schedule your appointment.