Are you living with patches of skin that are darker in color than your natural skin tone? If so, you may have hyperpigmentation. This condition often occurs due to prolonged exposure to the sun. However, there are many factors that can lead to hyperpigmentation. If you are bothered by this discoloration and would like to learn more about treatment options, our team at Ottawa Derm Centre can help. We offer the most up-to-date treatment options to ensure that each of our patients receive the best possible results.
Hyperpigmentation is a term used to describe skin that appears darker. It can cover large areas, occur in small patches, or affect the entire body. While hyperpigmentation is not usually harmful to your health, it can be a symptom of another health condition.
There are a number of different types of hyperpigmentation, the most common including:
Sunspots (also known as liver spots): Are caused by an excessive amount of sun exposure over time. They usually appear as spots on areas that have been in the sun, such as the face and hands.
Melasma: This condition is thought to be caused by hormonal changes, as it may develop during pregnancy. Areas of hyperpigmentation may appear on any area of the body but are most common on the face and stomach.
Post-inflammatory Pigmentation: This type of hyperpigmentation is caused by an injury or inflammation of the skin. A common example of this is acne.
In order to best diagnose and treat hyperpigmentation, a physical exam at our office is needed. There are a number of treatment options available, with some of the most common including:
Topical Prescription Medications for Hyperpigmentation
Some cases of hyperpigmentation can be treated with prescription medications that usually contain hydroquinone, which lightens the skin. However, prolonged use of topical hydroquinone can cause darkening of the skin, so it is important to follow your dermatologist’s specific instructions regarding how to properly use this medication. Topical retinoids may also be used to lighten dark spots.
Home Care Options for Hyperpigmentation Taking certain precautions at home may also help to improve your hyperpigmentation. This includes using sunscreen daily that is at least an SPF of 30-50 with broad spectrum coverage. Also, be sure to cover your skin if you are spending time outdoors during peak hours of the sun, between 10 am and 4 pm.
All our patients start with a thorough consultation. During your visit we will discuss your objectives and concerns. Our team of professionals will complete an assessment and make recommendations that support your health and well-being. If you are deemed a good candidate, we will be able to book your treatment.