Hyperpigmentation: Causes, Triggers and Treatment

Cosmetologist and founder of Isaac Luxe, Dr Geetika Mittal gives you the lowdown on one of the most common skin disorders, and exactly how to tackle it.

If you've noticed dark patches or spots on your skin, know that you're not alone. People across all age groups—and gender identities—may experience a common (yet complex) skin condition in which patches of skin become darker in colour, as compared to the surrounding skin. This darkening often occurs as a result of an excess of melanin—the brown pigment that gives way to our skin colour and is produced by skin cells called melanocytes—which forms deposits on the skin. 


There are a range of conditions—often an interplay of external and internal factors—that can be held responsible for the over-production of melanin in our body:


Excessive Exposure to Sunlight


Sun damage is the number one cause of hyperpigmentation, as it is the sunlight that triggers the production of melanin in the first place. Melanin acts as your skin’s natural sunscreen, protecting it from the harmful UV-A and UV-B rays. However, excessive sun exposure can disrupt this process, consequently leading to this skin condition.


Hormonal Influences


Hormonal influences often lead to a specific kind of hyperpigmentation known as melasma or chloasma. This skin condition is particularly common amongst women and is believed to occur when the female sex hormones—estrogen and progesterone—stimulate the overproduction of melanin when the skin is exposed to sunlight.


Signs of Skin Ageing


As we age, the number of melanin-producing cells (known as melanocytes) decreases. However, the ones that remain increase in size and their distribution becomes much more focused. Such biological and physiological changes offer an explanation with respect to the increase in age spots, especially amongst those that are over 40.


As a Result of Cosmetic Procedures and Skin Injuries


Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs when a skin injury or trauma heals, leaving a flat area of discolouration behind. It’s commonly found among acne sufferers and may also be caused due to cosmetic procedures and surgeries.


"At Isaac Luxe, we strive to provide holistic solutions to treat skin conditions such as hyperpigmentation, along with a keen focus to alter its underlying causes and triggers," explains Dr Geetika. On the basis of the dynamics of hyperpigmentation, the following treatments are offered: 


Chemical Peels


Chemical peels are the most sought after solution to treat this grave skin concern. Depending on the severity of pigmentation, chemical peels including those comprising of glycolic acid, nomelan phenol retises for superficial pigmentation and cosmelan or dermamelan peels for deep dermal pigmentation, are recommended. They work on the mechanism of skin cell renewal by exfoliating the upper dermal layer of your skin, giving way to a rejuvenated, fresh appearance.


Laser Therapy


Isaac Luxe also offers advanced, non-ablative laser therapies to target hyperpigmentation effectively. The 4D Lift Laser makes use of laser energy to treat the brown pigment or melanin present in your skin. The pigment absorbs the laser energy and gets fragmented within the skin's tissues, thereby reducing the visible appearance of pigmentation on the surface of your skin.


Platelet-Rich Plasma


Platelet-rich plasma is a widely used, popular facial rejuvenation treatment that makes use of your own plasma to stimulate collagen production in the skin. The growth factor beta (TGF-ß) in plasma inhibits melanogenesis or reverses skin pigmentation, providing the effect opposite to that of UV-B radiation from sun exposure. This regenerative medicine combined with laser therapy can further boost and maximise desired results.


Dermapen 4


Dermapen 4 is the latest micro-needling technology which creates micro injuries or channels that allow your skin to carry up to 80% more active ingredients, which dive deep into your skin to feed and be absorbed by the underlying cells. This induces a safe healing response within the skin to ignite natural collagen and elastin production, thus reducing pigmentation.


Biologique Recherche: The Soin Tâches Pigmentaires Cabin Treatment


We also offer a non-invasive, intensive facial exclusively available at Isaac Luxe. Biologique Recherche, The Soin Tâches Pigmentaires Cabin treatment treats pigmentation by providing instant brightening results, using an intense fruit acid mask to peel the skin and activate skin cell renewal. It is the ideal treatment for expectant or lactating women who suffer from pigmentation.