Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition that occurs when the skin produces too much melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its color and hyperpigmentation can cause dark patches on the skin, especially on the face, neck, hands, and back.
There are many different causes of hyperpigmentation, including sun exposure, inflammation, and hormonal changes.
One of the most common causes of hyperpigmentation occurs during pregnancy and is called Melasma. Many women experience dark patches on their cheeks, forehead and around their eyes during pregnancy. This condition is caused by an increase in the hormone estrogen.
An imbalance of estrogen and progesterone can also cause hyperpigmentation leading to dark patches on the skin and may occur in both men and non-pregnant women.
Taking any birth control pills containing estrogen and progesterone may also cause hyperpigmentation.
How to treat Hyperpigmentation from hormones
There is no known foolproof cure for hyperpigmentation, but there are treatments that can help reduce the appearance of dark patches.
Sunscreen is a must-have for anyone with hyperpigmentation from hormones. Sunscreen will protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays, which can make the patches worse. It's important to choose a sunscreen that is labeled "broad-spectrum," meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. It will not necessarily remove existing hyperpigmentation, but it will definitely prevent it from getting worse so we’ve included this must-have in the list anyway. This is the most important factor in treating hyperpigmentation.
Retinol is a vitamin A and works by speeding up the natural turnover of cells in the skin, which helps to fade dark spots and discoloration. Retinol is the gentler derivative within the retinoid family and can be beneficial for all skin types.
A chemical peel can be an extremely effective treatment for hyperpigmentation caused by hormones. Chemical peels work by removing the top layer of skin. This layer is often where the darker pigmentation is located. By removing this layer, the underlying lighter skin is revealed.
There are a variety of chemical peels available, each with different strengths. Your esthetician will help you choose the peel that is best suited to your needs. Most people see a noticeable improvement in their hyperpigmentation after just one peel. However, depending on the severity of your condition, you may need to undergo a series of sessions.
Book a complimentary consultation with an esthetician and get answers to your hyperpigmentation questions today.