The reality of treating hyperpigmentation (aka dark spots) on dark skin.
The reality is that dark skin is just as susceptible to melasma and hyperpigmentation just as much fair-toned skin. Patchy spots and discoloration on the skin can be irritating and difficult to cover up. Many treatments focus solely on removing melanin from the skin, but oftentimes take too much melanin and more discoloration occurs especially with darker-toned skin. Instead of perpetuating the condition, here are some realities you need to know to achieve your beautiful skin.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation on dark skin occurs because of the excess production of melanin. Melanin is the pigment that produces skin color. Hyperpigmentation is a medical condition that is consists of patches of skin becoming darker than the rest of skin complexion. These dark spots have various causes. The most common and obvious cause would be from sun damage. UV rays harm the dermal cells. Another common cause would be hormonal changes. Pregnancy, for example, can cause the skin to overproduce melanin causing dark spots on the face and abdominal areas. Birth control pills are also known to cause hyperpigmentation. Other common causes include freckles that become larger or even scars from acne.
How to treat hyperpigmentation on dark skin?
Treatment for these dark spots can vary depending on the person and the severity of the hyperpigmentation. Sometimes, there is no need for treatment at all, and the symptoms disappear on their own. If that is not your case, here are some elevated beauty solutions that our skincare experts have put together.
First Step! Find the Cause
The first step of any skin journey is to identify the exact cause of your hyperpigmentation. If it is due to internal triggers try switching medication or cleaning up your lifestyle and diet. However, you should always talk to your doctor before stopping any medication. Once the cause has been pinpointed, the proper measures can be taken to eradicate hyperpigmentation.
Second Step: Prevention! (Sunscreen)
The next treatment would be a preventative measure known as sunscreen. Sunscreen is your skin’s best friend. It will protect the skin from all the sun’s harmful rays. Here is what you should look for when purchasing sunscreen according to AAD.
Has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30
Protects against UVA and UVB rays
The reality of dark spots is that even after the cause is eliminated, it can take years for them to fade. There are measures you can take to eliminate hyperpigmentation like topical creams. These topical creams contain high levels of active ingredients which may cause adverse effects, and just like sunscreen there are certain key ingredients you should look for.
These ingredients have proven to be extremely effective in treating hyperpigmentation but should be discussed with your skincare provider because it does contain active ingredients that may irritate the skin.
If your at-home measures simply are not diminishing your dark spots, there are skincare professionals with the technology to help you achieve clear, healthy skin!
Chemical peels are a treatment that many people with dark spots opt for. It is a chemical solution that causes the skin to peel and exfoliate. Skin that regenerates is smoother and firmer. There are a plethora of options when it comes to peels from light to more intensive. Please see your skincare expert see which peel would be best suited for your skin.
Conventional laser therapy uses beams of light to eradicate dark spots. Although this method has been highly effective, studies have shown that laser therapy can cause dark spots to become lighter than the original skin complexion which is more susceptible to happen in darker skin tones like this article notes,
“With QS lasers, skin of color has a 25% risk of developing PIH.5 (dark spots)”
However, there are ways to get around this dilemma. An innovative treatment that uses cutting-edge technology called The PicoWay System: A Revolutionary Laser Treatment Solution for Skin of Color. It uses photoacoustic versus photothermal effects that conventional laser therapy uses. In simpler terms, PicoWay method uses shorter pulses and the photoacoustic effect that prevents overheating and eliminates the risk of lightening skin too much. It is the ideal option for darker skin complexions with hyperpigmentation. All the intensity of laser without the risk of discoloration!
If you would like to know if this is the right option for you, schedule a free consultation below and let our skincare experts guide you in your journey to glowing skin!