For various reasons, hyperpigmentation is caused by an increase in melanin, the substance in the body that is responsible for color and is produced by melanocytes at the lower level of the epidermis. Melanin protects the skin from overexposure by absorbing the sun's ultraviolet rays; but, in doing so may cause freckles, age spots or other darkened areas to become even more evident.
Approaches to treating the hyperpigmenation varies based on the depths of the pigment damage.
- EPIDERMAL - Surface is light brown and color is not as dense.
- DERMAL - Skin is deep brown, ashen-gray and appears more solid.
- MiXTURE - Bother levels are dark brown.
Pigment damage is done at the cellular level and affects the DNA of the cell itself. It is important to remember that correcting hyperpigmentation can be very difficult and even the most aggressive treatments may not eliminate the problem. Sometimes the more aggressive the approach, the worsening of the problem. With conditions like melasma (pregnancy mask or hormone inducing hyperpigmentation), a slow and steady treatment plan can be successful. Lower level peels accompanied by home care that include correctives with brightening ingredients, antioxidants and most importantly SPF is the best approach for lightening and prevention of further hyperpigmentation.