Hyperpigmentation is the term used to describe areas of uneven pigmentation in the skin. It is caused by an increase in melanin. Melanin is the natural pigment that gives our skin, hair and eyes their colour.
Hyperpigmentation appears as darkened patches or spots that make the skin look uneven, and these spots are known as age spots, sun spots or solar lentigines. Hyperpigmentation is also a prominent feature in conditions such as melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
People with dark skin are normally more affected by hyperpigmentation marks than those with a lighter skin tone, as melanin seems to be produced more easily.
Some types of pigmentation can look similar and a dermatologist will be able to give you an accurate diagnosis and management plan.
Melasma, also known as chloasma, is a form of hyperpigmentation that appears on the face, especially on the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead and upper lip and sometimes on other sun-exposed parts of the body, such as the forearms. Men can experience melasma, but it is much more common in women.
At Southface Dermatology, we have a range of treatments for various types of pigmentation. Some types of pigmentation respond well to laser treatment – others are not appropriate for laser. We may treat some areas with cryotherapy, skin peels, or skin products.
Obagi Nu-derm® is a tried and tested course of skin products that help correct pigmentation and signs of ageing.
We may prescribe Pignanorm® for some patients for treatment of their pigmentation