One of the most common skin concerns people face everyday is hyperpigmentation (or “dark spots,” as they are more commonly known), characterized by a dark discolouration of the skin that is caused by overproduction of melanin that is often associated with aging skin and overexposure to the sun or tanning beds.

For those who are new to the term, melanin is the natural substance that is primarily responsible for our skin colour. Through a process called melanogenesis, cells known as melanocytes produce melanin. Factors such as sun exposure, hormonal fluctuations and certain medications can cause these melanocytes to go into overdrive and start overproducing pigment. The end result is hyperpigmentation.

As we get older, skin becomes less able to regenerate after sun exposure and thus, these “age spots” begin to appear.

The top 5 most common triggers of hyperpigmentation are:

  1. UV Rays – Prolonged exposure to the sun or tanning beds causes your melanocytes to go into overdrive and start over producing pigment
  2. Hormones – Aside from puberty, pregnancy and menopause, certain medications (ex: oral contraceptives) can cause hormonal imbalances of the adrenal glands and the reproductive system
  3. Nutrition – Poor diets and cigarette smoking
  4. Drugs – Medications used to treat depression & anxiety, antibiotics, heart medications are but a small handful of prescription drugs that will trigger hyperpigmentation
  5. Stress, adrenal exhaustion and Cushing’s syndrome

There are several classifications of hyperpigmentation. The following are the most common types:

  1. Melasma – Brown patches (usually on the face) that is most prevalent in women who are on birth control or use an IUD
  2. Chloasma (Pregnancy Mask) – Similar to melasma, occurs during pregnancy
  3. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) – Caused by injury to the skin, often from acne or other skin lesions
  4. Solar Lentigines (Sun Damage/Liver Spots) – A result of overexposure to UV rays from both the sun and indoor tanning beds
  5. Freckles – Common and mostly hereditary
  6. Under Eye Dark Circles – Most commonly found in women with darker skin tones, caused by overproduction of melanin

While there is sadly no magic pill to get rid of hyperpigmentation, NewDermaMed offers a variety of advanced, FDA approved laser treatments that safely and effectively target this very common skin condition including IPL Photo Rejuvenation, Laser Genesis, and Pearl Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing.

It is critical that your medical professional understands the underlying cause of your skin condition(s) before prescribing any treatments and lack of knowledge or proper care may potentially worsen hyperpigmentation.

At NewDermaMed, our board certified medical professionals have the expertise to properly treat all skin types influenced by hyperpigmentation. Contact NewDermaMed today to book your complimentary skin analysis and learn about your options towards achieving a beautiful, healthy complexion.

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