Everything you need to know about hyperpigmentation

A flawless, radiant complexion is the dream we all share. Yet, for many, some form of hyperpigmentation disrupts that dream. This common skin condition transcends skin type or age, manifesting as different or dark-coloured spots on your face that often persist. However, there’s hope–and you can take control of it!

We hear from the expert, Dr. Hannah Aerts, who specialises in treating patients with skin problems, utilising prescription skincare products from ZO Skin Health. Dr. Aerts is skilled in addressing hyperpigmentation, including the challenging case of melasma, making her the perfect person to address our concerns on this topic.

What is hyperpigmentation exactly, and what are the most common causes of this skin condition?

“Hyperpigmentation refers to the abnormal increase of pigment in the skin. Our skin contains cells that produce pigment or melanin. Excessive production leads to the formation of pigment spots. There are congenital forms of hyperpigmentation—often challenging to cure—and acquired forms with various causal factors. The major culprit here is exposure to UV rays, but certain medications, allergies, inflammations, incorrect skincare products, hormonal factors, pregnancy, acne, and ageing can also cause hyperpigmentation.”

What are some effective skincare routines, products, and ingredients you recommend for preventing/healing hyperpigmentation?

“Managing hyperpigmentation is best done at home with the right ingredients under proper professional guidance. We can supplement it with treatments such as chemical peels (second line) and lasers (third line). Effective protection includes broad-spectrum sun protection against UVA and UVB rays, including blue light. Ideally, apply SPF every day throughout the year. Regularly applying the correct amount, i.e., every two hours with two full finger lengths, is essential, even indoors, on cloudy days, and especially in the car.

“Key ingredients in the home treatment of hyperpigmentation include niacinamide, vitamin A or retinoids, and antioxidants like vitamin C. These are only useful when deployed in the right combination, concentration, and composition, requiring professional guidance.”

Are there misconceptions about hyperpigmentation that you often encounter?

“People often expect their skin problem, developed over several years, to be solved with a miracle cure. In most forms of hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage, the problem accumulates in cells for years and gradually manifests. Not all forms of hyperpigmentation are fully treatable, such as melasma, a specific form that is challenging to cure. It involves long-term treatment that requires patience and lifelong management.”

 

This article was syndicated from Marie Claire Belgium Flemish
Translated and adapted by Praise Vandeh, Marie Claire Nigeria Content Writer

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