Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition that can result in darkened patches appearing on the skin. The patches can vary in size. If you suffer from hyperpigmentation, here is what you need to know about the condition and possible treatments.
What Causes Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation occurs as the result of an overproduction of melanin. There are several known triggers that can cause the overproduction, including hormonal changes. Women are more likely to develop hyperpigmentation from hormonal changes due to the increased stimulation from the estrogen and progesterone hormones after the skin is exposed to the sun.
Some people develop hyperpigmentation because of medications they are taking or conditions they have. For instance, autoimmune diseases have been linked to the development of the skin condition. Medications, such as hormone treatments, can trigger overproduction of melanin.
What Can You Do?
One of the most important steps you can take in managing hyperpigmentation is to practice sun safety. Since the exposure to the sun can trigger its development, limiting your exposure can help minimize the production of melanin. If possible, limit your time outdoors to the early mornings or evenings during the sunniest months.
If you are outdoors on sunny days, take the time to use sunscreen and protective clothing. For instance, wearing a wide brimmed hat and sleeves can dramatically reduce your exposure to the sun.
You can also talk to your dermatologist about prescribing one of the creams that have been used to treat hyperpigmentation. For instance, retinoid acid and azelaic acid are available to help lighten the effects of the skin condition. It is important to note that if you do use the creams, you could experience some sunlight sensitivity.
What About IPL Photorejuvenation?
Intense pulsed light, or IPL, photorejuvenation treatments can help with treating hyperpigmentation. The laser therapy works by lightening or removing the darkened patches from your skin. You will have to undergo several sessions before you can achieve the maximum benefit.
You could experience some discomfort after undergoing a treatment, but it usually disappears within days of treatment. Over time, your skin will become more accustomed to the therapy, so you should experience less discomfort.
It is important that you continue to practice sun safety after the treatments. The sun can irritate the skin and worsen its condition. However, once the regular treatments are completed, your skin will be free of the darker patches.
Talk to a center such as Vivid Skin and Laser Center to learn more about IPL photorejuvenation and its possible benefits to you.