Hyperpigmentation in Los Angeles

Hyperpigmentation is a condition that occurs when your skin becomes a darker color in certain sections. These dark patches can develop in small, localized regions, or they can cover large areas of your body. Although not harmful, hyperpigmentation can mar an otherwise beautiful complexion and be a source of self-consciousness. In sunny locations such as ours in Southern California, this problem is more difficult to avoid.

This unwanted pigmentation tends to recur, so careful attention to sun protection is a major factor in both preventing new dark spots and protecting your investment once you’ve undergone treatment.

Causes of Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is caused by an increase in the production of melanin, the substance that gives your skin its color. There are a wide range of causes (and some medical conditions) which may boost your body’s production of melanin:

  • Excessive or repeated sun exposure
  • Aggressive skin treatments
  • Hot working environments
  • Acne or skin injury
  • Reaction to chemicals and fragrances
  • Genetics
  • Hormonal changes, often caused by pregnancy
  • Endocrine diseases such as Addison’s disease
  • Certain medications such as antibiotics, anti-seizure drugs, and hormone treatments
  • See our post “Unsuspected Reasons for Blotchy Skin”

While anyone can develop hyperpigmentation, the condition tends to be more severe among Los Angeles individuals with Asian, Latin, or Mediterranean skin tones.

Types of Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation can come in several different forms. The most common include:

  • Melasma: This type of hyperpigmentation is caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy. While these splotchy areas of discoloration can occur anywhere on the body, they are most prominent on the face.
  • Sun spots: These dark areas on your skin are caused by excessive sun exposure over a prolonged period. They most commonly occur on the face and hands.
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: This condition occurs due to a prior skin injury.

Hyperpigmentation Treatment Options

There is no true cure for hyperpigmentation since the problem can be reactivated by sun exposure. Instead, the goal is to manage and control the condition by lightening the appearance of the skin in the affected region.

Depending on your unique needs and goals, Dr. Fitzgerald or a medical team member may recommend one of the following hyperpigmentation treatments in Los Angeles:

  • Pico Genesis: A very sophisticated ultra-fast laser for discoloration and dark spots.
  • Cosmelan Depigmentation: This treatment begins with an in-office peel to quickly lift excess superficial pigmentation and then continues with an at-home program to help suppress the development of new pigmentation problems.
  • BBL Photofacial: An intense broadband light treatment for the improvement of both red and brown areas on the face, chest, and arms. Bonus – improved skin quality.
  • Halo Hybrid Laser: Fractional laser treatments can resurface the skin and minimize fine wrinkles. This treatment will also brighten your skin and provide greater luminosity.
  • Enerpeel by Glytone: Action occurs beneath the surface layers of skin to bypass obvious peeling.
  • Diamond Glow: This treatment provides a gentle way to lighten and brighten your skin. Diamond-tipped microdermabrasion is combined with SkinMedica serums for excellent results.
  • HydraFacial: Clean, smooth, and treat in a single treatment.
  • SkinMedica Even & Correct Advanced Brightening: Topical products with deep benefits for overly-pigmented skin.
  • Fraxel DUAL uses a special laser wavelength that is specific to discoloration. Bonus: helps take care of precancers at the same time and smooths as well.
  • Laser Genesis: Taking into account the sensitivity of skin with Melasma, the gentle action of Laser Genesis is one of the safer options to lift brown pigmentation caused by hormones.
  • Minimal superficial discoloration can sometimes be adequately managed with skincare products that suppress the formation of melanin or speed skin cell turnover.

Sun Protection – Critical Factor #1

Using sunscreen with SPF 40 or higher is crucial for controlling pigmentary activity whenever you’re in the sun. We can’t over-stress the need for consistent sunscreen use.

Timing: Sunscreens (those without zinc or titanium oxide) take about 30 minutes to become effective. Sunblocks are effective immediately. Although one complaint of zinc-based sunblocks in the white cast, several good options come tinted. You can also tint your own with a small dab of darker color makeup.  We recommend ColoreScience and TiZo. See more about those in our online shopping.

Please contact Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald to schedule your hyperpigmentation in Los Angeles treatment consultation.