Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition in which patches of skin produce a darker color than the natural skin tone. Though common in all skin types, hyperpigmentation is typically harmless. It occurs when excess melanin (the brown pigment responsible for producing skin color) forms deposits in the skin.
Common forms of hyperpigmentation include liver spots, also known as age spots, which are caused by sun damage. They appear most often on the hands, face, and other areas exposed to the sun. Another form of hyperpigmentation, called melasma, produces large areas of darkened skin and is usually caused by hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy or from birth control pills. Other changes in skin color can occur as a result of acne, skin trauma from surgery, and genetics. Freckles in particular tend to be inherited.
Darkened skin spots caused by sun damage occur when melanin absorbs the energy of UV rays to protect the skin, resulting in skin tanning. Developing a tan will darken areas of the skin that already contain hyperpigmentation. We encourage you to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen whenever you are at risk of sun exposure. A single day of sun damage can reverse months of treatment for hyperpigmentation.
Dr. Michael J. Messina, our skilled dermatologist, may recommend a prescription lightening cream, which lightens and fades dark spots by slowing the production of melanin. We also offer laser treatments using our InMode Lummecca™ laser, an intense pulsed light (IPL) laser that treats dark spots, redness, and blood vessels for healthy, glowing skin. This laser uses pulsed light to target these skin conditions, and it is effective in treating a variety of skin types.
If you struggle with hyperpigmentation in Palm Desert, California, or a surrounding area and are interested in returning your skin to an even, glowing state, contact Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Specialists at 760-773-6616 and schedule your appointment with Dr. Michael J. Messina.