Hyperpigmentation… What is it and can I get rid of it?

Nadia Lam


The most common skin issue that most of my clients have are pigmentary disorders, such as hyperpigmentation, melasma and post inflammatory pigmentation.  The major complaints and the misimpression that many people have is that this condition can disappear with a treatment or two or with one magical product.  This could not be farther from the truth.

We have to remember that conditions like melasma and severe cases of hyperpigmentation is a permanent injury in the skin and requires due diligence of both the professional and the client for regular treatments.  The goal of these treatments is to correct and further prevent hyperpigmentation. I often tell my clients, “You have freckles, but we want to keep them as freckles.”


As we age, freckles can turn into age spots and begin to expand and become larger in its circumference.  With this type of skin it must be managed daily with the continued use of skin lighteners, exfoliants and daily protection of SPF.  

One thing to understand with this condition is that, even though the skin has a permanent injury, the pigment actually grows there for protection.  The skin is a protective barrier to the organs that are housed inside our bodies. When the UV rays penetrate and cause injury to the skin, the melanocyte cells (where the pigment in our skin comes from) build on top of each other to create protection so the UV rays do not penetrate deeper into the cells where the DNA resides.  

Melasma and hyperpigmentation are common in darker skinned individuals, pregnant woman and people that have normal skin types.  I say that because most people who have normal skin and have little to no issues with their skin tend to not use the right – if any – skincare products at all.  As they age into the 40s and up, this is the common condition that pops up. The damage has been there for a long time but as we get older and the skin changes we see the effects of the condition then.


To keep this condition in check, the best thing to do is to keep the cells turning over by using exfoliating scrubs and acids frequently.  This also helps to inhibit the growth of these cells so they don’t get darker and expand. Along with consistent use of daily SPF this is the remedy for preventing further damage.

Here are 8 ingredients, treatments and serums to look for to achieve bright, glowing skin:  Hydroquinone, Kojic Acid, Arbutin, Vitamin C, Licorice, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid and Retinol.  These are best done in combinations with each other or on it’s own and monitored by a professional.  Misuse of these products and ingredients will worsen the condition and make it harder to treat after.

For further assistance on how to best treat this condition book an appointment with me for a consultation or schedule the Hyperpigmentation Facial at the next availability.

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