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Melasma hyperpigmentation Q & A

What is Hyperpigmentation?

Pigmentation is a process that gives skin its color. Your skin has pigment producing cell “factories” called melanocytes which manufacture a chemical called melanin which acts to protect your skin from the damaging UV rays of the sun.

Hyperpigmentation means that some areas of your skin are producing higher amounts of melanin than normal, thereby forming dark spots or dark patches on your skin.

This process is generally not harmful but can be cosmetically unsightly.

Anyone can get hyperpigmentation, but Hispanic, Asian, Mediterranean and African ethnicities are more likely to develop this issue.

This condition tends to present on the neck, face and hands in areas most likely to be exposed to the sun and in areas of friction such as knees and underarms.

How can Hyperpigmentation be prevented?

There are a few lifestyle changes that can help prevent or reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation spots. Wearing at least SPF 25 coverage sunscreen every time you go outside even on cloudy rainy days is the best way to make sure you are not putting your skin at risk.

Making a point to gently exfoliate and to use products that suppress melanin in your skin can also help you avoid the problem. Exfoliating removes dead cells on the outside of your epidermis so that dark and damaged skin sheds quickly. Brightening based skincare product lines, like Dr. Anita’s skincare use various melanin suppressing agents in each product to help treat and prevent such discoloration. Caveat: Exfoliating too frequently can make your skin raw and more prone to pigmentation damage.

What are the Causes of Hyperpigmentation?

SUN EXPOSURE: This is the number one cause of hyperpigmentation. Fortunately, this is also the most preventable and treatable cause.

HORMONAL CHANGES: Whether it’s starting a new birth control pill, IUD, menopause or becoming pregnant, there is no end to the events that can cause a change in your hormone patterns. Some hormones will cause your skin to start producing more melanin when they are pumped into your system. Pregnant women can often get brown patches on their face which is a condition called chloasma, also known as the “mask of pregnancy.”

GENETICS: Some individuals are genetically predisposed to developing darker spots caused by exposure to the sun’s damaging rays. Full-coverage sunscreen can help to prevent this type of hyperpigmentation and prevent existing hyperpigmentation blotches from worsening.

INJURY: Another type of hyperpigmentation, inflammatory hyperpigmentation, is a dark mark that shows up on the skin after a minor injury. Acne, chronic friction from clothing, a cut, a burn or any other injury that damages your epidermis can cause this area to darken as compared to skin around it. Even simple acts such as chronic waxing and shaving can create pigmentary changes. Sometimes you see this on an upper lip or beards.

What is Dr. Anita’s approach to Hyperpigmentation?

Over 20 years ago, Dr Anita made a commitment to find a way to treat melasma where most other treatments fail or initially cause improvement, but later serves to worsen the problem. Her particular interest was in the treatment of skin of color which led to the development of the most effective hyperpigmentation system available. Dr Anita offers you two unique in-office retinoid treatments to treat and control Hyperpigmentation: The DR. ANITA DORIAN GRAY MINI-PEEL® and DR. ANITA HYPERPIGMENTATION TREATMENT SYSTEM®. Since there is no cure for this condition, she works with you on an ongoing basis to closely monitor and prevent flare-ups. Her treatments and Dr. Anita products work deep within the skin to decrease your hyperpigmentation by stimulating collagen production and increasing cell turnover. Unlike other treatments, these peels do not burn but penetrate the skins layers, thereby preventing further injury causing pigmentation. These were formulated especially for previously untreatable and resistant darker skin types in mind. Darker skin’s natural response to acid peels and laser injury would produce only a temporary lightning, but would ultimately cause further pigmentation over time by activating more melanocytes. Due to the success of Dr. Anita’s treatments have earned an international following from such areas as Morocco, Dominican Republic, Japan, Dubai and Argentina.

Dr. Anita suggests the following treatments for this condition:

To learn more about Hyperpigmentation treatment or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Anita Dormer, MD, please use the form below!


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