Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition in which the body over-produces melanin (the pigment of the skin) in response to inflammation or other skin factors, resulting in uneven skin tone and brown blotchy areas or spots. There are several types and causes of hyperpigmenation: UV (sun) induced, hormonally induced, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (including that from acne scarring as well as poorly performed previous peels or over aggressive IPL). Regardless of the cause or type, treatment and correction can be achieved through gentle exfoliation, increased cell turnover (i.e. Retin-A), Tyrosinase inhibition (i.e. Hydroquinone) and adequate sun protection.
Women on Retin-A or Hydroquinone must use reliable birth control techniques. If taking an antibiotic, remember that your oral contraceptive pill may not work properly!
First, as exposure to sunlight (UV radiation) automatically stimulates the chain of events leading to the formation of new melanin, adequate sun protection is vital to controlling hyperpigmentation. It is important to wear a broad spectrum sunblock everyday. Our aestheticians can help you find a sun protection product that is appropriate for your skin and lifestyle.
Inhibition of Tyrosinase production is the next important aspect in controlling hyperpigmentation. When inflammation (for example that which follows UV exposure or acne lesions) triggers melanin production within the melanocytes (cells that produce melanin), the chain of events begins with the enzyme Tyrosinase acting on the amino acid Tyrosine and eventually turning it into melanin which is distributed in the epidermal (outer) layer of skin. Several ingredients are used to inhibit the production and action of Tyrosinase. Some of these ingredients include hydroquinone, kojic acid, lactic acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin c), azelaic acid and arbutin. This group of ingredients is known as “Tyrosinase inhibitors.”
Gentle exfoliation helps to lift away accumulating dead skin cells which hold excess melanin within them. This is accomplished in the office through mechanical and chemical exfoliation such as microdermabrasion and non-irritating chemical peels. At home, gentle alpha-hydroxy acids and retinoids are employed. Retinoids are a class of over-the-counter and prescription ingredients derived from vitamin-A. Retinoids increase cellular proliferation and turnover, bringing new healthy cells to the surface quicker. Retinoids, including Retin-A, also stimulate fibroblasts to increase collagen and elastin production, resulting in firmer, younger more resilient skin. Photorejuvenation options such as IPL can also be used to boost the effectiveness of your treatments and reduce Hyperpigmentation quicker.
Hyperpigmentation is one of the most common and troublesome symptoms of sun and aging. Melasma which is “geographic” Hyperpigmentation, affecting entire areas rather than spots on the face, can often be related to pregnancy and hormonal changes. Although in-office peels and light-based treatments will be an essential part of reducing and correcting the visual appearance of hyperpigmentation, it is important to understand and remember that the DNA changes that are causing these symptoms cannot be permanently reversed. A powerful skin care regimen that is focused on the reduction of hyperpigmenation is necessary to keep melanin production suppressed. At The Naderi Center, we take pride in offering the two most effective lines on the market for targeting Hyperpigmentation: Obagi Nu-derm and Skinmedica. Both of these lines use powerful retinols and prescription hydroquinone to help reverse signs of aging and drastically even skin tone. Transformation comes at the cellular level and at the deepest layers of the skin in contrast to over-the-counter products which only address the very outer surface of the skin. Our aestheticians will consult with you thoroughly to help you decide which program best suits your skin type, needs, and lifestyle.
The Naderi Center offers an array of unique and individualized treatments used in combination or individually to reduce hyperpigmentation and achieve a even beautiful skin tone. These therapies include the use of microdermabrasion, chemical exfoliation, and photorejuvenation (IPL). Light chemical peels can be used alone or in conjunction with microdermabrasion and products like Obagi Nu-Derm or Skinmedica hyperpigmentation systems, which increase their effectiveness by up to 50%, to lift away accumulating dead skin cells that can harbor excess melanin (or pigment) as well as encourage the production of new, healthy skin cells. Keeping the skin exfoliated in this manner is also vital to maintaining the efficacy of your home-care products, allowing proper penetration of Retinoids and Tyrosinase inhibitors.
Photorejuvenation, or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), is a powerful, non-invasive light therapy that targets excessive skin pigment using specific wavelengths of light. It is perfect for distinct, “age spot” type hyperpigmentation or freckles as well as Melasma and can be used on most body parts. Best results are typically seen in 3-5 treatments depending on the extent of skin damage. Down-time and cost per treatment are minimal, making this a great in-office choice for the treatment of hyperpigmentation. Again, this service should be combined with either the Obagi Nu-derm or Skinmedica hyperpigmentation systems in order to ensure efficacy and safety.