Remnants of Summer--Hyperpigmentation
The days are getting shorter, the weather feels cooler, and the leaves are falling: fall is officially here! It might feel as though summer is now a distant memory, but more than likely, the summer sun left a lasting impact by way of your skin! No matter how diligent you are with your sun protection, any amount of time spent in the sun can leave you with lingering pigmentation.
What is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation, often known as “sun spots,” are areas that appear darker on the surface of the skin, resulting from an increase in the amount of melanin in the skin. The epidermis, or outer layer of the skin, has several components, but two of the main cells involved in pigmentation are keratinocytes and melanocytes. Keratinocytes are the cells that are responsible for, among other things, protection against ultraviolet (UV) exposure from the sun. When the keratinocytes are damaged by the sun’s UV rays (or other types of trauma), the melanocytes respond by producing an increased amount of melanin, which in turn causes the hyperpigmentation that is visible on the surface of the skin.
Can Hyperpigmentation be Prevented?
The best way to prevent hyperpigmentation of the skin is to avoid triggers, such as sun or trauma to the skin. However, we all know it is nearly impossible to avoid the sun completely! The best way to prevent hyperpigmentation or to keep it from worsening is to utilize a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. It is also important to avoid picking at the skin to reduce the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Avoid picking at scabs, scars, or acne to reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation after trauma to the skin.
Can Hyperpigmentation be Treated?
There are many ways to treat hyperpigmentation, with a wide range of invasiveness and investment. At ARTisan Skin and Laser Center, we offer several solutions to treat hyperpigmentation.
- Broadband Light™ (BBL) treatment is a noninvasive way to treat hyperpigmentation. During a BBL treatment, your provider will utilize different light filters to target pigmented cells underneath the skin. BBL has an added benefit of generating new skin cells and boosting collagen production! BBL is a popular treatment among those looking for minimal downtime and minimal discomfort.
- Halo® laser resurfacing is a popular way to treat many skin issues, including hyperpigmentation. Halo combines both ablative and nonablative technologies to not only resurface the skin, but also infuses heat deep into the skin to stimulate collagen and elastin production. Patients receive wonderful benefits of overall skin rejuvenation, decrease in pigmentation, improvements in skin laxity, and improvements in the appearance of wrinkles with minimal downtime.
- Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), also known as Microneedling, is a great way to get overall skin rejuvenation with only 1-2 days of downtime. CIT uses several fine-gauge needles to safely and effectively create micro-injuries in the epidermis of the skin. The micro-injuries trigger the body's natural production of collagen and elastin that overall improves appearance and health of the skin.
- Chemical peels are used to clear away dead and damaged cells on the surface of the skin. As the skin heals, you will notice a decrease in pigmentation and an improvement in the skin’s tone and texture.
- DiamondGlow™ is a relaxing, noninvasive treatment that can help with pigmentation. Using a diamond tipped microdermabrasion device, the DiamondGlow exfoliates the top layer of skin, extracts pores, and infuses high-quality medical grade serums deep into the skin. Brightening serums are offered to improve the appearance of pigmentation. With DiamondGlow, there is no downtime, and you can return to your regular skincare routine immediately following the treatment.
- Topical skin care products and creams can help to lighten the appearance of pigmentation as well. Retinols and Vitamin C products are especially effective in treating hyperpigmentation in addition to a daily SPF.
There are several options available to help with hyperpigmentation, whether it is from the sun or from other trauma to the skin. To determine the right treatment plan for you, we recommend setting up a complimentary consultation with one of our ARTisans. Please contact us for more information!