Hyperpigmentation refers to the patches of skin that become darker than surrounding areas of skin. While it is not necessarily a serious condition, many people want to treat it for cosmetic reasons. Hyperpigmentation can affect any skin color.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is an umbrella term that covers different skin conditions characterized by patches of skin becoming noticeably darker than the surrounding skin of the same area. Hyperpigmentation is at the heart of many common skin conditions, including:
- Age spots – Also called liver spots or solar lentigines, age spots are usually brown, tan, or black spots that appear on the skin after repeated sun exposure.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) – Often associated with acne, PIH is characterized by darkened spots and patches on the skin. It often appears after an inflammatory skin condition or trauma such as acne, eczema, scratches, and insect bites.
- Melasma – Melasma consists of brown patches that frequently appear on the face. Hormonal fluctuations are a common culprit, which is why this condition is common in women, especially during pregnancy. Melasma usually produces a pattern on the face and often appears on the forehead, cheeks, and upper lip, and typically worsens with sun exposure.
At the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, our 30,000+ sq foot dermatology and plastic surgery center is the most comprehensive, state-of-the-art laser and cosmetic skin surgery center in the world. With over 100 lasers, we can offer several treatment options for hyperpigmentation. At our skin care clinic, we often combine our laser treatments with topical and/or oral administration of tranexamic acid. There is no cure for hyperpigmentation. Our goal is to achieve as much sustained lightening as possible with our combination regimen.
What causes hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation in the skin is caused by an increase in melanin, the body’s natural pigment that is responsible for the color of human skin, hair, and eyes. There are several factors that can alter melanin production in the body:
- Hyperpigmentation can be caused by various drugs. Some antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, antiarrhythmics, and antimalarial drugs can cause hyperpigmentation as a side effect.
- Changing hormone levels during pregnancy can also affect melanin production in some women.
- Addison’s disease, a rare endocrine disease, may cause a greater production of melanin and hyperpigmentation, which can become more obvious in sun-exposed areas, such as the face, neck, and hands.
- Age spots, freckles, and other dark skin patches also become more pronounced when exposed to the sun. Melanin absorbs the UV rays’ energy in order to protect the skin from overexposure, leading to overproduction and darkening of skin patches.
Treatment Options for Hyperpigmentation
Lasers use targeted light beams to reduce hyperpigmentation. Ablative lasers work by removing layers of the skin, while non-ablative devices target the dermis to promote collagen production. These lasers stimulate the growth of new skin cells, helping to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
At the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, our various laser treatment options for hyperpigmentation include:
- Clear + Brilliant®
- Clear + Brilliant® Permea
- Ruby laser
- Fraxel Dual®
In addition to laser therapy, other cosmetic procedures available at our skin care clinic for hyperpigmentation are:
- Broadband Light Therapy (BBL) or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) – Also known as a photofacial, these devices help restore your skin to its natural beauty.
- Chemical peels – Acid solutions exfoliate the skin by removing the outermost layers of skin to reveal healthier and clearer skin below. These treatments come in a variety of depths, which can address a wide range of concerns and goals.
At the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, we understand there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to skin rejuvenation treatments. Our board-certified physicians will customize the best treatment plan to accommodate the needs and goals of all our patients.
Real Patients Before and After photos
Ruby laser to rejuvenate the hands
Picoplus treatments to reduce pigmentation beneath the eye
Picoplus treatments to address pigmented lesion
Questions and Answers
Q: Do laser treatments hurt?
A: We use specific laser devices based on the condition being treated. Patients often compare the sensation to mild prickling of the skin. We perform our laser procedures with either topical anesthesia or local anesthesia to make the treatment more comfortable.
Q: When will I see results?
A: Patients can expect to see results from their laser skin resurfacing treatments varying from several days to weeks, depending on the laser used and the condition treated.
Q: How long is the recovery time?
A: Recovery time also depends on the laser used and the condition treated. In some cases, our patients resume their normal activities as soon as they leave our office. During the next few days, there will be changes in pigmentation as the skin starts to heal. We advise patients to avoid harsh products on the treated areas and avoid picking at the skin as it will cause irritation and delay the healing process.
Q: Why choose Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York for my laser treatment?
A: At the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, many of our board-certified dermatologists are fellowship-trained and all are highly experienced in laser devices and perform every treatment themselves.
Next, read about…
The skin’s underlying structure degrades over time, leading to skin laxity and sagging skin. Collagen, the essential protein in our skin, begins to decline as early as our 20s, leaving skin without support from within. Restoring collagen helps to restore the skin’s youthful vitality.
Wrinkles are a common and unwanted sign of aging. As you age, your body produces less collagen, creating saggy and wrinkly looking skin. Our customized strategies to combat wrinkles include laser resurfacing, dermal fillers, and wrinkle relaxers.
Age spots and brown spots (also known as sunspots, liver spots, and lentigines) are a consequence of aging and sun exposure. The most effective treatment for eliminating these spots and other skin pigmentation is laser therapy, which usually includes little to no downtime after treatment.
WHAT you are looking for?
laser & skin surgery
center of new york
Monday - Wednesday, Friday: 9am - 4:30pm
Thursday: 9am - 5pm
Saturday October 1, 2022: By Appointment Only
Same-Day Appointments Now Available
Pay Online for Patients of Drs. Geronemus, Anolik, Bae & Seidenberg
Pay Online for Patients of Drs. Abraham, Bernstein, Krant, Shelton, Stern, Weiss, Hoffman, Shim, Murphy-Rose, Wilson, and Petratos
*MDs perform 100% of all medical and cosmetic treatments.