Get Rid Of Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation, a common dermatological issue that manifests in darker patches appearing on the skin, can be difficult to tackle effectively. Persistent dark marks can appear following inflammation caused by acne, as a result of changing hormones, pregnancy, excess sun exposure, or genetic melasma. Though pigmentation in the form of freckles is now rightfully embraced, the non-uniform appearance of hyperpigmentation can be a source of insecurity for many.

It’s even trickier to deal with on darker skin tones, as patches tend to emerge with a higher pigment, and take a great deal longer to fade than on lighter complexions. Many resort to using unsafe lightening creams in an attempt to eradicate the marks, which rarely work long-term and leave the skin more susceptible to harmful sun damage.

If you suffer with hyperpigmentation, there are a number of over-the-counter products, dermatologist-approved, professional-grade formulas and innovative cosmetic treatments that can target dark patches with the aim of fading them effectively – and safely.

Here, four dermatologists share their expert tips to get rid of hyperpigmentation for good.

Read more: Fumni Fetto On: Treating Hyperpigmentation In Darker Skin Tones

Dija Ayodele, skin health specialist and founder of West Room Aesthetics and Black Skin Directory

Which products do you recommend using at home?

“Take a comprehensive approach using a combination of alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic, lactic or mandelic acid to exfoliate away old and pigmented cells; vitamin A for optimising the skin and improving cell function; and tyrosinase-inhibiting ingredients such as vitamin C, alpha arbutin and liquorice extract to quell the excess melanin production that occurs when skin suffers inflammation or injury. Together, this three-pronged approach will strengthen the skin, break up the appearance of hyperpigmentation on the skin, and also brighten for a more even complexion. Sun screen will further protect the skin and stop hyperpigmentation from getting worse. The Skin Better Science Even Tone Serum works to balance brown, red and yellow pigments in the skin to create a more even complexion – and it also improves skin health for an overall radiance.”

How much time should you give the products to work?

“Anything from eight to 12 weeks to start seeing some results. It’s so important to bear in mind that hyperpigmentation is always a work in progress, and you have to be realistic. Black skin has a much more sensitive inflammatory pathway, so we are always prone to developing hyperpigmentation. Quality products, ingredients and treatments are key to Get rid of hyperpigmentation or keeping it under control.”

Do home remedies work for reducing hyperpigmentation?

“Not enough to make a long-term difference. You may get some temporary brightening and mild exfoliation, but to effect change within the skin, you need products that are cleverly manufactured, with delivery systems that can interact with the protective barrier of the skin. Additionally, these products and actives would have been safety tested and trialled, so we know how they perform on the skin.”

What cosmetic treatments do you recommend once lockdown is lifted?

“A good deep clean and an exfoliation treatment to smooth and brighten the skin. You can’t go wrong with a chemical peel, which will rejuvenate and re-energise the skin. For skin that is feeling extremely dry, a treatment like Profhilo is great for hydrating from within using high concentrations of hyaluronic acid.”

Dr Munir Somji, aesthetic doctor and founder of Dr Medi Spa

Which products do you recommend using at home?

“The best products for pigmentation are a combination of chemical exfoliants and anti-melanin creams and serums. A vitamin C serum is a great all round chemical exfoliant as it gently peels the skin, as well as blocking some of the pathways that cause pigmentation. We also prescribe glycolic acid during our virtual skin consultations, depending on the sensitivity of skin. To get rid of hyperpigmentation, It is essential to protect the skin from more pigmentation. We recommend using a sunscreen that has both a chemical and a physical block, which will prevent pigmentation caused by heat and UVA and UVB rays. The higher the SPF the better, and I always recommend using medical grade skincare.”

How much time should you give the products to work?

“Generally all medical-grade products take four to six weeks to start working properly. Ensure you understand the frequency, amount and method of application, as this all contributes to the treatment outcome.”

Do home remedies work for reducing hyperpigmentation?

“This face mask has been passed down, edited and honed over generations. It’s my mum’s go-to mask for a glow and also reduces pigmentation! The key ingredient to address pigmentation is turmeric, and in addition, the natural enzymes in the yoghurt are fantastic at removing dead skin cells, and honey is great for its microbial qualities.

“Take 1 tablespoon chickpea flour, 1/4 spoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon of yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon of manuka honey and mix it together to make a paste. Add yoghurt as required to get a spreadable consistency. Put in the fridge for 45 minutes. On a clean face, apply as a mask and wear for one hour, removing gently with warm water using circular movements. After cleansing, splash cold water on the face. Use three times a week.”

What cosmetic treatments do you recommend once lockdown is lifted?

“The Morpheus 8 treatment, a high-powered radio-frequency facial that can penetrate skin to 4mm, generating collagen. It’s fantastic for acne scarring too. We have advised a lot of patients to use this time to ‘prep’ their skin for pigmentation treatments, as it can greatly enhance the results of treatments. One of the best treatments for smooth skin is Fractora, a radio-frequency machine, which can shatter deep pigmentation.”

Dr Ewoma Ukeleghe, medical and cosmetic doctor and clinical expert in skincare

Which products do you recommend using at home?

“The new ASOS Vitamin C Skin Proud Bright Boost is a great vitamin C product. Try La Roche Posay Retinol B3, or if your skin can tolerate it, prescription-strength retinol (Tretinoin) is a favourite of mine in the clinic. When looking for an effective acid to get rid of hyperpigmentation, mandelic acid and azelaic acid both work great.”

How much time should you give the products to work?

“Treating pigmentation can take anywhere from four weeks to six months. It depends on how severe and stubborn the pigmentation is.”

Do home remedies work for reducing hyperpigmentation?

“I’m a little hesitant to promote DIY treatments to reduce hyperpigmentation, as you might have a disaster on your hands. Inflammation and irritation caused by a DIY treatment gone wrong can actually make pigmentation worse or even create hypopigmentation. And please do not buy a chemical peel from eBay!”

What cosmetic treatments do you recommend once lockdown is lifted?

“Come to the SKNDOCTOR Clinic and get a Prescription A peel. It contains a unique blend of glutathione, kojic acid, TCA, retinoic acid and salicylic acid and will help get rid of acne, signs of ageing and pigmentation in one go.”

Read More – Fumni Fetto On: Treating Hyperpigmentation In Darker Skin Tones

Get Rid Of Hyperpigmentation - David MarkDr David Jack, aesthetic doctor and founder of Dr David Jack Clinic

Which products do you recommend using at home?

“Use a few different ingredients in your skincare regime get rid of hyperpigmentation in a multi-pronged attack. Firstly, using a chemical exfoliant once per week will help slough off some of the waterproof top layer of the skin to access the deeper layers of the skin (where the pigment cells are), using exfoliants including mandelic acid. Retinol and high strength vitamin C (ascorbic acid) help block pigment production. My Yellow FacePaint home peel is designed for this – it blends these ingredients with kojic acid, alpha-arbutin and ferulic acid to provide a supercharged anti-pigmentation treatment for use once per week.

“Once you’ve stripped back a few layers and prepared the skin, I then suggest using an antioxidant serum – the ingredients to look out for are the same, vitamin C, retinoids, AHAs, kojic acid, arbutins, niacinamide. As with all skin issues, a lot of work can be done by topical products but, also, the internal environment of the skin is important and certain supplements including vitamin C, vitamin E and glutathione have been shown (with longer term use) to help reduce pigmentation. Protection is also key get rid of hyperpigmentation– prevention of further damage is a keystone in the holy trinity of skincare (vitamin C, retinoids and UV screens) – and a good sun block combining UVA and UVB filters is essential.”

How much time should you give the products to work?

“Usually two to three months of daily use of products is required to see a noticeable difference.”

Do home remedies work for reducing hyperpigmentation?

“If you don’t have the budget to buy active skincare, there are some DIY hacks that are worth trying. Vitamin C and E are abundant in nature, and AHAs can be found in certain things you might find in your fridge. Although these provide less predictable results – and are less controlled in the amounts of active ingredients they contain – if you fancy giving them a go, they are unlikely to do any harm. My suggestion is blending 200g of thick Greek yoghurt (for lactic acid), with a papaya (rich in exfoliating enzymes), the juice of a lemon or lime (for citric acid and vitamin C), half an avocado and a teaspoon of hydrating manuka honey. Then apply as a mask for 20 minutes. Maybe do this once per week. Even if it doesn’t help with pigmentation, your skin should feel lovely and soft afterwards.”

What cosmetic treatments do you recommend once lockdown is lifted?

“To get rid of hyperpigmentation I always recommend a “stepladder” of treatments, from the most simple to more complicated. Regular in clinic AHA peels plus prescription-grade skincare (retinoids and hydroquinone) is often a starting point. In cases where this is not enough, I’d often add in Lumecca IPL, a treatment that uses intense pulsed light to break apart deeper pigmentation in the skin. In much more challenging cases, sometimes I also prep the skin for this treatment using a deeper peel, followed by four weeks of hydroquinone at home. I will then do Lumecca, a more powerful intense pulsed light treatment, as a third stage. Patient selection and assessment is key to successfully get rid of hyperpigmentation and patience and adherence to a good skincare regime is fundamental.”

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