What causes hyperpigmentation on the face?
PIH, or postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, is a skin condition where abnormal pigmentation occurs as a result of injury or inflammation. Unlike melasma and chloasma which are triggered primarily by hormone fluctuations (e.g., birth control, pregnancy), PIH can be triggered by many factors—the most common is unprotected exposure to the sun or tanning booths that results in a tan. Other common triggers of PIH are acne, dermatitis, burns, skin infections, allergic reactions, mechanical injury, reactions to medications or topical agents, and aggressive skin care procedures.
Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is more common in people with darker complexions who have more active pigment cells, or melanocytes. Since pigment is a means of protection from the environment, the density and activity of these cells depend on genetic background and geographic origin–those with ancestry from Africa will have darker pigment than those from Ireland.
Treatment for post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is possible. Depth of pigment is a major factor in resolving PIH. If hyperpigmentation is located deep in the dermis layer of skin, then simple exfoliation and other topical agents may lighten but not totally resolve the problem. The key to treatment is patience—once the trigger(s) have been identified and eliminated, it can take 6 to 9 months or more to quiet overactive pigment cells and see results.
Treatment generally consists of medical home skin care, such as our Visage Essentials MD clinical skin care line created by Dr. Majmundar, in the form of mild exfoliation to speed up removal of pigmented cells, topical application of a melanocyte suppressor such as the drug hydroquinone or other agents such as kojic acid, arbutin and other enzymes that slow down melanin distribution, and maximizing sun protection to minimize pigment stimulation. Because it can take more than a year to improve hyperpigmentation, topical medications are combined with peels and laser treatments to quicken hyperpigmentation
Visage Essentials MD skin care line is the result of extensive research to develop highly effective products based on reliable scientific studies. We chose clinical products with high-purity ingredients that have a solid history of safety and efficacy so patients can feel confident they are applying products that actually change the appearance and health of their skin. Many of our products, such as moisturizing Broad Spectrum Daily Protection SPF 50+with antioxidants, and moisturizing Exfolibright C Cream, are multi functional which eliminates the need for several separate products. These are also the mainstay of topical hyperpigmentation treatment in our practice.
Our Basic Skin Care package, which contains 3 products containing an exfoliant, antioxidant, Vitamin C, skin brighteners, and a sunscreen, start at $149! Everything your face needs to start treating hyperpigmentation and looking younger.