Brown spots, known as Hyperpigmentation, can be frustrating. What products are there to use? What procedures will help to lighten these stubborn spots? Why are my products not working? Ugh! Well in this article we want to address those questions and give you some answers on what really works.
To start treating Hyperpigmentation, you must first understand what it is and why it is there. Each person has melanin within their skin. Melanin is what gives each person their skin coloring. Melanin is also what is responsible for Hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is an increase in melanin. An increased production of melanin occurs due to several factors including hormonal changes, pregnancy, sun exposure, excessive heat exposure to the skin, certain medications, birth control, hormone replacement therapy, injury to the area, and even certain illnesses.
There are effective treatments available to help lessen and diminish the appearance of brown spots. Completely diminishing the brown spots depends on the depth of the melanin and can take a series of treatments. Some of the treatments that are available are:
- ICON 1540: This fractioned laser delivers thermal damage deep within the skin to encourage the body’s natural healing process. This in turn stimulates healthy tissues around the area and encourages repair, which lightens hyperpigmentation with each treatment. A series of treatments will depend on the depth of the melanin within the skin, however the recommended treatment series is 2 to 4 treatments a month apart from each other. This treatment is ideal for most skin types.
- IPL: IPL is short for Intense Pulse Light Therapy, and uses high intensity light to penetrate just below the skin’s surface, damaging the melanin that makes up brown spots. The skin repairs the damage, leaving you with a more even skin tone. This treatment encourages melanin to move closer to the surface of the skin and flake off with each treatment. Generally a series of 2 to 4 treatments is recommended, depending on the depth of the pigment. IPL is not recommended for darker skin types.
- Microneedling: This treatment is a non-laser option for hyperpigmentation, and requires less downtime. A Microneedling device with 12 needles that puncture the skin thousands of times to create tiny micro injuries. This creates a controlled wound that forces the skin to produce new collagen and repair itself. Micro-needling is great for all skin types (there is no heat involved, making it safer for darker skin types as well). Microneedling can be compared to non-ablative lasers. The needles do penetrate as deep as these lasers can go. However, because there is no heat or light involved, the results may be less dramatic than ICON 1540 or IPL. Microneedling procedures require a series of 4 to 8 treatments and, again will be dependent upon the depth of the melanin.
- Hydrafacial Treatments: The HydraFacial treatment is the newest advance in non-laser skin resurfacing. HydraFacial is the only hydradermabrasion procedure that combines cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, hydration and antioxidant protection simultaneously, resulting in clearer, more beautiful skin with no discomfort or downtime. The treatment is soothing, moisturizing, non-invasive and non-irritating and can be performed every week if needed. Treatments for Hyperpigmentation are recommended in a series of 6 to 12 treatments done every week to three weeks apart for best results. As with most procedures, the treatments recommended will depend on the depth of the pigment.
- Chemical Peels: Chemical Peels are a great for treating hyper-pigmentation. There are several types of chemical peels with different and multiple chemicals and/or acids within them. Chemical peels vary in depth and strength as well as downtime involved. More superficial (light) peels will take more in a series than stronger percentage (deeper) peels. The recommended treatment series can vary depending on the depth of the melanin pigment. Some Chemical Peels offered at Dr. K’s Med Spa that help to lighten Hyperpigmentation are:
- Skin Medica Vitalize or Rejuvenize Peels use Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, and Resorcinol. A series of 4 to 6 peels done every 4 weeks is recommended for the best results.
- SkinCeuticals Advanced Corrective Peel uses 14% Lactic Acid, 14% Salicylic Acid, and. A series of 4 to 6 peels done every 4 weeks is recommended for the best results.
- Glycolic Acid peels are effective as well. SkinCeuticals Glycolic MicroPeels come in strengths 20% and 30%. The higher the percentage of the peel, the deeper and more effective the peel will be and results. A series of 3 to 6 peels done every 3 to 4 weeks apart are needed for maximum results.
Combining medical grade skin care products for at home use is essential in combination with in-office procedures. Medical grade skin care products will provide the best results because they have high percentages of active, therapeutic ingredients that deliver results. At Dr. K’s MedSpa we have Obagi, SkinMedica and SkinCeuticals Medical Grade Skin Care Lines. Each skin care line has effective products in treating hyperpigmentation and these products and skin care lines can be used together. Scheduling a free skin care consultation with one of our Aestheticians can help you to create the perfect at home skin care regimen for treating hyperpigmentation. Effective skin care products available at Dr. K’s Med Spa are:
- Obagi Nu Derm Kit
- Obagi Prescription Strength Tretinoin .5% and 1%
- Obagi Matte Sunscreen
- Obagi Regenica
- SkinMedica Lytera
- SkinMedica Retinol .5
- SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum
- SkinMedica TNS Recovery Complex
- SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair
- SkinCeuticals Phyto and Phyto+
- SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector
- SkinCeuticals Metacell B3
- SkinCeuticals Vitamin CE Ferulic and Phlorentin
- SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion and UV Defense Sunscreens
With so many options available, the best place to start is with a consultation. Allowing a Physician, Laser Technician or Professional Aesthetician to observe the area(s) that are of concern will allow them to better recommend a treatment and product recommendation plan specifically tailored to helping you reach your goal in eliminating Hyperpigmentation.