What Causes Pigmentation on the Skin and How Can You Treat It?

Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition that occurs when an excess amount of melanin, the pigment that gives color to skin, is present in areas of the skin. The condition can cause dark patches on the skin and can be caused by sun exposure, acne, aging, and other environmental factors. While hyperpigmentation is not harmful, it can often be unsightly and lead to self-consciousness.

What Causes Hyperpigmentation?

There are many factors that can contribute to the development of hyperpigmentation. Sun exposure is a major contributor, as ultraviolet radiation can cause an increase in melanin production. Acne can also lead to hyperpigmentation, as the inflammation associated with acne can stimulate melanin production. Additionally, as people age they may develop hyperpigmentation due to a decrease in the activity of their skin cells’ natural pigment-removal process. Finally, other environmental factors such as pollution and cigarette smoke can also lead to an increase in hyperpigmentation.

What are the Different Types of Hyperpigmentation?

There are several different types of hyperpigmentation, each with its own unique characteristics. The most common type is solar lentigines, which are dark spots that occur on the skin as a result of sun exposure. Another common type is melasma, which is a discoloration of the skin that typically occurs on the face and is often associated with pregnancy. Acne scars can also lead to hyperpigmentation, as can other types of scars caused by injury or surgery.

How Can You Prevent Hyperpigmentation?

There are several things you can do to help prevent hyperpigmentation from developing. First, protect your skin from the sun by using sunscreen and wearing hats and other clothing that will shield your skin from the sun’s rays. Secondly, avoid acne-causing behaviors such as picking at pimples and touching your face frequently. Finally, maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise.

How is Hyperpigmentation Treated?

There are a lot of non-invasive pigmentation removal treatments nowadays. These include:

Pico Laser

This laser treatment uses short pulses of energy to target and break up the melanin deposits in the skin. Pico laser works by heating the melanin, causing it to vaporize and be eliminated from the skin. What makes Pico laser different from ordinary laser treatments is that it requires a very short pulse length, making it safe for use on darker skin tones.

Carbon Laser Peel

This is a laser treatment that uses carbon-dioxide lasers to remove the top layer of skin. The carbon-dioxide laser penetrates the skin and causes the carbon paste to be released, which then helps to eliminate the impurities from the pores.

Carbon laser peel works by heating the carbon paste, which then causes an implosion of the carbon particles. This implosion removes all the impurities from the pores and results in an instant brightening of the skin.

Pigment Laser

This is a pigmentation removal laser treatment that uses energy at a specific wavelength (1064nm) to target and break up the dark pigments under the skin. Pigment laser works by heating the pigments, causing them to shatter into smaller pieces and eventually be metabolized/removed naturally by our body.

Topical Creams


Tretinoin is a medication that is derived from vitamin A. It is often used to treat acne, as it helps to reduce inflammation and unclog pores. Tretinoin can also be used to treat hyperpigmentation, as it helps to lighten dark patches on the skin.


Hydroquinone is a medication that is used to lighten the skin. It works by blocking the production of melanin, which reduces the dark pigmentation in the skin. Hydroquinone is available over-the-counter or by prescription and can be used alone or in combination with other treatments.


Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition that can occur due to a variety of factors. The most common type is solar lentigines, which are dark spots that occur on the skin as a result of sun exposure. Other common types of hyperpigmentation include melasma, acne scars, and other scars caused by injury or surgery. There are several ways to treat hyperpigmentation, including Pico laser, carbon laser peel, pigment laser, and topical creams such as tretinoin and hydroquinone. By following these tips, you can help to prevent hyperpigmentation from developing and reduce the appearance of existing dark patches on your skin.