Treatments for hyperpigmentation on face: 8 best ways you should try

Mar 24, 2023 - Views: 703

Rating: 4.7 - 52Votes

The treatments for hyperpigmentation on face allow you to heal the affected facial skin to get a more attractive appearance. Plus, they are useful to help your skin avoid further damage. 

In this post, we suggest the best treatments and explain why hyperpigmentation appears on your skin.  

Keep reading this article for details!

Treatments for hyperpigmentation on face

Treatments for hyperpigmentation on face

Factors That Cause Hyperpigmentation

What causes hyperpigmentation? According to the Cleveland Clinic, some typical reasons for hyperpigmentation include inflammation, melasma, medical conditions, and sun exposure. 

In addition, they could affect human beings of all pores and skin tones to various degrees.

Sun exposure

According to the Mayo Clinic, the sun's UV rays cause excess melanin production, which protects the skin from damage and causes tanning. 

However, frequent or excessive sun exposure may cause black spots to appear. 

The American College of Dermatological Surgeons also stated that black spots aren't cancer, but sun-exposed skin can develop precancerous scars resembling black spots. 

Sun exposure cause hyperpigmentation

Sun exposure cause hyperpigmentation

Inflammation

Injuries to the skin, such as eczema, acne, insect bites, cuts, abrasions, and friction caused by severe rubbing, may cause inflammation. 

It then puts the pigment-producing cells into an overdrive state, allowing the injury to heal. 

Besides, it may leave black spots after cleaning and is the cause of discoloration, called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Melasma

Melasma's signs include brown spots forming in women with fluctuating hormone levels, especially during pregnancy. 

Experts from the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD) said it’s triggered by hormonal changes, sun exposure, and genetics related to oral contraceptives. 

The Cleveland Clinic stated that other hormonal medications utilized for menopause symptoms and birth control could lead to melasma.

Melasma is one of the causes of hyperpigmentation

Melasma is one of the causes of hyperpigmentation

Medical conditions

Addison's disease may cause hyperpigmentation and adrenal disorder increasing melanin production. 

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (or NSAIDs) and other certain medications, such as antibiotics and antimalarials, can lead to the risk of hyperpigmentation. 

According to Cancer Advocacy Group Connect, several chemotherapy drugs may also result in temporary hyperpigmentation.

Best Hyperpigmentation Treatment on Face

Looking for the best hyperpigmentation treatment for face is important to help you eliminate this problem. Let’s consider the specific methods below for further understanding. 

Face acids

Facial acids work by shedding or exfoliating the top skin layer. They make your skin smoother and more radiant. 

The most common skin acids are vitamin C, glycolic acid, AHAs, salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, trichloroacetic acid, azelaic acid, and kojic acid. 

This method effectively lightens and treats the hyperpigmented-affected skin area on your face. 

Yet, you should note that it is a face hyperpigmentation treatment suitable for light skin tones more than other skin types. 

Face acids for hyperpigmentation treatment

Face acids for hyperpigmentation treatment

Laser peel

Laser peel or resurfacing hyperpigmentation treatment facial use targeted light beams to decrease hyperpigmentation. There are two main laser types: non-ablative and ablative.

While ablative lasers are the most powerful and remove skin layers, non-ablative procedures target the dermis to boost collagen development and firming effects.

Both can destroy the skin's elements, making new skin cells more toned and tighter. 

Laser peel helps treat the hyperpigmentation

Laser peel helps treat the hyperpigmentation

Chemical peel

Another hyperpigmentation on face treatment is using chemical peels. These peels have higher concentrations of acid, which helps treat and target hyperpigmentation more effectively. 

Chemical peels include OTC (superficial peels) and those used only by dermatologists. 

The clinical version gives better and faster effects. 

Yet, if chemical peels are not used properly or professionally, especially with sensitive skin, you may experience side effects, including burns, scarring, redness, and itching. 

Rather than opting for chemical peel on your own, it is better to consult your dermatologist first.

Chemical peel is another hyperpigmentation treatment

Chemical peel is another hyperpigmentation treatment

Retinoids

Derived from vitamin A, retinoids are one of the oldest OTC ingredients for skincare. 

They contain small molecular structures allowing them to penetrate deep into the skin's layers and give effective hyperpigmentation treatment on face.

Retinoids are available as OTC formulas or prescriptions. Nevertheless, OTC versions often tend to be weaker. 

If you don't realize the results after several months, ask for your dermatologist's advice about prescribing the retinoid tretinoin (Retin-A). 

Also, you must check with your dermatologist before using them because they may cause skin peeling and dryness.

Retinoids for hyperpigmentation treatment

Retinoids for hyperpigmentation treatment

Intense pulse light therapy

IPL therapy is a non-ablative (fractional) laser treatment type. Also called photo facials, this therapy stimulates collagen growth in the dermis with multiple required sessions. 

It is the common treatment for hyperpigmentation on face, but flat spots can especially respond to this treatment method. Plus, it helps reduce spider veins, enlarged pores, and the appearance of wrinkles. 

Intense pulse light therapy

Intense pulse light therapy

Dermabrasion

This is effective hyperpigmentation face treatment. It involves removing the epidermis, but the effect extends to a portion of the dermis.

Dermabrasion sometimes helps smooth wrinkles, but this procedure has historically been used to address textural issues.

These issues include age spots, acne scars, chickenpox scars, sun damage, or injury scars. 

The dermatologist uses handheld tools like drills and wire brushes or other abrasive attachments to treat the whole epidermis and your dermis's top part. 

Dermabrasion for hyperpigmentation curing

Dermabrasion for hyperpigmentation curing

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is the in-office procedure to offer the perfect treatment for face hyperpigmentation , or superficial scarring affecting only the epidermis.

This is another non-invasive procedure targeting the outermost layer of dead skin. 

It indicates the stratum corneum is peeling off. Multiple sessions are required to achieve maximum results. 

This method results in only temporary changes and is commonly used to prepare the skin before performing more invasive procedures. Thus, it is not the best hyperpigmentation treatment

Microdermabrasion allows you to cure hyperpigmentation

Microdermabrasion allows you to cure hyperpigmentation

Lightening creams

This method is available over the counter and contains ingredients supporting. 

The main ingredients in these creams are gels, creams, ointments, lemon extract, serum formulations, licorice extract, and arbutin. 

Besides, these creams include vitamin B-3, vitamin C, corticosteroids, hydroquinone,  soybeans, and N-acetylglucosamine. They come with specific instructions for use and brighten dark spots over time. 

Although they are simple and budget hyperpigmentation treatment on face, they only work on mild hyperpigmentation.

To get an overall look at the 8 most common and effective treatments for hyperpigmentation, you can see the summary table below: 

Best treatments for hyperpigmentation on the face

Best treatments for hyperpigmentation on the face

What Works Best for Each Skin Tone?

Skin tone may affect the time and intensity of hyperpigmentation treatment. 

According to Dr. Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, MEP-C, people with light, medium and dark skin should use some of the same treatments. 

Yet, persons with darker skin tones take longer and fair skin will respond well to most hyperpigmentation treatments.

Thus, if you tan easily or have dark skin, you should be careful with treatments such as IPL therapy and high-beam lasers.

You should choose the treatment suitable for each skin tone

You should choose the treatment suitable for each skin tone

Some methods may be helpful for medium skin tones, including microdermabrasion and chemical peel. 

You will benefit from kojic acid, glycolic acid, and OTC whitening cream if you have dark skin. 

Besides, you can get microdermabrasion, low-intensity chemical peel, or laser treatment, but only low intensity for more sessions. 

Another simple way to apply for darker skin is to use the Axis-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum 50ml. 

This product contains 5% niacinamide pigmented spot-lightening serum with glutathione extract and rice bran, helping light the dark spots and brightness the skin. 

Yet, topical treatments often take longer to see visible results. Patience is key to having successful hyperpigmentation treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How long does it take hyperpigmentation to fade?

It takes about 6-12 months for hyperpigmentation to fade. Yet, if the problem becomes serious, it can take years for hyperpigmentation to fade. 

Once the dark spot or cause of the spot is discovered and stopped, fading may take longer. 

2. Does retinol help with hyperpigmentation?

Yes, retinol is effective in treating acne and may also improve hyperpigmentation due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

3. What naturally fades hyperpigmentation?

Aloe vera naturally fades hyperpigmentation. 

A 2012 study found that it contains aloin, the natural depigmenting compound shown to brighten the skin and act effectively as a non-toxic hyperpigmentation treatment.

Conclusion

We’ve provided the 8 effective and popular methods to treat hyperpigmentation. As you know, hyperpigmentation originates from common causes, such as sun exposure, melasma, inflammation, or medical conditions. 

Yet, identifying the most suitable treatments for hyperpigmentation on face depends on each skin tone to adjust the intensity and length of the treatment process. 

Reference source: 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/multimedia/sun-damage/sls-20076973#:~:text=To%20protect%20itself%20from%20the,(pigmentation)%20of%20the%20skin

https://www.asds.net/skin-experts/skin-conditions/age-spots 

https://www.aocd.org/page/Hyperpigmentation 

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21454-melasma 

https://news.cancerconnect.com/treatment-care/side-effects-of-cancer-treatment-hyperpigmentation

Rating: 4.7 - 52Votes

12 Comments

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  1. james

    james

    When it comes to healing hyperpigmentation without purging what else is there besides hydroquinone? I do use an Astaxanthin serum I feel helps a bit, and my moisturizer is Centella asiatica-based. Anyone have some tips?

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    1. Manjari Kade

      Manjari Kade

      Love triphala pigmentation corrector - good stuff indeed!

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    2. Jordan Gomez

      Jordan Gomez

      Eucerin has an Anti-Pigment line that's got an apparently effective pigmentation reducer, haven't read about that one being purge-causing. Seems to require twice a day application to seriously work.

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    3. Sandra Peterson

      Sandra Peterson

      Laser treatment will solve hyperpigmentation for you. I’ve seen the results and they are amazing!

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  2. Aadish Suri

    Aadish Suri

    Love your post. One question - How long does it take to see results from hyperpigmentation treatment?

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    1. Barcodelive

      Well, different treatments for hyperpigmentation can produce results at different rates. For example, topical treatments like lightening creams and serums can take several weeks or months to show improvement, while laser and chemical peel treatments may show results more quickly.
      Your skin type, including factors such as skin thickness, sensitivity, and oiliness, can affect the rate of improvement as well.

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  3. Amrita Bhasin

    Amrita Bhasin

    Do I need to take multiple sessions for a successful hyperpigmentation treatment?

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    1. Barcodelive

      I assume you are talking about acid peels. It depends on the depth of hyperpigmentation. The depth depends on how much damage and how long the damage has been on your skin.
      The derm will decide how many skin peels you need depending on the damage. But before you go to the derm, you can start minimizing the production of melanin by applying an alpha arbutin or kojic acid serum. Start wearing a sunscreen of minimum SPF 30 and start exfoliating your face with AHA washes or lactic acid 10% is great to start with.

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  4. Lillian Johnson

    Lillian Johnson

    Thanks for this awesome masterpiece. Cheers

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    1. Barcodelive

      Awesome!

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  5. Brynn Hall

    Brynn Hall

    Is laser treatment effective for face dark spots because of hyper-pigmentation?

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    1. Barcodelive

      There are different types of hyperpigmentation. For sun spots, age spots yes. IPL works great

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