is a condition in which certain
areas of the skin become darker
than the surrounding areas. This
condition is quite common, is
thought to be harmless, and can
occur in people of any race. The
darkening takes place due to an
excess amount of melanin, which
gives skin its normal pigmentation.
Age spots, freckles and melasma
are common forms of hyperpigmentation.
The sun can make already discolored
skin appear even darker, so the
use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen
should be used when sun exposure
is expected. Even one day of unprotected
sun exposure can undo several
months of treatments.
Prescription creams containing
hydroquinone (i.e. Obagi,
Kinerase Skin Lightener) and
creams containing tretinoin and
cortisone (i.e. Triluma) have
been used with success to reduce
the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
These creams will take anywhere
from three to six months to work.
Laser and Intense Pulsed Light
(IPL) treatments are often used
to reduce pigment with little
or no scarring. The latest laser
to address hyperpigmentation is
fractional CO2 (Lumenis
FX™). Using state-of-the-art
bridge therapy to create a favorable
safety profile, the FX laser system
has become the gold standard for
correction of hyperpigmentation
and melasma. Both the PigmentFX™
and ActiveFX™ protocols
are aimed at this common skin
condition, and the results are
unmatched by any laser system
or procedure currently available.
The staff at the Knight Dermatology
Institute will be happy to discuss
the many treatments of hyperpigmentation
and melasma with you.