Hyperpigmentation 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 and freckles 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 and creams containing tretinoin and cortisone 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 the correction of hyperpigmentation. 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.