Hyperpigmentation

Q.I am a cosmetologist and I incorporate as much skin care as possible. One of my clients is a young 17 year old that has "freckles" (her description) circling around her mouth. She said it started a couple of years ago. I suspect it is hormonal.

A.Freckles are small hyperpigmented "spots" on the skin. They occur on sun exposed areas and will darken in the summer and fade in the winter. Freckles are benign and are a sign of increased sun exposure and sun related damage. Retinol creams, bleaching creams and mild acid peels are used to lighten the dark areas. As freckles are related to sun exposure, sunscreen/block is mandatory. An SPF of 30 or above is recommended..


Q.I am facing the problem of melasma from last three years. I treated it very much. i.e. I consult with many doctors, but all treated it with bleaching agents. these made my skin worse. Please tell me what can I do for myself?

A.Melasma is a skin condition of hyperpigmentation related to female hormones and sun exposure. Traditionally, bleaching agents containing hydroquinones and sunscreen are used. For most people this is very effective. However, in a small percentage of darker skin people, the skin will actually get darker from the hydroquinone. In cases like this, retinoids, bleaching acids (such as kojic acid), exfoliating agents and sunscreen must be used. This is difficult, so be meticulous and persistent!


Q.I read your article on Hyperpigmentation. I have been on birth control for 10 years. I am 40 years of age and am taking ortho tryciclen. My hyperpigmentation has worsened over the years. I am an esthetician and use every product known. I have used 10% hydroquinone, Jessner peels and IPL laser therapy one treatment 5 months ago. Should I go off BC pills?

A.Melasma is a common skin condition of hyperpigmentaion on the face. It is more common in females especially during pregnancy. This condition is especially sensitive to sun exposure. Bleaching agents, hydroquinones, are a good start; however, there are other products that are also beneficial. Examples include home glycolic acid peels, retinoids, alpha hydroxy acid products and sunscreen