Do you know those brown spots that are left after an acne blemish heals?
Those spots that never, ever seem to go away? They are actually called post-acne hyper-pigmentation, and I did an entire post a few months ago that explained how to prevent them from occurring. Check that article out here.
But if you have pretty much solved your acne problem (and if you have not, be sure to check out my 7-Week Clear Skin Program here), and you just need to get rid of the discoloration so you can reveal a bright, even complexion, then this post is for you.
Read on to discover the causes of hyperpigmentation and explore ways to prevent and treat these dark, discolored patches of skin.
What is Skin Hyperpigmentation?
Simply put, hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area of the skin due to the overproduction of melanin, which gives the skin its color.
This uneven pigmentation can cause patches of skin to become darker than the surrounding areas.
Even though having these pigmentations is seen as harmless, sometimes they indicate an underlying health condition.
Skin pigmentation can affect any person of any skin color.
Factors contributing to this condition can range from hormonal changes to stress & age, acne scarring, and treatments that stimulate additional melanin production.
Hyperpigmentation can occur in the most unexpected places, like the stomach, hands, legs, but most commonly, they appear on the face.
Reason and/or Triggers For Hyper-pigmentation On the Face
Pigmentation on the skin can result from various factors, with sun exposure, hormonal changes and acne being the primary triggers.
When exposed to the sun for a more extended period, the sun’s UV light induces an inflammatory response, damaging the outermost layer of your skin, and increasing melanin production, hence causing skin darkening.
Other conditions likely to trigger hyperpigmented patches of skin may include:
- Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptive
- Changes in melanocytes cells which are responsible for skin pigment production
- Skin color changes such as left-out spots after the acne condition clears
- Skin inflammations caused by skin injuries and traumas from surgery wounds, acne, lupus, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, or burn injuries
- Certain drugs and medications, including antimalarial drugs, antihistamines, antibiotics, antiarrhythmics, can also cause melanin overproduction.
- Elevated hormone levels can also result in increased melanin production, increasing the odds of hyperpigmentation on your face.
In a nutshell, several factors can induce melanin synthesis in your body.
Types and Symptoms of Skin Hyperpigmentation
There are various types of hyperpigmentation and each has its different symptoms. The most common hyperpigmentation includes melasma, age spots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Also known as chloasma hyperpigmentation or “mask of pregnancy,” melasma is manifested through large darkened patches of skin, mainly on the face and stomach.
Melasma is likely to affect women more than men due to the hormonal changes and imbalances in women.
People with darker skin, Pregnant women, and those taking oral birth control pills are also vulnerable to melasma hyperpigmentation.
Age spots or liver spots are linked to prolonged exposure to the sun, hence the name solar lentigines.
Typically, the age spots appear as darkened small spots mainly on the hands and the face or on any other part of the body exposed to the sun over time.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation appears as dark spots or patches of the skin due to inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne.
This condition is more likely to appear once the blemishes heal, leaving behind a dark spot. These clusters of dark spots often occur on the face and the neck.
The Best Ways To Prevent Hyperpigmentation
1. Reducing Inflammation in the Body
If you’re dealing with acne, you don’t want to be left with brown spots after your acne blemishes heal.
But how do you prevent yourself from developing those irritating spots that never, ever seem to go away?
To protect yourself from post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, you first need to deal with inflammation in your body — and not just the skin.
When inflamed, the body releases the chemical inflammation mediators such as histamine, which induces body and skin sensitivity to inflammation triggers, resulting in a host of conditions, hyperpigmentation included.
And which is the best way to soothe inflammation in the body?
Healing the gut and improving your digestion will keep the inflammation at bay.
2. Moisture Barrier
Another beneficial way to reduce the chances of hyperpigmentation from occurring on your skin is by paying attention to the strength of the skin’s moisture barrier, which is the protective outermost layer of the skin.
The skin’s moisture barrier looks like a brick wall—it comprises skin cells (the bricks), surrounded by fatty acids, lipids, and ceramide (the mortar). Its primary function is to keep moisture in the skin and toxins out.
So if this barrier gets compromised in any way, the skin becomes vulnerable to hyperpigmentation.
To keep your moisture barrier on the hook, you should adopt a skincare regimen and limit the use of harsh cleansers and topical acne medications.
These products tend to compromise your moisture barrier — the reason why most acne patients experience persistent hyperpigmentation after acne.
Using natural and gentle skincare products that nourish and protect the skin will help heal the moisture barrier and prevent hyperpigmentation.
Avoiding too much exposure to the sun may also be a great deal to protect yourself from hyperpigmentation.
Effective Techniques to Treat Hyperpigmentation
Now that you know what hyperpigmentation is, its triggers, and symptoms to look out for, what next?
If you’re trying to clear your skin and getting rid of the existing dark spots is your top priority, you need two things:
- A dermaroller with 0.5mm needles (I love the Dermaroller brand). The 0.5mm derma roller needles are ideal for treating skin scarring, fine lines & wrinkles, UV damaged skin, and hyperpigmentation.
- A high-quality, professional-grade injectable explicitly formulated for hyperpigmentation.
These are not easy to find, but I am excited to share the one I use with you! Keep reading.
Hyperpigmentation Treatment Using Dermaroller: What Is a Dermaroller?
A dermaroller is a handheld roller with lots of tiny needles rolled all over the face (see my video below for the exact technique) to puncture the skin.
It inflicts micro-injuries in the skin when rolled on the face, stimulating a wound-healing cascade within the body.
Based on the 2015 study published in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal, researchers explain that this technique includes the delivery of growth factors to the site of injury, which results in new collagen formation.
This newly formed collagen by the body helps to improve the skin through:
- Heals any acne scar tissues
- Improve sagging skin
- Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Since dermaroller inflicts tiny wounds into the skin, it creates channels for therapeutic medicines to penetrate the skin either into the epidermal or dermal layer of the skin.
The ability of dermaroller to deliver therapeutic medicines through the skin has made it gain popularity over other drugs like hyaluronic acid, silica, kojic acid, and arbutin.
These drugs can heal the skin and prevent aging and pigmentation, yet they cannot effectively penetrate the skin’s barrier. And that’s why you need to save your money when it comes to expensive topical treatments.
Before you dive headfirst into a derma rolling journey, it’s best if you ensure you don’t have any active or existing acne to avoid the odds of irritation, skin inflammation, or infections.
Hyperpigmentation Treatment Using Injectables — What is an Injectable?
Another line to get rid of hyperpigmentation is through injectable treatments.
An injectable is a sterile solution specifically formulated to be administered into areas where the patches appear on the skin.
Injectables are designed to be used for Mesotherapy, an anesthetic technique developed in the 1950s in France but is currently used in Europe and South America.
The mesotherapy technique involves injecting small amounts of medicine into the skin to facilitate regeneration, healing, and overall beautification.
The ingredients used by these specifically formulated injectable solutions to get rid of darkening skin are:
- Vitamin C
- Glycolic acid
- Alpha arbutin
- Kojic acid
- Azelaic acid
Because the injectables are pure and active medicine, they don’t include any chemicals or diluting substances.
A good rule of thumb for treating hyperpigmentation through this mesotherapy technique is to get those ingredients into the skin where they can be effective. This is accomplished with the help of a dermaroller (when you may not use a needle, of course!)
How To Treat Hyperpigmentation Using A Derma Roller and Injectables
Step 1: Exfoliate your face
First off, before you derma roll, prepare your skin by thoroughly cleansing and exfoliating it using a pH balanced cleanser or alcohol-free cleanser to ensure the pores are clear for effective ingredient absorption.
For example, if you’re a supernatural girl like me, use fruit enzyme peel to exfoliate — in this case, I have used papaya peel. Rub it all over your skin and leave it to dry for about 10 minutes.
The proteolytic enzymes in the papaya are rich in antibacterial and antifungal properties. These proteolytic enzymes also help to break the bond between the dead skin cells without damaging the moisture barrier.
Step 2: Deposit the injectable solution into the dermal layer of the skin
Draw the mesotherapy solution into the syringe and deposit some few drops into the face. For easier rolling, you can split up the face into small sections.
Take the derma roller and start rolling in one direction for about 10 times. Keep changing the directions perpendicularly in the same area and in each direction roll for about 10 rolls.
For example, if you started rolling across the section horizontally, slightly adjust the derma roller and repeat the whole rolling process, but this time vertically. Repeat this procedure until you’ve covered the part of the skin you intended to treat.
Step 3: Don’t rinse your face
Once you’ve covered the entire face at least 10 times in each direction, allow the solution to sink into your skin. You can even add a bit more solution to the face.
Step 4: Wash your derma roller
Clean your derma roller using warm water and a dish soap. Swish the roller around the water severally, ensuring the roller doesn’t hit the plastic container. The reason why you should use dish soap instead of other soaps or alcohol is because it dissolves all the blood particles and skin found in the roller.
Step 5: Disinfect your derma roller
Wipe your roller dry and let it soak for about 10 minutes in the 70% isopropyl alcohol. Before you put it in its case, leave it to air dry for a few minutes.
Where can you find an injectable to help get rid of hyperpigmentation?
I am excited to share the formula that I use with you. I do not receive any money or compensation for this recommendation—I just really want to help you get rid of your hyperpigmentation! Click here to find out where you can find a high-quality injectable for hyperpigmentation. And they ship to the USA!
The Bottom Line
Overproduced melanin mainly causes hyperpigmentation of the skin. Melanin provides skin with its color and protects parts of the body from ultraviolet radiation from the sun. When melanin is overproduced or not cleared out properly, the dark spots appear on the skin, making you vulnerable to hyperpigmentation.
The best way to naturally lighten those dark spots on your face before they form or resurface again is to incorporate the mesotherapy technique along with a dermaroller in your skincare regimen.
To learn more on how to use the dermaroller and injectable together, be sure to check out the video below — where I explain all the deets!