What can Cause Skin Hyperpigmentation and How to Treat It?

By | July 8, 2022

Hyperpigmentation is a type of skin condition that can appear due to lots of different reasons. There are different types of hyperpigmentation like melasma, age spots, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, etc. This skin disorder is harmful but people often get stressed as it may affect their appearance. Hyperpigmentation can be treated in medical or natural ways. 

What can Cause Skin Hyperpigmentation and How to Treat It

Types of hyperpigmentation


Melasma occurs due to hormonal changes in the body. This skin disorder is more common in females than males. Melasma is also known as the mask of pregnancy and it often occurs during the pregnancy period. It can cause patches of discoloration. Those patches are usually of a darker shade than your skin. Melasma often occurs on both sides of the face. It can also occur in other sun-exposed areas. The melasma patches mainly appear on the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, and chin.


Sunspots or liver spots occur usually in white people. The skin condition appears after the age of 40. The spots are pale brown to dark brown known as solar lentigines. Sunspots are flat and appear mainly on the oval areas like the face, hands, shoulders, arms, upper back, tops of the feet, etc. 

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

This type of hyperpigmentation can appear on any part of the body. The patches are darker than the skin color. A person can get this type of hyperpigmentation after an inflammatory skin condition like eczema. 

Causes of hyperpigmentation


Any type of skin trauma like eczema, acne, scrapes, bug bites, scrapes, etc. Sometimes scratching or rubbing hardly can cause inflammation. Due to the inflammation, cells start producing more pigment which leads to dark spots. 

Sun exposure

The UV rays of the sun are one the most common triggers to produce extra melanin. It helps to defend your skin from sun damage. But this extra melanin makes the skin tan. When the person is often exposed to the skin, those sun spots become visible. Whenever you see sun spots, visit a doctor. These spots are not dangerous but the pre-cancerous blemishes look similar to the sunspots. Talk to the dermatologist to eliminate other conditions.


These brown patches usually appear during pregnancy. But melasma can also occur due to any type of hormonal changes in the body. Females are more prone to melasma than men. It can occur due to hormonal changes, sun exposure, genetics, etc. Any type of airborne pollution can damage the skin which leads to hyperpigmentation.

Medical condition

People can also get hyperpigmentation due to conditions like Addison’s disease where the adrenal gland increases the production of melanin in the body. There are also a few drugs that can cause hyperpigmentation like cancer drugs. 

Best treatment options for hyperpigmentation

Lightening creams

Lots of lightening creams are available OTC for hyperpigmentation. Some of those creams are also available in a stronger form. But you need a doctor’s prescription for those creams. You have to apply these creams once or twice a day. After around 2 weeks, you will see the changes on the skin. These topical treatments are also available in gel form. Common ingredients on OTC creams are N-acetylglucosamine, licorice extract, and vitamin B-3. These are OTC creams but you should talk to your doctor before applying them. If your skin is very sensitive, you may get itching or other issues.

Face Acids

Many types of face acids are available to reduce hyperpigmentation. These face acids exfoliate the top layer of the skin. Due to the exfoliation, new skin cells replace the old ones. It helps in making the skin tone even and smoother. Some of the face acids are available OTC in drug stores like azelaic acid, salicylic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids, vitamin C acids, etc. Face acids work well in treating hyperpigmentation. Check for the products that have 10 or less percent acid content. Products with higher concentrations can harm the skin and can cause serious side effects. You can use products that contain malic acid as it helps in reducing pores.


Retinoids are common and one of the oldest OTC for skincare. They penetrate the skin and treat the layer below the epidermis. These are available in OTC versions but OTCs are very weak. You may not notice any effects in months. For fast treatment, you should visit a dermatologist to get the correct prescription of retinoids.  


Natural medication is a good alternative for treating hyperpigmentation. Talk to holistic doctors NJ and get proper treatment for your skin condition. Your doctor will ask a few questions like daily sun exposure, diet, etc. He will prescribe the medicines depending on your skin and body condition. This natural medication is fully safe and does not have any harmful side effects. 

Chemical peel

In chemical peeling, stronger concentrations are used to treat the skin condition at the desired part. It reduces hyperpigmentation by removing the epidermis. A high version may penetrate the middle layer and show more results. Lots of OTC versions are available for chemical peel. But you should get a chemical peel from a dermatologist. They use high concentration that provides good results. As they are very strong, some people can also get side effects. Your dermatologist will apply the chemical peel depending on your skin sensitivity and condition. After getting the chemical peel, the skin becomes very sensitive. You have to protect your skin from sun rays for dew days. The chemical peeling can treat melasma, sun damage, and age spots.

Laser peel

In laser peel, a targeted beam is used to reduce hyperpigmentation. These lasers are very strong as they remove layers from the skin. Non-ablative lasers target the dermis and promote collagen growth. Whereas ablative lasers are strong but may cause side effects.

Home remedies

You should eat a proper diet to reduce hyperpigmentation. Food items like dark green veggies, citrus fruits, tomato, salmon, almonds, yogurt, etc are good to reduce hyperpigmentation. Also, apply aloe vera once or twice a day. It not only treats the skin but also smoothens it. Green tea extracts can also improve your hyperpigmentation issues.