Hyperpigmentation is often referred to as a general term for any discolouration of the skin, but there are subtle differences between the types of discoloration and more importantly, the causes of discolouration. Clients often ask me “Do I have Melasma or Hyperpigmentation?” It can be obvious which one a client has, sometimes they may have a combination of both.
What is Melasma?
Melasma is caused by hormonal changes and can occur during pregnancy, if you’re using hormonal birth control or due to other hormonal imbalances. The pigmentations typically develop on your forehead, cheeks, or around the mouth. It is sometimes referred to as ‘the pregnancy mask’. It is often symmetrical.
What is Hyperpigmentation?
This is where patches of the skin become darker or discoloured in randomised patterns. This can be due to excess melanin from sun damage, as a result of acne scarring or inflammation. Sun damage is the most common culprit. Changes to the melanocytes – the pigment-making cells produce extra pigment, spread the pigment to nearby cells, which eventually reach the surface of the skin and cause a visible discolouration.
How can I treat Hyperpigmentation and Melasma?
The more prolonged the damage, the deeper the discolouration and the harder it is to treat. So, the sooner you take measures to prevent further pigmentation from developing the better. This could include targeting your acne prone skin to try and reduce flare-ups, or trying to reduce inflammation of sensitive skin and in all cases, it should include a high SPF on a daily basis to prevent further sun damage.
There are multiple treatments for Hyperpigmentation and Melasma, but in my opinion the best treatment for Hyperpigmentation and Melasma and a product that I often recommend in clinic due to its proven results time and time again, is the Obagi Nu-Derm Skin System. The Obagi Nu-Derm Skin System is a multi-step system that specifically targets hyperpigmentation whilst simultaneously targeting ageing skin. There is a system suitable for normal to dry or oily skin.
What is the best treatment for
Hyperpigmentation or Melasma?
Dr Humble often gets asked in clinic “What is the best treatment for Hyperpigmentation or Melasma?” It is a very common skin concern and one that people with all different skin types suffer with. If you are wondering exactly what these conditions are, you can see our previous blog here – Although, you can get some benefits from using laser treatments and from chemical peels, the best treatment for this condition is to use strong cosmeceutical products that contain active ingredients such as Hydroquinone. This specifically targets the layers of pigmented skin. The market leader, and a product that I recommend in my clinic due to its proven results for reducing hyperpigmentation, is the Obagi Nu-Derm System. I have used this and recommended this for many hundreds of patients.
What is the Obagi Nu-Derm System?
In the morning, you start off with a cleanser to remove bacteria from the skin, you then have toner to prepare the pH of the skin to maximise the penetration of all the other products deep within the skin because that’s where you want them to work. Next you have a product that contains the lightening agent, which includes the Hydroquinone or Arbutin. This sinks deep into the skin to block the production of Melanin and that’s how it exerts its anti-pigmentation effect. You then follow with an exfoliant, so you have brighter skin because you are getting rid of the dead skin cells from the surface. Following that, you apply a moisturiser, because it can cause drying of the skin and then you protect your skin with a good SPF 50. In the evening, you have a similar regime: the cleanser, the toner and you use a slightly creamier product containing the Hydroquinone or Arbutin. Mix this with Obagi Tretinoin, which is like retinol but even stronger and encourages the product to reach deeper into your skin. After that has all fully absorbed into the skin, you can then apply the moisturiser to prevent any drying. During the initial phase of the Obagi Nu-Derm System, it is normal to experience a little bit of redness and possibly even some peeling. The advice is to start with relatively small amounts of the Hydroquinone and Tretinoin products and gradually build these up to allow the skin to adjust and get the maximum effect. Using this system can deliver an excellent response and can get rid of even the most stubborn pigmentation. I certainly recommend it as one of the best treatments for Hyperpigmentation or Melasma. We have amazing results with the Obagi Nu-Derm Transformation System with our Obagi customers.
If you would like advice on how to besttreat your hyperpigmentation or you’d like to discuss a skincare routine with Dr Stephen Humble, please click on the ‘Book Now’ button at the top of this page, call us on 0208 185 7273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org