Hyper-pigmentation and uneven skin tone has many causes and the damage can be found at many different skin depths. The most difficult to correct is systemic damage which is damage at the very basic cellular level. Hyper-pigmentation of this type often cannot be corrected with even the most aggressive medical treatment. Superficial discoloration on the surface of the skin can however often be treated successfully. There is an array of products available to brighten and lighten the skin. Be cautious though of over the counter lightening products that contain hydroquinone. Some who use these products become sensitive to or develop a resistance to hydroquinone. It may even begin to darken rather than lighten the skin.
Sunlight and heat can cause hyper-pigmentation as well as birth control medication, estrogen, pregnancy, sunburn, acne, electrolysis and picking or scratching breakouts and insect bites. Most of us have had at least one of those factors in our life at some point and most of us have some dyschromia (discoloration) on our skin now.
There are three types of dyschromia:
Hyper-pigmentation – dark spots
Hypo-pigmentation – lack of pigment (white spots)
Demarcation – Uneven pigmentation from procedure or picking/scratching
Surface discoloration can be addressed in several ways, but the use of brightening scrubs and lotions at home, microdermabrasion and chemical peels performed by an esthetician, as well as laser treatment in a medical setting can restore a more even skin tone.
Your best defense is to take action – use a physical sun block, like Rhonda Allison Daytime Defense or eZinc Protection. Get into an esthetician’s office and have your skin evaluated using a Woods Lamp to discover the depth of the dyschromia. Maintaining a good home care regimen that focuses on brightening your skin, regular exfoliation and the use of protective and nutritive serums beneath your sun block can enhance the effectiveness in protecting against free radicals and further damage to your skin.