Hyperpigmentation Conditions and Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

Hyperpigmentation is an increased amount of melanin, either in the epidermis, dermis or both, resulting from certain prescription medications, hormone imbalances, sun exposure, as well as in some cases, post laser treatments. Differentiating in which area of the skin this occurs, is helpful to determine the effectiveness of treatments available.

Increased melanin in the epidermis will tend to have a brownish discolouration, whilst brown with hints of grey and blue colouring, is melanin in the epidermis and upper dermis. Increased melanin in the dermis, tends to be grey blue in appearance.

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH): PIH occurs following injury, including post professional skin treatments, such as laser, extractions and chemical peels, or from other causes of inflammation such as acne.

Traditionally, PIH will resolve and fade over time as the skin regenerates itself, but this could take some time, potentially months. PIH is normally the easiest type of hyperpigmentation to treat and generally responds well to our laser treatments. Treatment is often at 4 week intervals and is similar to our melasma laser protocol. Finally, with the Discovery Pico laser hitting the market, the occurence of PIH in Asian skin has now become extremely low.

Lentigines, commonly known as liver spots or age spots are benign pigmented spots, with a clearly defined edge related to UV exposure, they become more prevalent with age. They are found on 90% of light-skinned individuals over the age of 60 and is very easily treatable with our laser.

Melasma is a result of hormonal fluctuations. It is one of the most challenging pigmentary conditions to treat. It normally appears on sun-exposed areas of the face and as flat distinct areas of discolouration. A combination of our laser treatment, as well as a health care provider assessing hormone function, can work well for this condition.

Phytophotodermatitis is a phototoxic reaction that results from sensitivity to ultraviolet light. It is a result of contact with the photosensitizing compounds, found in some plants and vegetables, such as limes, parsley and celery.

Please visit our Melasma page for more information