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What is Hyperpigmentation?

The skin contains dendritic cells called melanocytes. These cells manufacture a complex pigmented substance called melanin which is responsible for natural skin colour. Hyperpigmentation is when an area of skin becomes abnormally darker in colour in comparison to the normal skin colour. When melanin is produced in excess it accumulates in the skin forming a deposit creating an area of hyperpigmentation. The condition is associated with several factors: UV exposure i.e. solarium and sun exposure, photosensitizing medication or herbal medications, hormonal imbalances / disorders or hemochromatosis.

  • What are the Common Causes of Pigmentation?
  • What Areas are Commonly Affected by Hyperpigmentation?
  • How is Hyperpigmentation treated?
  • What Are The Immediate Post Treatment And Long Term Results?

Pigmentation can occur due to a number of factors that could be genetic, internal, or external. Some of these include:

  • Hormones
  • Birthmarks
  • Sun damage
  • Trauma, friction  or injury to the skin
  • Genetics
  • Skin type
  • Medical conditions
  • Medication

Types of Pigmentation

Pigmentation can be of different types, depending on the extent and depth of the condition.  These can be classified into dermal pigmentation or epidermal pigmentation.

Dermal pigmentation: These are pigmentations that are deeper and caused due to hormonal factors, medication, or trauma. Dermal pigmentations may seem like melasma or chloasma, pigmented acne scarring, or birthmarks.

Epidermal pigmentation: Epidermal pigmentations are superficial and are generally caused by skin damage due to the sun. This type of pigmentation affects people with lighter skin more often. Age spots, freckles, and sunspots are all examples of epidermal pigmentation.

  • Face
  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Back of the hands
  • Decolletage
  • Bikini area

People of every skin type, colour, or condition can be affected by pigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation does not pose any medical concern, however, when pronounced it is considered unsightly. There are a number of hyperpigmentation treatment options in MLAC – Laser Melbourne. These pigmentation removal treatment options include:

Laser Treatment

Melbourne Laser & Aesthetic Centre is a fully equipped laser clinic in the heart of Melbourne CBD that offers a wide range of Laser technologies. Through the use of specific pigment lasers and Q Switched laser technologies pigmentation is effectively treated. The laser beam absorbs into the pigment, destroying it. The treated pigment usually appears darker until the superficial pigments slough off over 5-7 days or until the deeper pigments fade as our immune cells remove the destroyed melanin over several weeks.

Treatment of Hyperpigmentation involves advanced laser and RF technologies such as pigment lasers, Q Switch laser treatment , RF fractional technology and  Fractional laser resurfacing treatment each often in conjunction with lightening chemical peels, cosmeceutical products which may include lightening agents, vitamin A, C and Niacinamide and diligent use of an effective sunscreen. See online cosmeceutical products for more information.

Chemical Peels

This is yet another hyperpigmentation treatment that offers great results for specific pigment types. The chemical peel is formulated to help treat hyperpigmentation, and even out the skin tone.

A consultation with a MLAC Dermal Clinician assists in choosing the most appropriate treatment modality for the pigmentation.


Immediately post treatment the Hyperpigmentation will appear darker in colour, the Hyperpigmentation and area surrounding will feel warm and mildly inflamed. Redness and warmth subsides within a few hours of treatment. The colour of the Hyperpigmented area will continue to darken for several days. Micro-crusting of the area may occur, this is a normal and expected outcome which will self-resolve and generally flakes off within 7 days. Over the following weeks, the area will gradually lighten in colour with some areas of pigment removed.

A comprehensive consultation with a MLAC Senior Dermal Clinician or Cosmetic Registered Nurse allows for proper assessment and treatment plan development. Please call our clinical experts on (03) 8686 5786.

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