Dermatologist’s guide to hyperpigmentation treatment for the skin

WRITTEN BY TEAM: January 18, 2024
As a dermatologist, I frequently visit patients who are seeking guidance not only for facial issues but also for body hyperpigmentation. Particularly in people with darker skin tones, hyperpigmentation on the body, which manifests as darkened areas like the knees, elbows, and armpits, is a typical occurrence. Though it may be a typical physiological process, there are a number of triggers that might occur, so it’s a real problem for many people who are looking for effective remedies. My objective is to provide you a complete understanding of body hyperpigmentation, its underlying causes, and the available treatment choices in this extensive guide on treating body hyperpigmentation.

Comprehending Body Hyperpigmentation:

Dark spots on the body, such as the knees, elbows, armpits, and other skin folds, might be a sign of hyperpigmentation. This is frequently a natural and physiological phenomenon, especially in people with skin that is high in melanin. Treatment is a prevalent worry, though, because it can also occur from a variety of factors.

Why People Get Hyperpigmented:

  • Overexposure to UV Light: Sun exposure has a major role in the development of hyperpigmentation on exposed body parts. Preventing further pigmentation in your skin requires shielding it from damaging UV radiation.
  • Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation: Melanin accumulation can occur in the skin’s inflammatory insulted areas due to conditions such as allergic reactions, mosquito bites, and acne scars.
  • Hormone Shifts: Skin folds, nipples, and genitalia might darken as a result of hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy or as a result of diseases like PCOS or diabetes.
  • Friction and Skin Thickening: Especially in people with darker skin tones, frequent rubbing or friction on the skin can result in the afflicted areas becoming thicker and darker.

What You Should Know About Handling Skin Discoloration

Hyperpigmentation treatment necessitates patience because complete skin renewal can take up to 60 days. Over a period of three to six months, anticipate improvements. Since there is less UV exposure in the autumn and winter, which can cause pigmentation, these seasons are great for treating hyperpigmentation. During treatment, it is imperative to prevent UV radiation.

The Best Ingredients in Skincare to Combat Hyperpigmentation:

To combat hyperpigmentation on the body, seek out skincare products containing the following ingredients:
  • Hydroquinone: Tyrosinase is the primary enzyme that converts the amino acid tyrosine into melanin, or pigment, and hydroquinone stops this process from happening.

  • Alpha arbutin: Tyrosinase is an essential enzyme in the synthesis of melanin, and alpha arbutin, like hydroquinone, inhibits its action to impede the formation of melanin.

  • Licorice root extract: Tyrosinase activity is suppressed and melanin formation is decreased by glabridin, which is present in liquorice root extract and helps to diminish pigmentation.

  • Vitamin C: By blocking tyrosinase and lowering oxidative stress, which is a cause of hyperpigmentation, vitamin C brightens skin and reduces pigmentation.

  • Retinoids: Applied topically, retinoids (such as tretinoin and retinol) can accelerate the rate of epidermal cell turnover and shed, resulting in a more uniform distribution of melanin and a decrease in the visibility of hyperpigmented areas.

  • Kojic acid: By binding the copper ions required for tyrosinase activity, kojic acid is considered to prevent the formation of melanin.

  • Niacinamide: By preventing the transfer of pigment from melanocytes, or cells that produce pigment, to keratinocytes, or cells that make skin, niacinamide helps control the synthesis of melanin. This may result in a more even skin tone by lessening the appearance of hyperpigmentation.

  • Azelaic acid: Azelaic acid exfoliates skin cells and inhibits the creation of melanin, which reduces pigmentation.

  • Glycolic acid: Glycolic acid helps to remove pigmented cells from the skin’s surface so that the skin beneath is more youthful-looking.

Strategies for Preventing Body Hyperpigmentation:

  • Sun Protection: Wear sun-blocking clothes and use sunscreen every day, especially if you use exfoliating chemicals that make you more sensitive to the sun.
  • Frequent Moisturization: Maintain the health and barrier function of your skin by keeping it well-hydrated. For further benefits, use moisturisers that contain humectants, or substances that retain moisture, and exfoliating compounds, such as lactic acid or urea.
  • Reduce Frictional Forces: Take care not to rub or massage too much, since this can thicken and darken the skin. For barrier protection, think about applying hydrocolloid bandages or anti-chafe balms.
  • Think About Laser Hair Removal: Cutting back on or quitting shaving can help delicate skin by reducing friction and preventing ingrown hairs and the resulting hyperpigmentation.
Although hyperpigmentation on the body might be a difficult issue, it can be successfully controlled with the correct strategy and perseverance. Your skin can look significantly better if you follow a skincare regimen that includes pigment-fighting substances, UV protection, and moisturising agents. You should also look into any underlying reasons of your skin problems and address them. Always seek the advice of a dermatologist to determine the best course of action for your unique situation.

DISCLAIMER: All articles about skin care are meant to provide information on particular ingredients and skin care subjects. We aim to provide interesting and educational content with our posts. Any allusion to a particular patient’s experience does not constitute a recommendation for medical care. Kindly take note that Prequel products containing mentioned substances are designed exclusively for cosmetic purposes and should not be used in place of medical advice or suggestions for pharmaceutical goods.