Ask Mischo Beauty...", I realized it's been a while since I last discussed hyperpigmentation. I receive questions on Twitter, almost daily, from those wanting product recommendations to treat dark marks, spots and areas as a result of acne/breakouts. My response is always the same and focuses on PREVENTION. We all know that just about every brand makes a product to treat hyperpigmentation (either a spot treatment of some sort, or a fade cream). So I could very easily give out a list of products- and I do, but only after discussing prevention first.
Let me qualify all of this by stating that I am not a medical doctor and this response should not be mistaken as medical advice. My recommendation for treating hyperpigmentation is to see a dermatologist who can help you determine the cause, as well as the best treatment for it.
Hyperpigmentation is the overproduction of pigment (melanin) which results in discoloration or dark areas (spots, marks, etc.) on the skin. It may be caused by a number of internal or external factors such as sunlight, injury, trauma, medication, skin diseases and skin treatments and products. And, women of color are more susceptible to skin discoloration due to genetics and the differences in skin physiology. So, if you have a tendency for this skin condition, you should avoid the following:
1. Sun Exposure (it's one of the biggest causes of hyperpigmentation and will make existing disorders worse)
2. Deep Chemical Peels, Microdermabrasion or Laser Services (these services could result in injury or trauma to the skin- make sure you see a highly skilled/trained practitioner for services such as these)
3. Over-Exfoliation (this will worsen the disorder and might cause hypopigmentation, which is the loss of pigment)
4. Manipulation of Pimples (don't EVER pick them! use an over-the-counter spot treatment or medication prescribed by your dermatologist to treat them)
As a licensed esthetician, my recommendation is first and foremost making sure you're using products for your particular skin type. Secondly, make sure you're consistent with your at-home skincare regimen. And most importantly, a visit to the dermatologist is an investment in YOU!
Any questions? Love your skin.