What is hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is a common, mostly harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the surrounding skin. This condition occurs when there excessive melanin in a condensed area. Melanin is a broad term for the group of natural pigments found in most organisms, but it’s what gives skin a brown/tan color. Age spots and liver spots are common forms of hyperpigmentation, and occur due to sun damage. These small, darkened patches usually appear on the face, shoulders, arms and hands, as these areas see the most sun exposure.

What causes hyperpigmentation?

When we expose our skin to ultraviolet (UV) light, the production of melanin is accelerated. When we are exposed to frequent UV rays over a long period of time (including tanning beds), higher concentrations of melanin will group together and sun spots will begin to develop. Skin care maintenance is important. Wearing sunscreen can help to limit these spots, but it cannot prevent them from developing.

What is melasma?

Melasma is a common skin condition in which brown or gray-brown patches develop on the face. Melasma commonly forms on the forehead, bridge of the nose, cheeks, lips and chin and other areas of the body that get a lot of sunlight. Women are more likely to develop this condition than men, and it is sometimes called the “mask of pregnancy” because it commonly occurs during that time.

The cause of melasma isn’t clear, but it occurs when melanocytes (the color-making cells in the skin) produce too much color. This condition is triggered by:

  • Sun exposure, as UV rays stimulate melanocytes
  • Changes in hormones (caused by pregnancy, birth control pills or hormone replacement medicine)

Why do freckles form?

Freckles are small spots, usually tan or light brown in color, that appear on the skin as a result of sun exposure. They may vary in color but are primarily darker than the surrounding skin and are uniform in color on an individual. They are a genetic trait, meaning you likely inherited them from your parents.

Freckles tend to appear on the face, but can also occur in places that receive a lot of direct sunlight, like the shoulders and arms. They are produced, or may become more pronounced, when UV rays trigger the body to create more melanin to protect the skin. They are harmless and are not considered a medical condition, but if you are unhappy about the appearance of your freckles, we provide treatments to help reduce them.

Schedule hyperpigmentation treatments in Seattle, Washington

If you have age spots, melasma and/or freckles that you’d like to remove, schedule a consultation today. At Lifted Beauty + Wellness, we provide non-surgical Icon laser treatments to reduce unwanted pigmentation on the face and body. Treatments are completely safe and come with zero downtime. To find out how Icon treatments can provide you with amazing results, fill out the appointment request form on our site or call/text us at (206) 299-1102.


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