How to Treat Hyperpigmentation on Face and Arms

Playing Hyperpigmentation: How to Best Treat These Dark Skin Marks

DeJanay suffers from hyperpigmentation. She shares with The Doctors that she has dark marks all over her face and arms and she’s been struggling with them for almost ten years since she was 14 years old. She says she has tried all sorts of creams and treatments yet nothing seems to work for the long-term. She says after using a product for a while her skin will become immune to it. Is there anything she can do to fix this so she can feel confident in her own skin?

Watch: How One Man Defeated His Cystic Acne through Changing What He Ate

Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra lets DeJanay know that she is not alone; pigmentary discoloration or disorders are the number one cosmetic skin condition people seek treatment for worldwide. From looking at DeJanay, Dr. Batra thinks it looks like acne was the initial problem and then the inflammation from that has led to the hyperpigmentation. This is more common in pigmented, olive skin, but can also occur in fair-skinned people who will have pink blotchy marks wherever their acne once was. 

Dr. Batra asks if DeJanay has tried any prescription-strength creams that are concentrated higher than what she could get over the counter. DeJanay says she has tried hydroquinone but that also stopped working.

Hydroquinone is the most commonly used one because it inhibits enzymes from laying down pigments. Dr. Batra says other options are retinoids which promote cell turnover. Cortisone is also used although she doesn’t recommend it because it tends to thin the skin and make it redder over time. Chemical peels and lasers are also both treatments to try. 

DeJanay has not tried lasers but says she used a chemical peel after microdermabrasion made her skin very sensitive. The vitamin E and pumpkin chemical peel burned a lot. Dr. Batra thinks the best thing for her is to see an expert and they have found one, Dr. Victor Ruecki at Lakes Dermatology. He will see DeJanay, free of charge, so hopefully, he can make this problem better.

Watch: New Acne Laser for Darker Skin?

Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon notes this reiterates just how important it is to treat the underlying inflammatory process, the acne, so that it doesn’t lead to other complications, the hyperpigmentation, down the line.

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