Hyperpigmentation refers to brownish patches that appear on the skin as a person ages or as a result of acne. The condition can be worsened either sun damage or genetics. Sometimes known as "liver spots or Age Spots," these benign patches resemble large freckles and usually appear on the face, neck, hands, feet or legs. Although they are not harmful, many people wish to have them removed for cosmetic reasons.

A cosmetic dermatologist can effectively remove or reduce the appearance of age spots on the skin.


Causes of Blotchy, Uneven Skin Complexion

Age: Age plays a role in the formation of wrinkles, age spots, blotchiness, and rough skin texture. Age spots, sometimes called liver spots, are light to dark brown patches that appear on the hands, legs, feet, or face as people age. Age spots have rounded edges and look very much like large freckles. Age spots develop as a result of genetics or exposure to the sun. Some people are genetically predisposed to developing age spots. The other cause of age spots is prolonged sun exposure. Many years of tanning, working outdoors, or living in a sunny climate makes people more likely to develop age spots.

Certain skin conditions: Specific skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and allergies can severely affect the skin's overall health and contribute greatly to blotchiness and uneven skin texture. If you experience excessive inflammation, itching, dryness, or pain, it is important to incorporate treatment for your specific condition into your skin care plan.


Environmental factors: There are several environmental factors that can cause the skin to appear blotchy and uneven. These include wind, dirt, chemicals, arid climates, smoking, pollution, and ultraviolet radiation (which causes sun damage). All of these elements strip the skin of its natural collagen and elastin fibers, causing it to appear dry, rough, and wrinkled.


Sun Damage: Sun spots are the result of long-term exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. These flat, brownish patches appear on areas of the body most often exposed to the sun - especially the face, hands, and arms. Though sun spots are benign, they are unsightly and are often accompanied by other types of sun damage such as rough skin and wrinkles. In some cases, sun spots obscure the presence of skin cancer.


Treatment for Hyperpigmentation

There are a wide variety of cosmetic or cosmeceutical treatments available for hyperpigmentation.


Chemical peels: Chemical peels and abrasive procedures can be used to treat hyperpigmentation. A chemical peel strips away dead skin cells and damaged outer layers of the skin, stimulating the growth of healthy new skin.


Obagi®: The Obagi® prescription skin care line is a good option for patients who want to avoid more involved procedures that often require recovery and healing time.


ZO Skinhealth also offers a wide variety of products that are available by prescription from a cosmetic dermatologist. These products are specifically designed to address skin problems associated with sun damage and other threats to skin health.


Prevention of Hyperpigmentation

Prevention with adequate SPF every day is the best way to address sun spots and other types of sun damage.

Before / After

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"I had a large brown pigmentation mark on my face for over 20 years. I used make up to cover it but it didn’t work. Over the years I tried many ways to remove or lighten it but it actually worsened as time went by. After much research, it was my good fortune that I booked a consultation with Dr Yiannis Valilas. He suggested that I try using "Obaji nu derm".

Not only will it fade my problem area but at the same time it will address all other pigmentation on my face with an overall improvement of my skin. He explained that the products are also anti-aging and fine lines and wrinkles will diminish noticeably. He went into detail on the side effects that I may experience while the skin adjusted to its new regime. He gave me written instructions which I found extremely helpful as I wanted this to work and felt assured that if I followed Yiannis’s advice it would be successful. I was excited for the outcome but also nervous that my face would become very red and dry. At times I did experience some of the symptoms but I was prepared for these so I wasn’t concerned. Included in the treatment was an intense moisturiser which I used during these times to calm redness and stop pealing and it worked instantly. After a short while the side effects stopped as I continued using and seeing results. I used the product for around 4 months and the outcome is truly remarkable. The large pigmentation has more or less disappeared, I no longer have to constantly apply make-up to cover it and I am more confident when meeting people. My skin glows and I receive many compliments about it. Yiannis suggested that I took photos every week and I now have a collection of these clearly showing how my skin has rejuvenated. When I look back to the first week’s photo I am still shocked by the dramatic difference. I couldn’t be happier and recommend others to try it. I also highly recommend Yiannis, I put my trust in him and it paid off. He is likeable and approachable and showed patience and reassurance with me when I repeated my concerns. He has continued to show interest even though I stopped using the products and I feel he would continue to do so.

I am grateful and fortunate!"


J. B.


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