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Savannah Dermatologist | Savannah Hyperpigmentation | GA | Savannah Skin Pathology |


7001 Hodgson Memorial Drive Suite 5
Savannah, GA 31406
(P) 912-349-7656                       (F) 912-349-7659



  Hyperpigmentation is a harmless skin condition in which certain skin cells contain an excess amount of melanin pigment. This results in the appearance of dark, blotchy patches of skin. Hyperpigmentation occurs most commonly on the face, especially on the forehead, cheeks, upper lip and chin. Typically, after the age of 30, hyperpigmentation becomes more visible on areas of the body in the form of “age spots.” In the majority of cases, hyperpigmentation results from of over-exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.  Hyperpigmentation is not associated with physical symptoms, but may often produce cosmetic anxiety in susceptible patients.  Inother words, although hyperpigmentation is not typically directly harmful to a patient’s health, it may cause cosmetic anxiety, in term of aesthetics.


  There are several types of hyperpigmentation including sun-induced, hormone-induced, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

  Sun- or UV-induced hyperpigmentation is the result of overexposure to the sun’s damaging UV rays. Hormonal-induced hyperpigmentation is most often seen in women, specifically those who are pregnant or taking oral contraceptive pills (birth control pills), and results from the body’s reaction to estrogen and progesterone. This type of hyperpigmentation in women is called melasma. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation may result from trauma, such as from acne scarring, but may also result from aggressive cosmetic procedures, such as chemical peels and laser treatments.


  Blotchy patches of dark skin across the face and areas of the body, commonly including the chin, cheeks, forehead, upper lip, hands, chest, and legs.


  Prevention of sun-induced hyperpigmentation is as easy as wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen, long clothing, and a wide-brimmed hat. Preventing the sun’s harmful rays from reaching the skin is the best way to avoid sun-induced hyperpigmentation.

  Over-the-counter cosmetics and creams may be used to lighten skin and is considered the least invasive form of treatment for hyperpigmentation. Cosmetic products, including concealers and foundations work to "cover up" the patches of darker skin, while lightening creams use chemicals to even out skin tone.  Stronger prescription strength skin lightening creams are also available.



Who can get hyperpigmentation?
  Anyone can develop hyperpigmentation, particularly those with fair to medium skin tones who have spent a lot of time in the sun or tanning beds without sunscreen before the age of 18, since this is when most of our sun damage occurs. Hormonal hyperpigmentation is most common in women, especially those who are pregnant (melasma) or are taking birth control pills. Hyperpigmentation is most common in adults with darker pigmented skin and may also occur after laser procedures or as a residual effect from acne (post-inflammatory).

Is hyperpigmentation permanent?
  Hyperpigmentation, depending on its cause, may disappear within a short amount of time, or may last forever. Often called the “pregnancy mask,” or melasma, hyperpigmentation caused by pregnancy often, but not always, disappears after a woman has given birth.  However, hyperpigmentation as a result of sun exposure, 
acne or secondary to a cosmetic procedure may be greatly diminished with proper treatment.  However, left untreated, these forms of hyperpigmentation may never go away on their own. 

Is hyperpigmentation harmful?
  No. Overexposure to the sun, which can cause hyperpigmentation and induce the formation of skin cancers, is harmful. However, hyperpigmentation, alone, is not dangerous.


Savannah Dermatology serving Savannah, 31406, specializing in Hyperpigmentation, Dermatology, laser hair removal, rosacea, tattoo removal, skin disease, chemical peels and much more in Savannah, GA.