Hyperpigmentation describes an excessive and irregular production of melanin which is naturally present in skin. It presents as brown irregular patches on the skin.


Sun damage UV light exposure makes skin less able to regulate the production of melanin. This can result in distinct pigmented patches which are commonly found on sun-exposed areas and can be seen in all skin types.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) occurs in response to inflammation or injury to the skin such as eczema, acne, burns or psoriasis.
Melasma: occurs due to hormonal changes such as pregnancy and the oral contraceptive pill. It is often worsened by sun exposure in the summer and more likely to occur in darker skin.
Medications such as anti-malarial and anti-convulsant medications can also cause pigment issues.
Medical Conditions such as Addison’s disease


Treating pigment problems is a marathon not a sprint. There are no instant treatments and patience is needed to see results. In general the more aggressive the treatment the greater the risk of potential complications so a comprehensive consultation and personalised treatment plan is recommended.

Prevention is better than cure so make sure you use a zinc-containing broad spectrum sunscreen every day even when inside as UV rays can penetrate glass. Consider limiting sun exposure by wearing hats and sunglasses when outside, particularly with melasma.

The aim of treatment is to clear existing pigment and inhibit melanocyte (melanin producing cell) activity.

Medical Grade Skincare
Hero ingredients to look out for
Vitamin C
AHAs and BHAs
Azelaic Acid
Tranexamic Acid
Alpha Arbutin
Liquorice Extract

Prescription Products including tretinoin and hydroquinone – these should be used only under medical supervision due to potential side effects.

*Chemical Peels A course of medical-grade peels promotes rapid skin turnover and removal of pigmented cells. Pigment may become temporarily darker as it comes to the skins surface. A course of treatments is required.

*Medical microneedling causes a controlled skin injury promoting a healing response and normalising melanin production. It can be very useful for deeper pigmentation such as melasma.. A Course of treatments in required depending on severity.

*IPL interacts with the melanin causing it to fragment. These are subsequently removed by the body’s immune system.

*Laser removes pigment from the skin but can cause rebound pigmentation and needs to be sued in conjunction with topical treatments. Selection of the correct laser for each specific pigment type and skin colour is crucial.

*These treatments all carry a small risk of rebound pigmentation so a professional assessment is assessment. Patients with darker skin types are particular prone to this adverse outcome. Treatments must be carefully selected, titrated cautiously and results reviewed regularly.

Unfortunately after your treatment there is always an increased tendency for pigment to recur. So meticulous sun protection and long-term use of pigment inhibitors are essential to maintain results.