Hyperpigmentation is a simplified professional name for spots on the skin, ie areas of different shapes and sizes with an increased amount of melanin pigment, and the formation of which can be caused by various causes.
Hyperpigmentation can be the result of hormonal changes (pregnancy, menopause), hereditary factors (darker skin is more prone), taking certain medications, certain diseases (eg Addison’s, Cushing’s), the natural aging process and inflammatory processes on the skin (eg acne), and are amplified by the action of UV rays.
According to available statistics, 8 out of 10 women experience some of the pigmentation disorders during their lifetime, and after wrinkles and relaxed facial contours, it is the spots on the skin that most “torment” women. It is therefore not surprising that there is almost no more well-known name on the dermocosmetic market that does not have a line of products intended for hyperpigmentation in its range. The products contain various active ingredients with the aim of preventing the harmful effects of UV rays (filters) and free radicals, reducing pigment synthesis (inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase) and pigment transfer, and exfoliating hyperpigmented skin cells.
It should be emphasized that prevention in terms of limited exposure and regular, proper use of sunscreen is the best way to avoid this problem, but for those facing it it is important to accept the fact that they face a long and persistent struggle. This long and persistent struggle means that you immediately forget about instant solutions that will make you lose unwanted blemishes overnight and that you are prepared for persistent application of dermocosmetics and / or dermatological treatments such as lasers and peels.
Success is considered to be the reduction of the intensity of existing hyperpigmentations and the prevention of the appearance of new ones after several months of regular and proper application of products for that purpose. The process takes place gradually, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t notice subtle changes by looking at yourself daily in the mirror. The method with photos before and after that is often used in advertisements here really makes sense as an aid, or a test of the effectiveness of the products you use.
There are a number of active ingredients that are attributed to be effective in the fight against hyperpigmentation, but all those who struggle with it long enough sooner or later come across the so-called. Kligman’s formula. It was designed by dermatologist Dr. Albert Kligman back in 1975 and has since been frequently cited as a standard and measure of effectiveness. It basically consists of hydroquinone (in different concentrations depending on the modification from 2% to 5%) which inhibits tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in pigment synthesis; tretinoin (0.025% – 0.1%), a retinoid that improves the penetration of hydroquinone, and a corticosteroid, which basically reduces possible skin irritations caused by the use of the previous two ingredients. Subsequent studies have shown the possible carcinogenic effects of hydroquinone and the appearance of ochronosis, which paradoxically results in the appearance of dark spots, so it has been banned in cosmetics in the EU since 2000. Given the above facts and the availability of hydroquinone exclusively with a doctor’s prescription, the dermocosmetic market is continuously launching new patented ingredients and combinations already established in the fight against hyperpigmentation.
Azelaic acid, kojic acid, mequinol, arbutin, vitamin C, niacinamide, licorice extract… are some of the compounds you will come across in search of an effective solution. Products containing hexyl-resorcinol or butyl-resorcinol as an active ingredient for inhibiting pigment synthesis have recently dominated the market, including Croatia.