Dark or hyperpigmented spots may also be called blemishes. You will likely see them after an acne bump, hair bump, bug bite, a rash or other injury or lesion heals. We often call it post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) because it occurs after a skin lesion or rash not just on its own. They are especially common on people with skin of color or skin that tans more easily. These blemishes or hyperpigmented spots can be several shades darker than your normal skin color.
The inflammation created by the original lesion (the acne bump, hair bump, cut or scrape) disrupts the pigment cell (melanocytes) and causes the pigment molecules (melanin) to spill out into the skin, leading to a dark patch. If you have more melanin, then you’re more likely to get PIH.
It can happen anywhere on the body where you’ve had an insult, rash or injury. The more distant from the head, (i.e. on the legs), the longer it takes to resolve. Also, if the hyperpigmentation is deeper in the skin (i.e. if it was associated with a deeper injury, like a burn) it may last longer and be more resistant to treatment.
How do we treat blemishes and hyperpigmentation?
There are two basic ways to treat blemishes and hyperpigmentation: slowly and gradually or quickly and aggressively. There are tradeoffs between the two methods. The quick, aggressive treatments have more “downtime” associated with them, i.e. either redness and healing or peeling for a few days. The more gradual improvement will come with less downtime, i.e. you can be undergoing treatment with no peeling or healing during the process. It will just take longer (likely months) to get to your desired results.
Chemical Peels (medical grade) are treatments that are applied to the skin by one of our aestheticians in the office. It usually causes the skin to peel a few days after application. The specific formulation of the chemicals in the chemical peel is designed to target discoloration, acne, or other skin conditions. Chemical peels are a key treatment option for discoloration, blemishes and blotchiness.
Hydradermabrasion is a treatment to cleanse, extract and hydrate the skin. We utilize the Hydrafacial system in our offices to perform this procedure that replaces combines the effects or typical microdermabrasion, facials/extractions, and hydration masks and chemical peels. A gentle way to treat discoloration, as well as pores, texture, and acne.
Microneedling is a procedure where tiny needles puncture the skin in a repeated and controlled manner. The needles spark the natural healing process in the skin, to make new fresh skin and repair scars and damaged skin. For discoloration, the treatment is combined with an infusion of brightening solutions to penetrate deeply and even skin tone and color.
With offices conveniently located in Atlanta and Alpharetta, Steele Dermatology offers several expert treatments and skincare regimens for blemishes and hyperpigmentation. To learn which treatment may be right for you, schedule an appointment or give us a call at (770) 464-6000.