Main Causes of Hyperpigmentation and Your Treatment Options at Cerulean Medical Institute in Kelowna BC

If you have hyperpigmentation, you may be bothered by the uneven tone of your skin. Fortunately, there are a variety of effective treatment options available to treat and prevent hyperpigmentation; many of which simultaneously help with other skin conditions for maximum benefits!

What is Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is an excess of pigmentation and melanin which might be genetic or secondary to environmental exposure. It is seen when some parts of the skin are darker than others, either localized or generalized in distribution. Hyperpigmentation commonly affects sun exposed areas of the skin, however it can also affect non-exposed sun areas like the soles of the foot. Hyperpigmentation is commonly seen in melasma, sunspots or age spots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Melasma is caused by hormonal changes and is most common among pregnant women, although men can develop it too. It often develops as brown spots or patches on cheeks, forehead, nose, chin, or stomach.

Although it is not certain what exactly causes melasma; hormonal fluctuations, birth control pills, hormone therapy, thyroid disease, and sun exposure are believed to be perpetuators. Overexposure to the sun also causes sunspots, which can be flat brown spots that can develop on the hands, face, neck and other areas commonly exposed to the sun’s UV radiation. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, can be caused by acne, injury, or inflammation, where melanin is deposited post inflammation.

What Causes Hyperpigmentation?

One of the most common causes of hyperpigmentation is the overproduction of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. The more melanin you have in your body, the darker your skin tone. Excess sun exposure and hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy, can increase melanin production. A rare endocrine disease called Addison’s disease is also linked to hyperpigmentation that develops almost anywhere, including the face, neck, hands, elbows, and knees. Certain medications such as chemotherapy drugs and antibiotics list hyperpigmentation as a side effect.

How is Hyperpigmentation Prevented?

It is difficult to prevent hyperpigmentation, but your exposure to the sun can play a significant role in the development of these skin conditions. Look for a physical sunscreen with zinc oxide that has broad spectrum coverage and at least 30 SPF. Sunscreen should be worn daily, even on cloudy days, and reapplied every 1-2 hours. Wearing protective clothing, hats, and/or sunglasses will also protect you from harmful UV rays.

At-Home Treatments for Hyperpigmentation

Our skin care experts will conduct a physical examination and ask you questions about your medical history and lifestyle to determine the cause of your hyperpigmentation. Topical prescription medications containing skin lighteners and brighteners can lighten the skin and treat some cases of hyperpigmentation.

Topical retinoids are also used to treat hyperpigmentation and are commonly found in medical-grade skincare products. Retinol is a form of vitamin A that stimulates collagen production and increases cell turnover to rid your skin of dead skin cells and unveil a fresh layer of healthy skin.

In-Office Treatments for Hyperpigmentation

Topical medications for hyperpigmentation can take a few months to improve your dark spots so if you are looking for a quicker, more effective solution, choose an in-office skin rejuvenation procedure at our Kelowna skincare clinic. After a thorough consultation, a customized treatment plan is created to address your induvial needs. We use innovative, evidenced based anti-hyperpigmentation treatments to deliver natural looking youthful skin.

Laser Facial

Lasers are a great option for treating pigmented skin marks such as brown spots, age spots, and sunspots. Laser energy can target pigmented areas of the skin and/or stimulate collagen production to rejuvenate the skin and remove hyperpigmentation. Directed precise laser energy removes unwanted pigmentation so after a few visits scheduled 4 weeks apart, you can enjoy long-lasting results and smooth, unblemished skin.

IPL Photorejuvenation

Intense pulse light (IPL) Photorejuvenation works similarly to laser treatments, except it uses multiple wavelengths of energy to penetrate the skin at a deeper level for fantastic results. The IPL targets pigmented areas and breaks down the unwanted pigmentation over the course of 4-6 treatments. IPL treatment can also improve the texture of your skin by stimulating your body’s natural collagen production. This means long-lasting results with continuing, natural improvements over time.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are a great option to improve hyperpigmentation and they can be customized for all skin types and many other skin concerns, such as acne scars, uneven skin texture, and signs of aging. Chemical peels exfoliate the skin and remove the outer layer of dead skin cells to reveal an underlying layer of healthy, fresh skin. As the dead skin cells are removed, so are the blemishes and abnormal pigmentation on the surface of the skin.


Microneedling uses microchannels to puncture the skin, breakdown unwanted pigmentation and stimulate the body’s natural wound healing process and production of new collagen. Collagen fibers give your skin support, elasticity and a more even tone and texture. Microneedling can also be combined with serums that will penetrate the skin more deeply through the small microchannels, giving you the maximum benefits of these products.

Schedule a Consultation

If you want to determine the root cause of your hyperpigmentation and develop a customized treatment plan, give our office a call on (778) 760-5050 today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chetty at Cerulean Medical Institute. We have a variety of effective hyperpigmentation treatment options available so that each patient can find the best one to match their individual needs.



Dr. Praven Chetty is a multi-award winning aesthetic physician specializing in natural looking, long lasting results. Dr. Praven Chetty combines his vast knowledge of anatomy and ageing with evidenced based cutting-edge techniques for truly customized outcomes.