How to Reduce Pigmented Spots on Your Skin

Woman with pigmented skin How to Reduce Pigmented Spots on Your Skin

Our skin is complicated, and not every issue is cause for concern, but when hyperpigmentation happens, you may want to take cosmetic action. Here are some ways to reduce the appearance of pigmented spots on your skin.

How to Reduce Pigmented Skin

Prescription Solutions

There are a variety of topical productions that you can try with a prescription and the support of your dermatologist for treating pigmented spots. Hyperpigmentation can happen to anyone, and its impact can vary greatly. Skin lightening creams are a good first response to hyperpigmentation like melasma or age spots. They take longer to work than other, more expensive cosmetic procedures but can produce results if you stick with them. Applying the creams to the affected area once or twice a day can help to reduce the amount of melanin in the affected skin, returning it to its natural tone. Hydroquinone is a common ingredient in lightening creams; it targets melanocytes and destroys them. Melanocytes are the cells in the skin that produce melanin. Some people use topical retinoids to treat hyperpigmentation issues. Retinoids are products that use a protein derived from Vitamin A to penetrate the skin and assist with cellular growth. When new skin cells grow in place of the affected skin, it can lighten as melanin is restored to its normal levels. Some acids, like malic or glycolic acid, may be used for mild hyperpigmentation. Unlike retinoids or skin lightening creams, which are robust in who they can help, face acids are usually reserved for mild issues and for people with fair skin. So what if you try these and don’t get the results you need? Fortunately, there’s a lot more that can be done with the help of a dermatologist.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are another powerful tool for reducing hyperpigmentation. If you’re unfamiliar, think of a chemical peel as a strong facial. Rather than stopping at exfoliating, a chemical peel goes further, using chemicals (usually acids) to penetrate, damage, and rejuvenate the skin. While damage may sound scary, it’s superficial, and there’s a reason for it. The melanocytes in hyperpigmented skin are not behaving as they should, and destroying these faulty cells is a good thing. After a chemical peel, the damaged layers of skin will flake and peel off with time. As a result, the melanin in the affected skin will reduce and should be lessened. The acids used in a chemical peel include malic, glycolic, and salicylic acid, which we mentioned before. These concentrations are in higher doses and are administered in a controlled setting by a qualified dermatologist. After a chemical peel, your skin will look red and puffy for a few days. As that fades, the dead skin will give way to fresher, healthier, and more even-toned skin.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is one of the most effective ways to reduce or eliminate hyperpigmentation. There are a variety of laser devices that have hundreds of dermatological applications, and some are perfect for treating pigmentation issues. Laser resurfacing, sometimes called CO2 resurfacing, uses lasers in a fashion similar to a chemical peel. Rather than focusing on the pigmentation itself, larger areas of skin are treated. They can penetrate deeply and help reset pigmentation. Other lasers focus on the hyperpigmented areas, be it freckles, melasma, or beauty marks. This intense light and heat focuses on one thing: destroying melanin itself. Since melanin is dark, it’s easy to target against any skin type. The melanin is destroyed and absorbed back into the body. Many laser therapies require multiple sessions to produce the desired results, but they’re well worth it. Laser therapy is very effective, even on the most stubborn hyperpigmentation.


There are plenty of ways your dermatologist can help you reduce pigmented spots on your skin. If you’re interested in taking on your hyperpigmentation, we can help. Call the experts at Pacific Dermatology Specialists for a consultation today.

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