Concern Summary

Hyperpigmentation occurs when excess melanin causes a darkened appearance to the skin, generally in concentrated areas. Sun exposure is the leading cause of hyperpigmentation, but it can also be worsened by hormones, birth control pills, acne and inflammation.

What Causes it

Melasma (chloasma)

Appears as symmetrical patches most often on the cheeks, chin, upper lip and forehead. It can be related to genetics, pregnancy, certain medications, and/or hormone imbalances.

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

Found in areas of the skin that have been subjected to inflammation due to trauma, inflamed blemishes or irritation (eg. fragrances). Inflammation stimulates Langerhans cells (immune cells), which alter the activity of melanocytes (cells that produce melanin), causing increased melanin (pigment) production.


This type of discolouration can present in the form of freckles, age spots and uneven skin tone. It is caused by prolonged and/or repeated exposure to ultraviolet rays (UVR), whether from the sun or tanning beds.

Thanks to advances in technology and science we can reverse some of this damage and prevent future hyperpigmentation