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The most common example of hyperpigmentation is a suntan. Another example is the darkening that frequently occurs during the healing period following any type of skin injury. Epidermal post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is usually a transient condition; the overproduction of melanin is a temporary response to a specific trauma. Hyperpigmentation with a dermal component—in which dark pigment settles in the dermis—is far more difficult to treat. Dermal hyperpigmentation tends to occur more commonly and more severely among people with naturally dark skin. Whatever the cause, most dermatologists treat dermal hyperpigmentation cautiously. The key element is scrupulous avoidance of the sun.

Possible Treatments


Fraxel Laser

Fraxel is a laser treatment that can improve the appearance of photodamaged skin (wrinkles and/or discoloration), as well as scarred skin by evening out skin texture and tone.


Chemical Peel

A chemical peel is a topical acid treatment that can be used to treat aging skin with fine lines, blotchiness (dyspigmentation), dullness, melasma, acne, and pigmented scarring. Physicians perform Vitalize and TCA peels.


Pigment Laser

The Picoway laser is a laser treatment that can be used to remove unwanted tattoos and improve the appearance of pigmented lesions, such as sun spots and brown birthmarks.

Book a consultation with one of our board-certified dermatologists today to determine the best treatment plan for you.

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Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery