Not All Hyperpigmentation Is the Same: Here’s How to Spot the Difference

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Hyperpigmentation is a broad term that describes several specific skin conditions in which too much melanin, or pigment, is produced by your skin. Melanin overproduction results in dark spots or patches on your skin and an uneven complexion. 

Melasma and brown spots are two common types of hyperpigmentation. However, the best treatment options for these conditions vary. 

Learn about the differences between melasma and brown spots and how to treat them.

Melasma vs. Brown Spots: What’s the Difference?

What sets melasma apart from other types of hyperpigmentation, like brown spots, is its connection to hormone fluctuations. Often called the “mask of pregnancy,” melasma most frequently occurs in pregnant women or women taking birth control or hormone therapy medications. Melasma resembles brown or grayish patches of skin that tend to show up symmetrically on both sides of the face. 

Brown spots, on the other hand, are triggered by sun exposure and can show up anywhere on the body but are most common on areas exposed to the sun, such as the face, backs of the hands and shoulders. Melasma can also be triggered or exacerbated by sun exposure, so it’s crucial to wear sunscreen and avoid tanning when treating hyperpigmentation

Melasma and Brown Spot Treatment Options

Melasma can be particularly difficult to treat because of its connection to hormones, so it can often reappear, especially when exposed to UV light or heat. Therefore, not all laser treatments that work well for brown spots are appropriate for melasma. 

The PicoWay® Resolve laser uses unique ultra-short pulses of energy that do not convert to heat yet can gently break up unwanted pigment, making it a safe and effective melasma treatment option. PicoWay and other lasers like GentleMax Pro® can be effective options for brown spots, freckles, and other types of hyperpigmentation.

Ready to take the next step toward getting a more even complexion? Call our Tampa office at 813-877-8067 or contact us online to schedule your consultation today!