Skin Darkening in Some Spots? That Might Be Pigmentation

Aesthetics Hub | 16 Apr 2020

Starting to get brown splotches on your face or neck? That might be skin pigmentation. 

Pigmentation treatment and Causes 
Credit: Alexander Stemplewski/Pexels 

Skin pigmentation (also known as hyperpigmentation) is defined as the appearance of brown patches or other uneven discolouration on the skin. While skin pigmentation might seem like a harmless cosmetic problem for most people, it can have a pretty significant effect on a person's appearance and self-esteem. Here’s what you need to know about it:


What Is Skin Pigmentation?

Skin pigmentation is caused by melanin, a pigment in our skin that gives it colour. Normally, the amount of melanin in our skin stays constant, but in the case of hyperpigmentation, the distribution of melanin is uneven, creating a blotchy appearance. Skin pigmentation often occurs via sun damage, melasma, hormonal imbalance, or injury to the skin.

Most cases of pigmentation can be classified as “post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation”, which appear as dark spots on your face and neck caused by acne or other injuries on the face. Your melanin levels rise as your skin heals from injury, and the spots can remain for weeks after the cause.

Skin pigmentation can be difficult to treat because you can’t just peel away the sunspots from your skin. It’s relatively harmless, though some people might choose removal options for aesthetic reasons.

Can You Treat Skin Pigmentation?

You can treat skin pigmentation, but it isn’t as simple as getting some cream or scheduling a laser appointment. If you want to know how to get rid of those blemishes, it’s important to figure out what’s causing them to appear in the first place – if you don’t do that, you might end up causing more damage to your skin.

There are five common ways you can medically treat skin pigmentation:

  • Chemical peels
  • Microdermabrasion (or skin needling)
  • Light therapy
  • Laser resurfacing
  • Cryo treatments

On the other hand, these home remedies have also proven to be very popular:

  • Orchid extracts
  • Aloe Vera
  • Black tea water
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Milk

Some people are more prone to skin pigmentation than others, and its severity can depend on factors like your lifestyle, genetics, and even your age. If you’re cosmetically concerned about your skin pigmentation, it’s best to consult a dermatologist for advice.


This article first appeared in New Idea.
Our Panel of Doctor's Services
DR Celine Leong, Astique Clinic
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PPx Pore-Cleansing ACNE Treatment™ (PPX) is an advanced technology that combines a gentle vacuum with therapeutic broadband light, to help rid skin of acne-causing impurities, leaving your skin cleaner and clearer. It is combined with laser treatments, chemical peels and blue LED light treatment to bring about more effective results and healthier, clearer, more youthful-looking skin.
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At ASTIQUE, we use the Medlite from HOYA ConBio®, the latest in Q-switched laser technology. The Medlite has been studied in many clinical trials and is approved by the FDA for the successful treatment of pigmentation disorders.
Pore Toning Laser, $350
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350 Orchard Road, #08-00 Shaw House, Singapore 238868
Dr. Dylan Chau, Celevenus Aesthetic & Wellness Clinic
Revlite, $350 for 1 session
Revlite laser is ideal for the treatment of skin pigmentation, wrinkles, fine lines, aging skin, enlarged pores (as pore minimizer), and sun damage, and is effective to rejuvenate and refresh skin in the treatment area, firming skin and minimizing pores while offering a smoother texture and more even tone overall.
Sciton BBL, $350 for 1 session
Sciton Broadband Light (BBL) is an innovative non-invasive skin treatment that uses light energy at various wavelengths to correct a broad range of skin conditions associated with aging, active life-styles, and sun damage.
Revlite & BBL, $500 for 1 session
Perfect combination for skin rejuvenation, the Revlite system is designed to remove signs of aging and sun damage such as brown age spot and freckles while BBL Photofacial treatment is an effective procedure for age spot removal, as well as balancing uneven pigmentation and reducing the appearance of freckles.
391B Orchard Road #16-03/04 Ngee Ann City Tower B, Singapore 238874
Dr Ivan Tan, Nu.Reflections Medical Aesthetics
Pigment Laser, from $250 onwards
This highly versatile treatment is used to treat a variety of pigmentary disorders such as freckles and sun spots, melasma and aged spots. This treatment can also help on enlarged pores and gives the skin an overall rejuvenated appearance.
Mosaic Resurfacing Laser, from $600 onwards
Mosaic Resurfacing Laser is one of the most effective treatments for skin resurfacing, to treat wrinkles and fine lines, photo damaged skin and acne scars.
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Dr. Elias Tam Tak Chuen, EHA Clinic
Pigmentation Laser, from $428 onwards
Laser for skin rejuvenation or pigmentation using Q-Switch - starts at $428 for one session
1 Scotts Road, #15-01 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208