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Hyperpigmentation is one of the most common skin concerns that we come across at our Thane-based skincare clinic. Characterised by dark patches or spots, hyperpigmentation  is exceedingly common in Indian skin. It can be unsettling and can have an impact on one’s self esteem as well. This blog explores the causes of hyperpigmentation on Indian skin as well as effective ways to treat it. Dr. Natasha Shetty discusses topical treatments and in-clinic solutions to help you achieve a clearer, more radiant, complexion.




There can be multiple causes and triggers for hyperpigmentation. Here are some of the most common ones;


  • Sun Exposure: The harsh Indian sun is a major contributor to hyperpigmentation. UV rays trigger the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin colour, leading to dark spots and uneven skin tone.


  • PIH (Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation): Indian skin is more prone to PIH, a condition where pigmentation develops as a result of inflammation post trauma or injury to the skin like in acne, eczema or even rashes.


  • Hormonal Fluctuations: Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy or oral contraceptives can also trigger a condition known as melasma. Also known as the pregnancy mask, melasma is commonly seen as symmetrical, brown patches on the cheeks, nose and sometimes even the forehead and the chin. Conditions like PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) which is becoming increasingly common in women, can also cause hyperpigmentation around the mouth sometimes and this can worsen with sun exposure and lack of protection from the sun.


  • Genetics: Indian skin genetically has higher melanin content making it more susceptible to hyperpigmentation.




A skincare routine focusing on pigmentation should always begin with protection and then to building a corrective routine. Without prevention, correction will always be incomplete leaving you with unsatisfactory results. Here are some topical options to tackle pigmentation.


  • Sunscreen: One of the best ways to treat pigmentation or pigmentary disorders is the use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 to protect it from getting any darker. Pick a formulation according to your skin type and concern and ensure you reapply it every 2-3 hours since the efficacy of a sunscreen considerably reduces after 2 hours.


  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C can be a great place to start since it is a powerful antioxidant that can help lighten pigmentation or dark spots in addition to fighting oxidative damage that our skin goes through daily due to both internal and environmental triggers. It also helps brighten your overall complexion, giving you a more even toned appearance and promotes collagen production to fight early signs of ageing.


  • Retinoids: Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that hasten cell turnover rate and inhibits the melanin producing enzyme, thus having an overall effect on both, tone, and texture. Tretinoin is a prescription product and should be used under the supervision of a dermatologist while retinol is an ingredient that can be purchased over the counter. However, if you’re a first-time user with either, it’s always a good idea to start under the guidance of your doctor to minimise the risk of side effects.


  • Niacinamide: Also known as vitamin B3, niacin helps regulate melanin production while also controlling excessive oil or sebum production. Since vitamin C can sometimes aggravate acne, niacinamide is a good alternative for oily, acne prone skin with hyperpigmentation.


  • Depigmenting agents: Look for products containing active ingredients like kojic acid, alpha arbutin, glycolic acid, azelaic acid or licorice extracts. These work by inhibiting melanin production and gradually fading dark spots.



If topical solutions do not seem to work for you, you can consider some safe and highly effective procedures. Dermatologist Dr. Natasha Shetty recommends some of the following treatments:


  • Chemical Peels: Chemical Peels help exfoliate the top dead skin cell layer and improve hyperpigmentation depending on the actives in them. They accelerate cell turnover and reveal fresh skin cells promoting an even complexion.


  • Depigmenting Lasers: Q switch lasers are engineered to break down excess pigment that is then flushed through your system resulting in depigmentation.


  • Microdermabrasion: This procedure involves physical exfoliation of the skin with a diamond tip and can be followed with brightening serum infusions which help improve hyperpigmentation.


  • Microneedling: Microneedling involves the use of ultra-fine needles that trigger the body’s natural healing process. The combination of microneedling and depigmenting actives not only promotes collagen and elastin production but also remodels the skin and lightens pigmentation.


  • IV Glutathione: Glutathione is an antioxidant that is produced by the cells of our body to fight oxidative stress. The level of glutathione in the body can decline due to several factors such as poor nutrition, stress, toxins and ageing. Taking intravenous glutathione can help regulate melanin production and can effectively treat skin discoloration and hyperpigmentation. While taking oral supplements is also an option, the absorption rate is only 30% as compared to complete absorption when taken intravenously.


While hyperpigmentation remains one of the most common concerns among Indian skin tones, with the right understanding and appropriate treatments, it can be well managed. Remember to protect your skin from sun exposure and consider incorporating topical treatments or seeking professional help to address your concerns effectively. Consider consulting a dermatologist for ways to treat hyperpigmentation more effectively.

Doctor Approved
Treatments For Hyperpigmentation 

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