Hyperpigmentation (dark spots) is caused by an excessive production of melanin in the skin. Asian skin tends to have more melanin than Caucasian skin, and as a result, Asian skin is more prone to skin discoloration. There are many ways to treat hyperpigmentation, however, many come with risks. Below, you’ll find our recommendations for the safest, most effective treatments, many of which are offered at Illuminate Plastic Surgery in Palo Alto, CA.
- Hydroquinone or non-HQ skin lighteners: Skin lighteners work by decreasing the body’s ability to produce melanin. While it can be incredibly effective, hydroquinine (particularly in higher strengths) can cause skin sensitivity. Further, hydroquinone can only be safely used for three months at a time. Our office recommends three months on and three months off to prevent side effects like rebound hyperpigmentation.*
Because of its side effects, we will often recommend non-hydroqunine skin lighteners to patients. A favorite among our clients and staff is the Jan Marini, Laminate Face Lotion. This product is a highly concentrated, non-hydroquinone skin lightener. It also contains retinol to help with fine lines and wrinkles – an added benefit!* The Marini Laminate Face Lotion is generally well tolerated on the skin and can be used year round.
- Chemical Peels: For faster results, chemical peels can remove layers of pigmented skin to reveal a lighter and more youthful-looking complexion underneath. Asians can generally tolerate only lighter chemical peels. Deeper, more aggressive peels can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). At our office, we typically recommend a Jessners peel for safe treatment and effective results.* Most patients will require a series of peels to achieve an optimal outcome.* Peels are also most effective when combined with medical grade skincare like Jan Marini.
- PicoSure: This gold standard picosecond laser treatment may be best known for removing tattoos. However, it’s just as effective – if not more so – at rejuvenating and lightening the skin.* The PicoSure technology is the first of a new generation of lasers that don’t rely on heat to melt or burn away unwanted pigment. Instead, the PicoSure laser rapidly delivers pressure that blasts pigment into tiny particles that are then absorbed and eliminated by the body.* PicoSure also offers a revolutionary technology that is designed to active our body’s natural healing response. Gentle pressure from the laser squeezes cells, activating natural cell signaling processes that create new collagen and elastic.* With time, the appearance of wrinkles, scarring and other textural problems in the skin are softened. What’s more, PicoSure is approved for use on all skin tones, making this procedure a great choice for patients of Asian descent.*
At Illuminate Plastic Surgery, we’re proud to offer each of the above treatments, including PicoSure for hyperpigmentation. Contact Illuminate Plastic Surgery in Palo Alto, CA for an evaluation to determine if you’re an ideal candidate for a PicoSure procedure. Call 650.433.8621 today to book an appointment with Dr. David Boudreault.