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What Causes Hyperpigmentation: Types, Triggers, and Pico Laser Treatment Benefits

Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition characterized by the appearance of darkened patches on the skin, caused by an excess of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color. This can occur for various reasons, including genetics, hormonal fluctuations, sun exposure, and inflammation or trauma to the skin. There are several types of hyperpigmentation, such as age spots, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, each with its own unique causes and appearance.

In recent years, Pico laser in Singapore has emerged as an effective and minimally invasive option for addressing hyperpigmentation. This novel laser technology works by using short, high-energy pulses to break down the excess melanin in the affected skin areas. Unlike traditional laser therapies, pico lasers generate minimal heat and have a faster recovery time, reducing the likelihood of potential side effects and complications. Moreover, the precision of pico lasers enables them to target specific hyperpigmented areas without damaging the surrounding healthy skin tissue.

By recognizing the various types of hyperpigmentation and their causes, individuals seeking pigmentation laser treatment can better understand the benefits of Pico laser. As a promising and modern approach to dealing with these darkened patches, pico laser treatment offers an innovative solution that sets it apart from other laser treatments, catering to a wide range of skin concerns with less risk and downtime.

Hyperpigmentation treatment using pico laser

Types of Hyperpigmentation


Melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation characterized by brown or grayish pigmentation on the face. It is often triggered by hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or oral contraceptive use. Melasma is more common amongst Asians or people with darker skin types.

Pico laser treatments can effectively target melasma by breaking down melanin clusters in the skin. This non-invasive melasma treatment offers several benefits, including minimal pain and a lower risk of post-treatment complications. Compared to other laser treatments, Pico lasers have shorter pulse durations, allowing for more precise and efficient treatment.

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) occurs as a result of skin damage from conditions such as acne, rashes, or other types of skin trauma. This form of hyperpigmentation is characterized by dark spots or patches that form as the skin heals from the inflammation.

Pico laser treatments can help reduce PIH by targeting the excess melanin caused by the skin’s response to trauma. The rapid and precise energy delivery of pico lasers minimizes the risk of further skin damage while effectively treating the existing pigmentation.

Age Spots or Liver Spots

Age spots, also known as liver spots, are flat, brown, black, or gray areas on the skin that generally occur in older individuals. They are caused by an overproduction of melanin and are often associated with aging and sun exposure.

Pico lasers can effectively treat age spots by shattering melanin deposits within the skin. The benefits of pico lasers for age spot treatment include reduced treatment times and faster recovery compared to traditional laser treatments.


Sunspots are a type of hyperpigmentation caused by prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. They are similar to age spots but can occur at any age due to overexposure to sunlight.

Pico laser technology can address sunspots by breaking down melanin clusters in the skin, resulting in a more even skin tone. One of the advantages of pico laser treatments over other laser options is the reduced risk of side effects, such as redness and swelling.

This pigmentation laser treatment offers effective, precise, and non-invasive solutions for various types of hyperpigmentation, including melasma, PIH, age spots, and sunspots. The innovative technology behind pico lasers sets them apart from traditional laser therapies, providing patients with faster recovery times and reduced risks of complications.

Causes of Hyperpigmentation

Sun Exposure

Sun exposure is a leading cause of hyperpigmentation, as the skin produces more melanin in response to UV rays. This overproduction results in darker spots and patches on the skin, often called age spots, sun spots, or liver spots. Prolonged exposure to the sun makes these spots more pronounced, emphasizing the importance of sun protection to prevent hyperpigmentation.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal fluctuations, particularly during pregnancy or due to oral contraceptive use, can lead to a specific type of hyperpigmentation called melasma. Melasma is characterized by larger patches of darkened skin, often on the face. It is especially common in women with darker skin types, as they are more prone to this condition.


Inflammatory skin conditions, such as active acne, rashes, or psoriasis, can trigger an increase in melanin production, resulting in dark spots on the skin. This form of hyperpigmentation is referred to as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and can take several months to fade without treatment.


Certain medications, like steroids and birth control pills, can cause hyperpigmentation by altering hormone levels. Additionally, drugs like antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and antipsychotics can increase sun sensitivity, leading to an increased risk of developing hyperpigmentation.

Underlying Conditions

Underlying medical conditions, such as Addison’s disease, can also cause hyperpigmentation. Addison’s disease is an endocrine disorder that affects hormone production and disrupts the body’s ability to produce sufficient cortisol and aldosterone. This hormonal imbalance can lead to increased melanin production and, ultimately, hyperpigmentation.

Pico laser treatment has emerged as an effective solution for various types of hyperpigmentation. The pico laser uses ultra-short pulses to precisely target pigmented lesions without damage to the surrounding skin. This technology offers several benefits compared to traditional laser treatments, such as:

  • Faster recovery time due to less skin damage
  • Reduced risk of scarring and skin discoloration
  • Fewer treatment sessions needed for optimal results
  • Ability to treat various types of hyperpigmentation

Suffice it to say, the Pico laser distinguishes itself from other laser treatments by offering a more precise, targeted approach to treating hyperpigmentation while minimizing potential side effects and recovery time. Its suitability for multiple types of hyperpigmentation makes it a versatile and effective choice for patients seeking a solution to unwanted dark spots and patches.

Pico Laser Guide To A Youthful & Healthy Skin

Treatments for Hyperpigmentation

Topical Creams and Serums

There are several topical treatments available for hyperpigmentation, including hydroquinone, kojic acid, azelaic acid, retinoids, and vitamin C. Hydroquinone is a widely used ingredient that works by inhibiting melanin production, while kojic acid and azelaic acid have similar effects. Retinoids are derived from vitamin A and can help improve skin cell turnover, reducing the appearance of dark spots. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that helps brighten the skin and protect it from further damage.

It’s essential to use sunscreen daily to prevent worsening hyperpigmentation. Select a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to minimize the impact of UV exposure on the skin.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels can be an effective treatment for hyperpigmentation, particularly for superficial pigmentation. These peels use a mix of acids, such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid, to exfoliate the top layer of the skin, revealing healthier and more even-toned skin beneath. The strength and type of chemical peel used will depend on the individual’s skin type and concerns.

Pico Laser for Hyperpigmentation

How Pico Laser Works

Hyperpigmentation occurs when the body overproduces melanin, causing irregular dark spots on the skin. This can be due to various factors such as burns, bruises, acne, rashes, or other trauma to the skin. One of the many Pico laser benefits is that it helps to treat hyperpigmentation by using targeted beams of light to break down melanin within the pigmented lesions. This laser system features multiple wavelengths on one platform (532nm, 785nm, and 1064nm), which can effectively target and clear pigmented lesions, particularly in individuals with darker skin tones.

Pico laser’s energy shatters the problem skin pigment or ink particles into smaller fragments

Benefits of Pico Laser

The Pico Laser offers several advantages for treating hyperpigmentation as compared to other laser treatments. Some of these benefits include:

Faster treatment time: The Pico Laser uses ultra-short pulses, allowing for rapid treatment of the affected area.

Low risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: In a clinical study, the Pico Laser demonstrated a low rate of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) at only 4.65% of the treated lesions.

Suitable for darker skin types: The Pico Laser is proven to effectively treat hyperpigmentation in people with darker skin tones, while minimizing the risk of PIH.

Less invasive: The Pico Laser procedure in Singapore is a non-ablative treatment, which means it does not cause wounding of the skin, leading to less downtime and faster recovery than traditional ablative lasers.

Comparison with Other Laser Treatments

When comparing Pico pigmentation laser treatments with other laser treatments for hyperpigmentation, the Pico Laser stands out due to:

  • Wavelength versatility: The Pico Laser’s multiple wavelengths (532nm, 785nm, and 1064nm) make it adaptable for treating different skin types and hyperpigmentation concerns.
  • Lower risk of side effects: The Pico Laser has a low incidence of side effects, such as PIH, especially for darker skin types.
  • Faster recovery: The non-ablative nature of Pico Laser treatments means quicker healing times and minimal downtime for the patient.

In conclusion, the Pico Laser is an innovative and effective treatment for hyperpigmentation. Its versatility, low risk of side effects, and faster recovery time make it a preferable option for treating skin health concerns related to melanin overproduction.