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Different types of pigmentation and how to treat it

Darker skin types are more prone to pigmentation. Couple that with the harshness of the South African sun and you can see why it's a big concern for many of our patients at Skin Renewal. Still, there are several different types, so it's important to know which kind you're dealing with as each responds best to a particular treatment path.
Different types of pigmentation and how to treat it

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

This type of pigmentation occurs due to injury or inflammation. A typical example would be the dark mark left in the wake of a pimple. Sometimes this is due to squeezing or picking at the spot, but other times, just the inflammatory nature of the acne lesion is enough to trigger PIH.

Fortunately, PIH is fairly easy to treat. At Skin Renewal, we can minimise or remove these marks with exfoliating treatments like chemical peels or microdermabrasion. If the mark is especially stubborn, we can also use laser and light-based treatments like Laser Genesis and LimeLight or a combination of both.

Pigmentation due to sun damage and sun spots

The older we get, the more sun damage we incurred in our youth tends to rise to the surface of our skin where it’s visible as pigmentation. Again, this is something we can treat very effectively at Skin Renewal using the same lasers we use to treat PIH.

If your pigmentation is severe, however, you could be a candidate for a more intensive laser treatment like Fraxel DUAL or Pearl Fusion. Other treatment options include and transdermal mesotherapy with an active serum/Tranexamic acid serum that helps break up pigmentation in the skin. The latter is a great option for anyone who doesn’t like needles as it relies on electrical pulses to painlessly push pigmentation-minimising ingredients into the deeper layers of your skin.


Melasma is the trickiest type of pigmentation to treat as it has several external and internal triggers, including hormones, gut conditions and uncontrolled inflammation in the body. As a result, treatment will involve working with a Health Renewal doctor who can order blood tests. Otherwise, if the underlying condition isn’t addressed, they’ll continue to manifest in melasma. Once they have a clear picture of the contributing factors, things like your hormonal and gut profile, they can help restore the balance.

Next, our Skin Renewal doctors can prescribe topical treatments such as Cosmelan and Dermamelan. These intensive two-phase treatments involve an in-office peel followed by vitally important homecare systems. This way, we can improve the initial pigmentation as well as suppress it in the future.

To find out more about Skin Renewal and how we treat pigmentation, visit Together, we can help you create a more evenly toned and radiant-looking complexion.

About the author

Dr Lestonn Lawn is a general practitioner with a special interest in aesthetic, anti-ageing and cosmetic medicine. He is based in Gauteng and consults from Skin Renewal’s Brooklyn, Irene, Fourways and Morningside branches.

5 Aug 2020 13:34