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What Causes Skin Pigmentation? How to Remove It?
what causes skin pigmentation


Oct 6, 2022

Published By:

Este Medical Group

Are you fed up with patches of discolouration on your face, and are you wondering how to treat pigmentation so that it actually goes away? We hear you.

In this article, we take a look at what causes pigmentation on face, why you might be experiencing it, and even answer questions such as, ‘can you tattoo over pigmentation’? Let’s get going...

What is Skin Pigmentation?

Skin pigmentation is when your skin develops areas of skin tone that is a different colour to your normal skin tone. There are three types of skin pigmentation:

  1. Hyperpigmentation – when you get darker patches of skin
  1. Hypopigmentation – when you develop lighter areas of skin
  1. Depigmentation – when you lose pigment from your skin

What Causes Skin Pigmentation?

It can be a bit of a tricky quest trying to discover what causes pigmentation on face to appear. It may be down to spending too much time in the sun, or it could be as a result of hormones. As there are three different types of pigmentation, let’s take a look at what could be behind each one...

Hyperpigmentation Causes

Hyperpigmentation comes about as a result of an increase in the production of melanin, which could be because of -

  • Inflammation
  • Sun damage
  • Hormones
  • An injury to the skin
  • Ageing

Hypopigmentation Causes

Hypopigmentation is most often caused by damage to your skin. It can also be down to -

  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • A fungal infection called tinea versicolor
  • As a result of a skin burn, blister or skin infection


Depigmentation can come about as a result of one or more of the following -

  • Injury to the skin
  • Dermatitis
  • Fungal infection
  • Albinism
  • The use of steroids

How to Remove Pigmentation

How to get rid of scar pigmentation, melasma, vitiligo are common concerns and fortunately there are certain things you can try to alleviate these conditions. If scar pigmentation is your number one concern, you might be interested to try microneedling. You can do this at home or in-salon and it’s a safe and effective way to help boost skin cell turnover and boost skin-healing collagen and elastin production.

Is Cosmelan Peel Safe for Pigmentation?

Another option for tackling skin pigmentation is with the use of a chemical peel. At Este, we offer the Cosmelan peel for skin pigmentation issues and if you’re wondering, does cosmelan peel work? - Just take a look at our before and after photos to see the answer. The cosmelan peel contains inhibitors that work to depigment the affected skin area. The skin’s natural melanin production is reduced thanks to an enzyme called tyrosinase, and the result is a lighter, more even skin tone.

Can Diet Affect Skin Pigmentation?

We all know that what we choose to put in our bodies affects the way we look, feel, and behave. So, it stands to reason that even your diet can affect your skin pigmentation. Spicy and fried foods can trigger hyperpigmentation, while skin-healthy foods such as fresh fruit and veg which are high in vitamin C can help calm pigmentation.

Can Lack of Vitamin D Cause Skin Pigmentation?

At present, scientists are unsure whether there is a link between the level of vitamin D in your body and skin pigmentation concerns such as melasma. However, studies have shown that people with vitiligo have been shown to have low levels of vitamin D.

Is Laser Good for Pigmentation?

Yes, laser is a possible option in the treatment of skin pigmentation. At Este, we use the Harmony XL Pro Laser to shatter the melanin pigment in patches of pigmentation. This treatment is safe for all skin types and can be used on the whole body. Once your body has had the laser treatment, your lymphatic system soaks up the shattered pigment and any pigmented areas gradually fade.

In terms of vitiligo, we offer the ground-breaking Exciplex Light Therapy. We’re one of the very first clinics in the UK to offer clients this treatment and we’re proud to be able to help those suffering with vitiligo. Exciplex Light Therapy uses monochromatic UVB light technology with a 308nm wavelength. It works to target the epidermis (without pain) and reactivate the body’s immunosuppression process in the treatment area to restore pigment to the skin.

Can You Tattoo Over Pigmentation?

If you’re really struggling with the look of a pigmented area, it’s possible to have scar camouflage in the form of a tattoo. This could be on stretch marks, an old scar, or a birthmark for instance. If the pigmentation is on your face and you want to address something like dark under eye circles, you could have a micropigmentation procedure. This works in the same way as a tattoo but it doesn’t last forever and will fade over a couple of years.

The Last Word

There’s no shying away from the fact that skin pigmentation problems make for tricky customers. They are stubborn, appear exactly where you’d rather they didn’t, and you may never know why they came to hang out in the first place. Try not to let skin pigmentation concerns get you down as there are multiple options to try which have yielded great results.

Give it time and a little persistence, and with the right treatment, you should see an improvement in your skin. If you want help finding out which skin pigmentation treatment is right for you, book in for a no-obligation consultation with Este today.

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