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Call us: Mon-Fri 8:30AM-6PM, Sat 9:30am-4:30pm, Sun 9AM-2PM 0800 031 8386
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What is skin ageing and hyperpigmentation?

Skin ageing describes the changes your skin goes through over time, causing things like fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, uneven tone, sun spots and textured skin. Hyperpigmentation is where some patches of skin are darker than the surrounding skin. This often happens after inflammation of the skin caused by conditions like acne. Both skin concerns can happen anywhere on the body, but skin-ageing mostly affects sun-exposed areas, and hyperpigmentation can be especially distressing when it affects the face.

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What causes skin changes?

Skin ageing is influenced by lots of factors, including the natural ageing process and external factors like sun exposure, pollution, health and lifestyle choices.

Hyperpigmentation occurs when unhealthy or damaged skin cells produce too much melanin (the substance responsible for skin colour). Anyone can develop hyperpigmentation, but it’s more common in people with darker skin. There are different types of hyperpigmentation, like post-inflammatory and melasma.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation happens after trauma or inflammation of the skin – acne is a common cause.

Melasma is a chronic disorder causing brown or grey patches to appear on the forehead, cheeks or upper lip. While melasma can affect anyone, it’s more common in women, especially during pregnancy.

How can treatment improve my skin concerns?

The treatments we offer can help improve the appearance of fine lines, hyperpigmentation, skin texture, uneven skin tone and other age and sun related skin changes. Although they’re not specifically licensed to treat these kinds of changes, they’re effective and have been used by dermatologists ‘off-label’ for improving the appearance and texture of skin.

Topical retinoids can also help to reduce acne scarring (the dents left in the skin after the spots heal).

There is evidence that some treatments could help with melasma too.

What can I do to improve my skin?

Although age is a natural and important factor in skin changes, sun damage has the biggest impact on fine lines, texture and hyperpigmentation. But there are some lifestyle changes you can make to look after your skin. These include:

  • stopping smoking
  • staying out of the sun
  • using a daily broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF30 rating
  • wearing protective clothing
  • considering your diet and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • treating your skin gently by using warm water (not hot), and mild cleansers

Looking for acne treatment?

Some of the treatments we offer for skin ageing and hyperpigmentation concerns are also used to treat acne. If you’re looking specifically for help with acne, visit our Acne Treatment service for more information.

Looking after your mental health

Skin concerns aren’t just physical. They can also affect your emotional health, leaving you with low self-confidence or even depression. This isn’t unusual and affects lots of people experiencing symptoms of skin ageing or hyperpigmentation. If you feel stressed or anxious about how your skin looks and feels, it’s important to speak to your GP to make sure you get the right support.

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Last reviewed on: 27/03/2024