What is Hypo and Hyper-pigmentation ?
There are two general types of pigmentation changes in the skin: hypo-pigmentation & hyper-pigmentation. Although they sound very similar, these two pigment changes are the opposite of one another!
Hypo-pigmentation is a loss or absence of pigmentation, giving the skin a white or lightened appearance (think “O” for no pigment). Hyper-pigmentation is an abundance of pigment in the skin, causing the appearance of dark spots or patches.
Both types of pigmentation changes are extremely common, and can occur naturally or in response to damage to the skin. Many people notice small amounts of hypo-pigmentation after increased sun exposure especially after sunburns. Pigmentation can also occur after minor skin trauma (cuts, scrapes, or picking at scabs). Hyper-pigmentation is more common after inflammation, which can cause an increase in pigment-carrying cells to the affected area.
Are pigmentation issues permanent?
While these changes in skin pigment may sound scary, they are usually nothing to worry about! In a healthy person, the body will continue to replace older cells with new ones over time. This will gradually decrease the appearance of light or dark spots. If you notice possible hypo-pigmentation or hyper-pigmentation on your skin, don’t panic! In most cases, pigmentation changes are hardly visible and will return to normal on their own if properly cared for. To keep your skin protected from the sun, either with clothing or high quality sunscreen, and to avoid additional trauma to the area (scratching or picking).
How does sun exposure risk my laser tattoo removal results?
During any laser treatment, there is an increased amount of light energy entering the skin. For patients who are already prone to pigmentation changes, laser treatments of any kind may pose an increased risk of pigmentations. As this is a normal reaction to light exposure, we cannot guarantee there will be no pigment changes in your skin during laser tattoo removal. However, Evolve Tattoo Removal is committed to providing a safe and easy tattoo removal experience, and provide every patient with information on lowering their risk of pigmentation changes.
The easiest way to lower your risk of hypo- and hyper-pigmentation is to keep your skin out of the sun! We encourage all laser tattoo removal patients to limit sun exposure during the entire laser process. This includes during the waiting period between treatments. Patients are encouraged to use a high-quality sunscreen and/or clothing to cover their tattoo any time they plan to be outdoors. If pigmentation changes occur at any point during the tattoo removal process, we may make adjustments to your treatment schedule or laser settings to ensure your skin has time to heal and return to normal!
Our expert staff is available to answer your questions Monday through Sunday, 9am-6pm. Please don’t hesitate to call, text, or email us with any questions about pigmentation changes!
Call / Text: (760) 576-1558