The Link Between Inflammation and Hyperpigmentation

how to treat inflammation and hyperpigmentation

Why Does Inflammation Cause Skin Pigmentation?

Inflammation is a very common cause of hyperpigmentation. This is why dark spots often occur on the skin after acne pimples or an eczema flare-up. Darker skin types are particularly susceptible to getting post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

This means that if you have inflammation, you must first target and treat the cause of inflammation to properly treat pigmentation.

Inflammation can be caused by many different skin issues and is most commonly seen in sensitive skin types. Inflammation, regardless of the cause, can lead to hyperpigmentation. This occurs because, during inflammation, the immune system is activated which sends signals to the melanocytes to make the pigment melanin


In order to effectively treat hyperpigmentation, you must first identify if inflammation is causing the dark patches on your skin, and if so, use products that will stop the skin inflammation. You can identify if your skin has inflammation and other barriers to skin health by taking our dermatologist-developed Baumann Skin Type Quiz.

The quiz is important because it will help to identify what issues may be contributing to your skin inflammation. For example, Dehydration can cause the skin to become inflamed. If you have dry skin, you'll need a barrier repair moisturizer as part of your skincare routine to help soothe and hydrate it.  

Here are some of our favorite soothing barrier repair moisturizers that target both dehydration and inflammation:

What Do Dermatologists Recommend for Hyperpigmentation?

In your skincare routine, you need anti-inflammatory ingredients and skin-lightening ingredients for melasma treatment. In our customized skincare routines for hyperpigmentation, our dermatologists have designed regimens that address any underlying causes of inflammation (such as dehydration).  Ingredients are then chosen that will calm the skin while inactivating melanocytes to block pigment production. For example, if you have rosacea and hyperpigmentation, a rosacea skincare routine must be combined with hyperpigmentation creams so that it doesn't get irritated, which can make pigmentation worse.

Once your underlying skin conditions are identified, ingredients from these categories will be used to target dark spots on the skin without worsening your inflammation:

Dermatologist-recommended treatments to treat dark spots consist of a combination of skin-lightening ingredients. Every step within your skincare routine is important because skincare products can inactivate each other or make each other work better. For example, you need a cleanser for hyperpigmentation as well as a moisturizer that matches your skin type, making your skin-lightening products work more effectively. You can find skincare regimen advice for melasma here. Treating skin pigmentation of any cause is similar to how we treat melasma, so you can follow this skincare routine advice even if you do not have melasma.

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