skip to Main Content

Hyperpigmentation meaning

Hyperpigmentation isn’t strictly a medical condition, but rather a term that describes skin that appears unnaturally darker. This can manifest in small patches, cover larger areas of the skin, or affect the whole body.

While hyperpigmentation usually isn’t harmful, it can be a symptom of another medical condition, so it should be diagnosed by a GP.

Depending on its severity and where on the body it is present, hyperpigmentation can be something that the person experiencing it feels uncomfortable with.

The most common types of hyperpigmentation are:


Melasma most commonly affects women. It is believed to be caused by hormonal changes and can develop during pregnancy.

Hyperpigmentation may appear on any part of the body, but generally on the face and stomach.

Sun spots

Sun spots are very common. They are also known as liver spots or solar lentigines. They are caused by exposure to the sun over time and therefore appear most commonly on the hands and face.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

This type of hyperpigmentation occurs as a result of injury or inflammation to the skin. A common cause is acne.


Hyperpigmentation is often caused by an excess of melanin, which is produced by skin cells called melanocytes. Darker skin types tend to be more prone to pigmentation changes.

Several different conditions or factors can affect the production of melanin in the body:

  • Excessive sun exposure can cause an increase in melanin that results in hyperpigmentation.
  • Particular medications can cause hyperpigmentation. Also, it can be a side-effect of certain chemotherapy drugs.
  • Hormone level changes in pregnancy can affect melanin production in some women.
  • Trauma to the skin, such as a wound, superficial burn or acne can cause changes in pigmentation.
  • A rare endocrine condition called Addison’s disease can cause hyperpigmentation that is most obvious in areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck, and hands, as well as areas susceptible to friction such as the elbows and knees.


Sunscreen is a very important factor in managing hyperpigmentation. Regular use of sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30-50 will help to reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation worsening.

There are a number of ways to approach the treatment of hyperpigmentation, depending on its severity and the affected area of the body. A range of treatments are available from Melior Clinics, which can greatly improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation.

We offer a free consultation to enable our skin care experts to identify the best treatment for your specific needs and advise on the improvements that you can expect.



How do I know which treatment is right for me?

Before any treatment is agreed you will receive a free consultation with one of our experts. They will assess your skin and provide you with a recommended treatment plan. They’ll be realistic about the results which can be achieved, so you’ll know exactly what to expect.

What results can I expect?

There are a lot of variables to consider when answering this question so it’s very difficult to provide a generalisation. Most people see a visible reduction in the areas of hyperpigmentation, but when you visit us for your free consultation our medical team will advise you on the likely outcome from your personal treatment plan.

Are the treatment results permanent?

Often significant improvements can be achieved with a single treatment. Depending on the recommended treatment for your specific needs, our experts will advise you from the outset whether more than one treatment is recommended.

Our qualified practitioners

Helping you look and feel great

Why choose Melior Clinics?

Our experts will help you look and feel great

  • Whether it’s your first visit or you’re one of our returning patients, you’ll always receive a warm welcome at Melior Clinics.
  • Our aesthetic treatments enhance your natural beauty using only the highest quality, safest products and techniques.
  • In addition, we offer a range of medical and pain-relief treatments.
  • You will always be treated by one of our highly qualified and experienced doctors, nurses or skin care specialists.
  • We offer a free consultation before your treatment and free reviews afterwards, alongside outstanding aftercare from our patient liaison team.
  • All our clinics are Save Face accredited, meaning that independent experts regularly assess us to ensure we provide excellent patient care.

Special offers

Refer a friend

Refer a friend

You'll receive a £25 credit and
we'll give your friend a 10% discount.