If you have light skin and suffer from hyperpigmentation, chances are that that they are a result of sun damage. Melanin is a substance found in human skin that protects us against the harmful UV rays from the sun. Melanin is found in greater abundance in darker skin, which explains why lighter skinned individuals are more prone to hyperpigmentation resulting from sun damage that causes excessive pigmentation production. This often show up as spots or patches of skin that are darker than the surrounding skin.
Your First Line Of Defense
The good news is that the typical dark spots or patches found in light skinned individuals can be treated relatively easily, using topical applications of skin lightening agents such as hydroquinone, arbutin or licorice. This is true especially during the early stages of hyperpigmentation, where only the top layers of the skin are affected. In this scenario, skin lightening or hyperpigmentation creams alone can be an effective treatment option.
For More Advanced Hyperpigmentation Problems
In the event that the application of topical hyperpigmentation cream is not sufficient to reduce your hyperpigmentation, the hyperpigmentation problem has probably affected deeper layers of the skin. In this case, chemical peels (e.g. glycolic or lactic acid peels) may be used in conjunction with topical therapy to enhance the effects of the skin lightening agents.
Finally, more advanced (and costly) techniques such as Intense Pulse Light and Q-Switched lasers can also be used to treat hyperpigmentation. Dermatologists often recommend the use of such light therapy in conjunction with topical therapy (e.g the use of retinol or hydroquinone cream) to treat more serious hyperpigmentation problems.