What is skin pigmentation?

Pigmentation refers to darkening of the skin. It is a very common concern seen in Indian/Asian skin type and affects men and women equally. It may present as patches, diffuse pigmentation, freckling etc. over the face or any part of the body.

Research has shown that it can severly affect quality of life of patients. It has great psychological impact and tends lower self esteem and confidence. Patients often prefer to avoid going out, distance themselves socially and aloof themselves to avoid embarrassment.

What causes pigmentation?

Skin pigment is produced by cells called as melanocytes. These cells are responsible for the inherit skin colour of our body. The skin pigment called as “melanin” is then dispersed into the surrounding cells. When these cells become hyperactive, they produce the pigment in excess, causing dark patches to appear. Stimulation of melanocytes can be due to a number of factors both intrinsic and extrinsic. Genetic predisposition and hormonal triggers such as in PCOS, thyroid disorders, insulin resistance etc. are most common internal triggers for pigmentation. Among the external factors, UV light exposure is the single most important factor triggering pigmentation. UV radiation along with visible wavelength can trigger pigmentation. Screen light exposure due to mobile phone use, laptop use etc. can also aggravate pigmentation. Other factors such as stress, dietary deficiencies and lifestyle related factors also play a role in the aetiology of pigmentation.

What all conditions can cause skin pigmentation?

Common conditions presenting with pigmented patches are Melasma, freckles, lentigens, pigmentary demarcation lines, lichen planus pigmentosus etc. certain birth marks may also present with pigmentation change. Nevus of Ota and Beckers nevus are some pigmentary birth defects.

Tests required in pigmentation evaluation?

The diagnosis is established mainly on clinical grounds. V rarely skin biopsy may be required for conditions such as lichen planus pigmentosus. Thyroid testing/PCOS profile may be required in selected cases.


The single most step in the treatment of pigmentation is use of broad spectrum sunscreen with min SPF of 30. It is also advisable to use physical sunprotection such as broad brimmed hats, scarfs and goggles, when stepping out in direct sunlight.

Use of prescription strength skin lightening creams with active ingredients such as hydroquinone, kojic acid, glycolic acid etc. help to lighten the skin. Oral antioxidants with glutathione, vitamin C, proanthrocyanine etc. are also beneficial in skin pigmentation lightening.

Chemical peels

Pigment lightening peels work well to lighten the pigmentation patches. Multiple sessions are required to achieve desired results. The choice of the peel is based on the clinical indication and patient skin type and it is best made after evaluation by a skin expert. Peels gently exfoliate the skin in a controlled manner, removing superficial tan and patchiness. Active ingredients also supress melanin synthesis with resultant skin lightening effects.

Q switch lasers

Pigment lightening q switch lasers help to dispense off the pigment cells. The laser selectively targets the melanocytes. Resultant effect is lightening of pigment and skin rejuvenation. Multiple sessions are required to achieve desired results. For pigmented birth marks such as beckers nevus, nevus of ota etc. Q switch laser is the only treatment that has documented results.

“Carbon peel” is also a q switch laser treatment done after application of fine carbon layer on the face. The carbon particle penetrates inside the face glands and upon being basted by laser help in pigment lightening and skin rejuvenation. This is particularly effective for oily skin type and those having acne with residual pigmentation.


Mesotherapy uses a cocktail of solutions such as vitamin C, glutathione, antioxidants, which on skin penetration cause skin lightening. These mesa solutions can either be delivered via microinjections, needling or electroporation.

Experience at Meraki skin clinic

At meraki skin clinic you get the best skin lightening treatment experience. Our skin expert evaluates the needs of your skin and customize a treatment according to your skin type. The technicians are well trained in executing the designated procedures. Our aim is to provide you with the best treatment experience.


meraki skin clinic