Hyperpigmentation services offered in Rockville, MD

About Hyperpigmentation

Brown spots, melasma, and other types of hyperpigmentation can affect your confidence and self-esteem. At Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, Maryland, the team of expert dermatologists specializes in personalized treatments for hyperpigmentation, ensuring you receive comprehensive care tailored to your unique skin concerns. Call today or use the online booking tool to learn more.

Hyperpigmentation Q&A

What is hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition where excess melanin causes areas of the skin to darken. Melanin is the pigment responsible for skin, hair, and eye color.

This condition can appear nearly anywhere on the body but is most common on the face, hands, and other areas frequently exposed to sunlight.

While hyperpigmentation is primarily a cosmetic concern, it can affect your confidence and overall well-being. Shady Grove Dermatology’s board-certified dermatologists work with you to personalize a treatment plan that addresses the type and cause of your hyperpigmentation.

What does hyperpigmentation look like?

Hyperpigmentation can take many forms, including:

  • Flat, dark spots
  • Patchy skin
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Melasma
  • Freckles
  • Lentigines (age spots)
  • Linea nigra (dark line on the abdomen from pregnancy)

Your Shady Grove Dermatology provider customizes your treatment to target your specific type of hyperpigmentation.

What causes hyperpigmentation?

Common causes of hyperpigmentation include:

Sun exposure

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun stimulate melanin production as a protective response to sun damage. Prolonged sun exposure can lead to increased pigmentation, causing brown spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation.

Hormonal changes

Fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly during pregnancy (melasma or "the mask of pregnancy") or from birth control pills or hormonal therapies, can trigger increased melanin production and result in hyperpigmentation.

Inflammation and injury

Skin inflammation or injury, such as acne, cuts, or burns, can lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). The healing process may involve excess melanin production, causing dark spots or patches.


Some people may be genetically predisposed to certain types of hyperpigmentation, such as freckles or age spots.


Certain medications, including some antibiotics, antimalarials, and chemotherapy drugs, may cause hyperpigmentation as a side effect.

Is hyperpigmentation dangerous?

Hyperpigmentation typically isn’t harmful, but darkening skin patches can indicate more serious conditions, like skin cancer. If you have newly pigmented areas of skin, consult a dermatologist before trying to treat them at home.

What are the treatments for hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation treatment depends on the underlying cause, but your treatment plan may include:

  • Prescription-strength hydroquinone
  • Retinoids
  • Azelaic acid
  • Topical vitamin C
  • Topical or oral corticosteroids
  • Laser therapy 

Proper sun protection, such as sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat, is also essential to prevent hyperpigmentation from darkening.

Call Shady Grove Dermatology today or use the online booking tool to schedule a hyperpigmentation consultation.