Patchy Problems

March 22, 2019

Treating Hyperpigmentation at Aurora Medical Aesthetic Centre


At one stage or another everyone will face the problem of hyperpigmentation. This is one skin concern that does not discriminate and every South African no matter what skin colour or gender will have hyperpigmentation at some stage of their life. It’s not always easy to treat, but it’s not impossible. At Aurora Medical Aesthetic Centre we take a gentle yet effective approach to reducing skin discolouration. Tracy Cheketri our aesthetic skincare therapist explains some of her favourite treatments and products she uses in her practice to tackle this problem.


First, let’s just quickly review the causes behind skin discolouration. The most common cause of hyperpigmentaion is hormonal imbalances and hormonal treatments.  However, acne and any inflammation such as a rash or injury also cause discolouration known as Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH).  Our South African sun is potent, and we all bear the signs of hyperpigmentation due to excessive sun exposure. UV radiation causes the skin cells to produce more melanin which in turn brings about hyperpigmentation.  So although pigmentation is not always directly caused from sun exposure and excessive heat, UV Rays always irritate the condition and worsens the pigmentation that we see on the surface of ours skin.


The treatments and products we use at Aurora Medical Aesthetic Centre, to deal with hyperpigmentation completely depend on the cause and the severity. Here we will break-down the options available and what type of hyperpigmentation it’s best suited to treating:



Intense Pulsed Light uses bursts of light energy to break up pigmentation deep within the layers of the skin. The light is absorbed by the pigment where the energy is turned into heat, the heat essentially kills the pigmented cells and is either resurfaced or eliminated by the body. The treatment is not painful, and the short zaps are well tolerated by most patients. After a treatment, the areas treated will start to exfoliate and appear lighter.


IPL is best suited to lighter skin tones as it is attracted to pigment. Hyperpigmentation caused by UV damage and inflammation such as acne scarring reacts well to IPL treatments and it’s safe to use on the face, neck, décolletage or hands. The advantage of IPL is that it can either be used for all-over skin rejuvenation or as a spot treatment. 3 to 4 treatments depending on the severity of hyperpigmentation is recommended.



This is the latest addition to our practice and it’s such a versatile tool that we use to treat skin discolouration. This device safely ablates the skin to effectively reduce the appearance of pigmented lesions. The non-surgical machine uses plasma technology and requires little to no downtime depending on the treatment. The energy supplied by the device charges the air between the tip of the device and the skin, this ionises the particles to generate micro lightening that causes very precise and localised ablation on the top layers of the skin.


The Plasmatek is best used on superficial discolouration like UV damage (sun spots) and it’s safe to use on any part of the body. 1 to 2 treatments depending on the severity of hyperpigmentation is recommended.



At Aurora Medical Aesthetic Centre we use microneedling to treat an array of concerns all at once. What’s great about this treatment option is that it can be used in conjunction with PRP or skin brightening serums to address skin discolouration. During treatment, a microneedling pen is evenly moved over the affected area that pierces through the skin to create tiny puncture ‘wounds’ in the epidermis and dermis. This creates small channels for active the ingredient in serums to be better absorbed by the skin and thereby improving hydration and rejuvenation. The tiny puncture sites also increase skin rejuvenation by triggering the body’s natural inflammatory response. White blood cells containing oxygen are rushed to the wound sites, human growth hormone (HGH) is released and new healthy skin cells are made while the old pigmented ones are resurfaced.


Microneedling can be used to treat all types of hyperpigmentation including melasma which is brought on by hormone therapies and fluctuations. A series of treatments are required and can be combined with Chemical Resurfacing to improve the overall appearance of hyperpigmentation.


Chemical Resurfacing

We love Chemical Resurfacing treatments at Aurora because of its ability to address both discolouration, dullness and even acne which causes hyperpigmentation. The immediate brightening effect of Chemical Resurfacing also improves the overall appearance of hyperpigmentation. Over time the treatments will lighten discolouration and evenly improves your skin’s appearance. Our gentle yet effective approach to skin resurfacing acids allows us to work on all skin types.


Our Chemical Resurfacing treatments address all types of discolouration, gently but effectively. Sunspots and hyperpigmentation can be treated in 4 to 6 treatments, but it will not completely erase hormonal pigmentation unless the hormone imbalance is addressed or the medication that causes it is discontinued.


At Home Care

Everything we do is underpinned by a good at home skincare routine. A daily broad spectrum is a must even if your hyperpigmentation is not brought on by UV exposure.

Avoid skin lightening creams which can cause more damage, especially in darker skin tones and instead opt for skincare that contains brightening ingredients like Vitamin C or Vitamin A that encourages healthy cell turnover.


If you’re unsure about which skincare is best suited to your skin type, please stop by Aurora and we will assist you with finding the right products.


For more information on our treatments or at home skincare, please contact Aurora Medical Aesthetic Centre today to book an appointment or consultation.

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