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Melasma vs Hyperpigmentation: Experts Explain The Difference

When it comes to skin concerns, one of the most common issues people face is skin discoloration. Two terms that often come up in discussions about skin discoloration are “melasma” and “hyperpigmentation.” 

While these two conditions may seem similar at first glance, they are distinct in terms of their causes, appearance, and treatment. In this article, we will delve into the key differences between melasma and hyperpigmentation, shedding light on what sets them apart.

Understanding Melasma

Melasma is a specific type of hyperpigmentation that primarily affects women, although it can occur in men as well. It is characterized by brown or gray-brown patches that typically appear on the face, particularly on the cheeks, forehead, nose, and upper lip. 

Causes of Melasma

One of the primary causes of melasma is hormonal fluctuations. This is why it is often referred to as “the mask of pregnancy” since it frequently occurs in pregnant women due to hormonal changes. 

Hormone therapy, such as birth control pills, can also trigger melasma. Sun exposure is another significant factor in the development and exacerbation of melasma. 

Treating Melasma

Treating melasma can be challenging, but there are several options available. One common approach is the use of topical treatments that contain ingredients like hydroquinone, kojic acid, or glycolic acid. These products work by inhibiting the production of melanin in the affected areas. 

However, it’s important to note that results may vary, and these treatments may take several months to show significant improvement. therapy. 

Plenhyage XL Treatment for Melasma

In recent years, a new and innovative treatment option called Plenhyage XL treatment has gained attention for its effectiveness in treating melasma. This treatment combines the power of radiofrequency and microneedling to target pigmented areas while stimulating collagen production. 

Exploring Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation, on the other hand, is a broad term that encompasses various skin conditions characterized by the darkening of specific areas of the skin. 

Unlike melasma, hyperpigmentation can occur in individuals of any gender and age group. It can manifest as freckles, age spots, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), or sunspots, among others.

Causes of Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation can result from a range of factors, including sun exposure, inflammation, hormonal fluctuations, and skin injuries. For example, acne scars often lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, causing dark spots to appear on the skin.

Treating Hyperpigmentation

The treatment of hyperpigmentation largely depends on the underlying cause and the type of pigmentation involved. Topical creams containing ingredients like vitamin C, niacinamide, and alpha hydroxy acids can be effective in fading dark spots and improving skin texture.

Key Differences

Now that we have a better understanding of melasma and hyperpigmentation, let’s summarize the key differences between the two:


Melasma is primarily triggered by hormonal changes and is often linked to pregnancy or hormone therapy. In contrast, hyperpigmentation can be caused by a variety of factors, including sun exposure, inflammation, and skin injuries.


Melasma typically presents as symmetrical brown or gray-brown patches on the face. Hyperpigmentation, on the other hand, can manifest as various types of dark spots, including freckles, age spots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.


While both melasma and hyperpigmentation can be treated with topical products and procedures like chemical peels and laser therapy, melasma may require more targeted treatment options due to its hormonal component. Innovative treatments like Plenhyage XL have shown promise in addressing melasma effectively.

In conclusion

Understanding the difference between melasma and hyperpigmentation is essential for selecting the right treatment approach. If you’re dealing with skin discoloration, it’s advisable to consult with a dermatologist who can provide a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific condition. Whether you have melasma or hyperpigmentation, there are effective options available to help you achieve a more even and radiant complexion.