What is Skin Pigmentation

Skin pigmentation refers to skin color or pigment. Sometimes people experience skin pigmentation disorders that cause darker patches of skin to develop on their face or body. Alternatively, they might experience facial redness, as is the case with rosacea.

These pigmentation disorders can be especially troubling for our patients. Fortunately, at Essential Aesthetics, we have several effective ways to treat rosacea and hyperpigmentation.

Keep reading to learn what causes skin pigmentation disorders, which pigmentation treatment options we offer, and how you can schedule a consultation at our office.

Causes of Skin Pigmentation Disorders

Skin gets its color from the pigment, melanin. Pigmentation problems occur when melanin-producing cells don’t function correctly, producing too much melanin. This causes conditions like:


Hyperpigmentation is the medical term used to describe darker patches of skin.


People develop freckles when too much melanin is produced. This overproduction of melanin is triggered by sun exposure.


Melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation that’s also triggered by sun exposure, as well as hormonal changes.


Rosacea, on the other hand, isn’t related to melanin. Although doctors don’t understand what causes it, they believe the redness associated with rosacea is due to blood vessel abnormalities.

Skin Pigmentation Treatment Options

At Essential Aesthetics, we offer a variety of treatments for pigmentation concerns. These include IPL, photoacoustic laser, and chemical peels. We also incorporate medical and prescription-grade skincare into our treatment plans to ensure you the best results. Our exclusive skincare line incorporates pigment fighting ingredients such as retinoids, glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamides.

Your Experience with IPL

IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light, can be used to treat the redness of rosacea, as well as brown spots and freckles. During IPL treatment, many different wavelengths of light penetrate the skin at varying depths. These wavelengths break irregular pigment into very small particles, eliminating brown spots. They also reduce the appearance of visible capillaries, like those found with rosacea.

During your IPL appointment, Ellie Zarnegar, PA,DMSc, begins by applying a special gel to the treatment area. This gel keeps your skin comfortable during treatment. Then, she uses an IPL handpiece to guide the light energy into the affected area. Although an IPL session isn’t painful, you might experience a mild pinching sensation. Typically, an IPL session lasts between 30-60 minutes. Afterward, you’ll experience no downtime and can resume normal activities immediately.

In the days following an IPL session, the skin may look red or swollen. This is a normal part of the healing process. Within a few weeks, you’ll begin to see your desired results. Still, you may require multiple IPL sessions to achieve the look you want.

Photoacoustic laser for skin pigmentation at Essential Aesthetics

Your Experience with Photoacoustic Laser

Our Photoacoustic laser is the only 4-wavelength laser that uses both Nano and Pico energy to remove undesirable pigments. First, the Nanosecond pulses deliver short bursts of energy that break down the larger and deeper pigment particles. Then, the Picosecond pulses dismantle the more shallow particles. This dual pulse treatment along with the larger spot size allows for faster treatment results. Since the photoacoustic laser uses acoustics instead of heat as its primary source of energy, it is safe to use on all skin types, including darker skin tones which are usually more difficult to treat due to a high risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

During your appointment, a topical numbing cream will be applied to help with any discomfort. Ellie Zarnegar, PA, DMSc, will then begin the treatment by guiding the laser over the pigmented areas. After the procedure, your skin may have a pinkish tone for 1-4 hours. It is important to stay out of the sun and wear sunscreen to protect the treated area.

Your Experience with Chemical Peels

At Essential Aesthetics, we offer a number of SkinMedica® peels that range in strength. All of these peels will improve your skin’s appearance to some extent. Still, for pigmentation issues, we often recommend a series of treatments with SkinMedica’s Vitalize Peel®. This peel’s appropriate for all skin types and works well on melasma. During your chemical peel, Ellie Zarnegar, PA, DMSc, first prepares the peel before gently brushing it in layers over your skin. Once she’s finished, she’ll begin the process of removing the peel. For lighter peels, you’ll notice an improved appearance right away. With stronger peels, the skin may slough off over the next few days before you achieve your desired results.

Good Candidates for Skin Pigmentation Treatments

We regularly treat skin pigmentation issues in our office. Treatment is determined on a case-by-case basis. So, if you’re considering skin pigmentation treatment, we encourage you to schedule a consultation. During your appointment, we’ll evaluate your skin and review your medical history, so we can recommend the best treatment for you.

Stimulate More Radiant, Youthful-Looking Skin

Essential Aesthetics recognizes our patients’ concerns about skin pigmentation and is glad to provide a number of treatments for this skin condition. We design a treatment specifically for you! Our Danville location is conveniently placed for clients from San Ramon, Orinda, Blackhawk, Alamo, Livermore, and other Bay Area communities. To learn more or schedule an appointment call or text us at 925.855.1773 or submit your request online.

Our Danville medical spa is conveniently located just a few blocks from I-680 and offers ample free parking.