Hyperpigmentation literally means excess color. This means brown spots that show up on your face due to acne scarring, excess sun exposure and melasma. Some, like acne scarring fades eventually, but others, like sun spots can remain indefinitely due to regular sun exposure. Is there anything else you can do besides cover up with a good foundation?

Luckily, there is. Depending on the level of discoloration, there are several treatments offered at your dermatologist’s office.

If you just have some superficial scarring and scattered sunspots, try microdermabrasion. This process of physically removing the top layer of skin using a diamond-tipped mechanism is effective for minor hyperpigmentation. A series of 3-5 sessions, spaced out 1-2 weeks apart (ask your aesthetician or dermatologist what spacing works best for you) will help smooth away this type of discoloration.

For darker hyper pigmentation due to more severe scarring and excessive sun exposure, a chemical peel may do the trick. There are quite a few types of peels: TCA, glycolic and salicylic acid peels, among others. The key is to pick the right peel for you (again, with the help of an aesthetician or dermatologist) because not every skin type does well with a chemical peel. If you’re a suitable candidate, this way of getting rid of hyperpigmentation can be quick and effective.

Do  you have discoloration due to broken blood vessels on your cheeks and around your nose? Then go for Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments. The light targets discoloration while leaving clear skin alone. Not only for blood vessels, IPL treatments work wonders on sunspots. You can expect some darkening and flaking before newly clear skin emerges.

After getting any skin treatment at the dermatologist for your hyperpigmentation, prevent it from occurring again by ALWAYS wearing ample amounts of broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your newly clear skin.