In clinical practice, acquired hyperpigmentations represent the most common disorders of pigmentation the dermatologist has to treat. Despite the large number of depigmenting agents available, the treatment of hyperpigmentations is often unsuccessful and disappointing and is still a challenge for dermatologists. This article focuses on the chemical compounds reported to be in depigmenting or skin lightening agents, their proposed mechanism of action, and their clinical efficacy in the treatment of melasma and hypermelanoses, mainly based on randomized clinical trials. It also reviews chemical peels and their indications, together with the possible uses of laser and intense pulsed light.
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