Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition that causes the skin to darken and is characterized by the appearance of darker skin relative to the surrounding skin tissues. It can occur in small patches, cover large areas, or affect the entire body.
There are many types of Hyperpigmentation, the most common kinds are characterized by excessive amounts of melanin, the component of the skin that is responsible for skin pigmentation.
Too much melanin leads to hyperpigmented skin, common examples of which include freckles and age spots. Hyperpigmentation can result from sun exposure, trauma to the skin, a medical condition, or as a side effect of certain drugs. While hyperpigmentation is not a serious medical condition, you may want to seek treatment for cosmetic reasons.
Symptoms and Causes of Hyperpigmentation
Darkened areas of the skin are the only symptoms of hyperpigmentation. Patches can vary in size and can develop anywhere on the body. However, there are several causes:
- Heredity. Most especially in the case of birthmarks, and taking into consideration race and natural skin color, some skin types are more prone to photoaging skin compared to other skin tones. There are several studies that have compared the photosensitivity of different people with different skin colors. For example, one study found that the skin’s photosensitivity is determined by skin color and, in particular, people who have darker skin tones where higher levels of melanin can already be found, are more vulnerable to different types of hyperpigmentation.
- Natural aging. Senescence simultaneously affects the efficiency of the body’s functional mechanisms in general, that includes possible irregularities in melanin formation, and even immune response which can also contribute to the formation of dark skin patches.
- Excessive and unprotected sun exposure. This is, by far, the most common cause of different types of hyperpigmentation issues. When UV rays strike the skin, your body automatically responds by producing more melanin and sending these to the surface, to rescue your skin from damage. This is exactly why your skin darkens when you are sunburned.
- Stress and Sleeplessness. One of the little recognized cause of hyperpigmentation on face is stress which is usually accompanied by sleeplessness
- Hormonal changes. Excessive melanin formation can be triggered by hormone fluctuations due to pregnancy. This condition causes chloasma, dark underarms and darker skin on the neck and joints during pregnancy.
- Skin damage. As part of your body’s natural mechanism for healing, your body releases more melanin to support skin healing following wound and acne scarring. In more medical terms, this is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). In some cases, the darker skin eventually evens out with surrounding skin. Other times, it may not.
- Medications. Taking certain drugs, including birth control pills, anti-malarial drugs, and cancer chemotherapy drugs, can also cause a spike in melanin formation.
Different Types of Hyperpigmentation
- Melasma is believed to be caused by hormonal changes and develops during pregnancy. Areas of hyperpigmentation can appear on any area of the body. They appear most commonly on the abdomen and face.
- Sunspots, also called liver spots or solar lentigines, are common. They’re related to excess sun exposure over time. Generally, they appear as spots of hyperpigmentation on areas exposed to the sun, like the hands and face.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a result of an injury to the skin.
Prevention and Treatment
Home care also includes using sunscreen. It’s not always possible to prevent hyperpigmentation. However, using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 can help, as can wearing hats or clothing that block sunlight and avoiding the sun during the hottest times of the day. Also, The Flawless Facial System COMPLETE will transform your skin by clearing acne and hyperpigmentation for good! Adding 2 serums to your regimen quickly remove acne scars (hyperpigmentation). Formulated with acne-fighting powers of honey, aloe, turmeric and more, to improve skin's health and create a natural balance in your skin to solve acne problems for good.