What Is Hyperpigmentation - Causes & Treatments Tips
The effort to cover up dark patches with makeup can be tedious! Thanks to sun damage, acne scarring and hormonal imbalances, dark patches or hyperpigmentation has become a common issue today.
What Is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition where patches of the skin are darker than the rest. Dark patches on the face, neck and around mouth are formed due to deposits of extra melanin - color producing pigment
When pigment producing cells (melanocytes) are damaged, they produce more melanin that bundle together. Clusters of melanin on certain parts of the skin lead to dark patches or hyperpigmentation. It can occur on any skin type and age group, but is generally harmless.
Causes Of Hyperpigmentation
- Sun exposure
- Skin Inflammation
- Age spots or solar lentigines
- Certain drugs
Common Types Of Hyperpigmentation And Their Symptoms
It is important that you understand the different forms of hyperpigmentation before we dive into the treatments for each of them.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) occurs as a result of a skin injury, acne or injury due to procedures like chemical peels, dermabrasion and laser therapy due to an increased production of melanin. The patches can appear pink, red, brown or black in color.
Solar lentigines (age spots or liver spots) and melasma manifest on parts of the skin exposed to sun. When the skin is exposed to the harmful UVA and UVB rays, it triggers melanocytes to produce more melanin as a defence mechanism. High levels of melanin leave discolored patches on the skin.
Melasma also occurs due to hormonal changes in pregnant women (also called mask of pregnancy). Age spots [are usually a result of photoaging - sun damage that accelerates skin aging process.
Tips To Prevent Hyperpigmentation
- Wearing sunscreen is the number one preventive measure for hyperpigmentation. Pick a broad spectrum sunscreen and apply it 20 minutes before you go outdoors.
- Wear hats, sunglasses and protective clothing while you are outdoors to protect the skin from the harsh rays.
- Pay attention to your skin care routine. Incorporate a mild exfoliating cleanser containing salicylic acid (beta hydroxy acid). Use a good moisturizer for hydration and to prevent further development of acne.
There are many treatments available from Topical Creams and Gels, Serums and expensive cosmetic treatments.
Another popular treatment is the use of Glutathione Supplementation
Glutathione is an antioxidant naturally found in human cells that neutralizes free radicals, boosts the immune system and detoxifies the body. It can also cause skin lightening by converting melanin to a lighter color and deactivating the enzyme tyrosinase, which helps produce the pigment
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