Most women have pigmentation on their skin, especially once they reach 30. This usually happens due to an excess of melanin production. Nevertheless, melanin production may go askew, leaving the skin with dark patches. These patches are what we call hyperpigmentation. This particular skin condition can be so tenacious at times. Luckily, it is controllable. Yes, there are treatments for hyperpigmentation. Scroll through this article, and you’re sure to learn a lot about hyperpigmentation. Not only that, we also included some way to treat it. So sit back, relax and enjoy the read!
Hyperpigmentation: What Is this Skin Condition?
Hyperpigmentation is the discoloration of skin, which may result in the onset or development of some dark spots or patches on the skin. The area that’s affected may appear to be darker than the rest of the skin. Furthermore, this may get worse when the patient exposes him/herself to the sun. Actually, the term hyperpigmentation is a broad name. Any skin discoloration that’s due to acne blemishes, freckles which became sunspots, or darkening of the skin because of eczema and psoriasis all fall under the term hyperpigmentation.
All of the aforementioned skin conditions may boost the production of melanocytes, cells which form melanin. This, in turn, may increase the production of melanin in the skin. Remember, excessive amounts of melanin in the skin may get dumped into deeper levels of the skin, hence causing hyperpigmentation. When exposed to sunlight, these spots may flare up and get worse.
Moreover, hyperpigmentation may develop for various reasons. It has various signs and symptoms, which we are going to discuss below.
Types, Causes, and Symptoms of Hyperpigmentation
The condition is divided into three major types, depending on what causes it.
- Sunspots or Sun Damage
Extreme exposure to sunrays is the most common reason why people develop hyperpigmentation. If you are in your early 30s and developed the skin condition, bear in mind that the process had already begun when you were a teenager.
These sunspots are usually light brown in color and typically appear on the hands, chest, neck and face. These are the body parts that are most commonly and frequently exposed to UV rays. Those who have light-to-medium skin tones may develop freckles, and they may even acquire darker ones when continuously exposed to the sun.
- PIH, or Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
This condition may result from skin inflammation or trauma like severe acne, eczema or psoriasis. These skin illnesses may increase the production of pigments in the skin, thus causing dark spots. This particular type of hyperpigmentation can affect people with any kind of skin. Nevertheless, it is more prevalent in those who have darker skin tones.
- Patches grow darker when exposed to sunlight
- Black or light brown lesions may appear
- Pigments may appear after injury or inflammation heals
- Patches may appear on an area where skin is inflammed
This type of hyperpigmentation is more common in women with a darker skin tone than in men. This particular discoloration of the skin may occur in various parts of the face, which is why it is not that easy to treat.
- Patches appearing on the neck and forearms
- Patches appearing on the cheeks, chin, nose bridge and forehead
- Symmetrical patches
- Patches on the facial skin
Treatments for Hyperpigmentation
Here are some of the treatments for hyperpigmentation:
Topical Treatments for Hyperpigmentation
- Dimethylmethoxy Chromanyl Palmitate. This is a brightening agent used in treating pigmentation. This is safe and effective to use for hyperpigmentation.
- Kojic acid. This is a non-toxic bleaching agent, which may give satisfactory results when lightening dark spots on the skin.
- Retinol acid. Both the retinol acid peels and creams may be effective in lightening dark spots. Both may disperse the melanin pigments and lighten the spots.
- Chemical peels. Chemical peels are beneficial in treating hyperpigmentation. A lot of clinical trials suggest this to treat the condition.
- This is one of the best treatments for hyperpigmentation. It helps reduce hyperpigmentation as well as prevent discoloration of the skin.
Over-The-Counter Treatments for Hyperpigmentation
OTC treatment is also available for hyperpigmentation patients. However, some of the creams are stronger and you’ll need a doctor’s prescription in order to get one. The most common over-the-counter creams for hyperpigmentation include:
- Licorice extracts
Other Treatment Options for Hyperpigmentation
There are various facial processes that dermatologists may perform on the skin to treat hyperpigmentation. One of the most common options is laser treatment. Laser resurfacing treatment uses light beams to remove or peel the skin’s surface. This procedure removes the topmost layer of the skin. In order to achieve the desired result, you will need multiple sessions.