Have you ever had those dark patches on your face or body? Do they annoy you? Well, these dark patches can be a cause of hyperpigmentation. Making these dark patches invisible with makeup can be dreary. Hyperpigmentation is a very common skin issue and can be caused by numerous reasons. Causes of hyperpigmentation can range from sun damage to hormonal imbalances, hyperpigmentation is caused due to internal as well as external factors.
Getting rid of hyperpigmentation is not quick. However, today, there are many over the counter topical ointments and treatments can fade away from your dark patches. So, are you curious to know more about hyperpigmentation?
Read on to find out!
What Is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation occurs when your skin produces excessive melanin. Now, what is melanin? Melanin is the pigment which gives colour to the skin. More production of melanin may make particular spots and areas of the skin appear darker than the encompassing areas of the skin. Types of hyperpigmentation constitute age spots, melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Different types of hyperpigmentation require different types of treatments and products.
Also read: Potato For Dark Spots: Yay Or Nay?
Hyperpigmentation can affect people of all skin types. Hyperpigmentation occurs on the spots where there is more sun exposure on the skin which includes face, arms and legs. Other types of hyperpigmentation include injury or skin inflammation which can occur anywhere on the body. Hyperpigmentation isn’t necessarily a condition but it is a term that describes the skin that appears darker than the surrounding area.
Hyperpigmentation can occur in small patches, cover larger areas or even affect the entire body. Hyperpigmentation isn’t usually harmful but it can be a sign of an underlying condition.
Causes of Hyperpigmentation
As we’ve read earlier, hyperpigmentation is caused by an increase in melanin. There can be various reasons why there is an increase in the production of melanin. Melanin is produced by skin cells known as melanocytes. Many different conditions and factors can affect the production of melanin in your body. Here are some of the common causes of hyperpigmentation:
Sun exposure is one of the most prominent causes of hyperpigmentation. The sunlight can trigger the production of melanin. Melanin which acts as a natural sunscreen for your skin by protecting it from harmful UV rays but exaggerated sun exposure can lead to disruption of this process, causing hyperpigmentation.
Hormones play an important role in the balancing pigmentation of your skin. Hormonal influence can cause a particular type of hyperpigmentation called melanoma which is more common in women. This occurs when estrogen and progesterone enable the overproduction of melanin which causes dark patches on the skin.
As your skin ages, the melanin-producing cells decrease but the remaining cells increase in size and the distribution of these cells is more. That is why the dark spots increase in those over 40. Skin ageing is another common cause of hyperpigmentation.
Injuries and inflammation
Any skin injury or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation such as cuts, burns, chemical exposure, psoriasis, acne or dermatitis can also cause hyperpigmentation. Skin is darkened and discoloured after the injury or wound is healed.
Certain medications or Diseases
Hyperpigmentation can be a symptom of certain illnesses, for example, autoimmune diseases and gastrointestinal diseases, metabolic disorders and vitamin deficiencies. Another probable cause is the consumption of certain medications like chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics and anti-seizure drugs.
Treatment options available for hyperpigmentation
Dark patches and spots due to hyperpigmentation can be very annoying but do you know that there are many hyperpigmentation treatments available to effectively get rid of those dark patches and spots. Here are some of the most common hyperpigmentation treatment available for you to try out:
Lightening creams and Acids
The key to using these creams and acids is consistency or religiously applying these creams or serums to see the results. Here are some common types of creams and acids used for hyperpigmentation treatment:
- Hydroquinone: It is a skin lightening agent and reduces the amount of melanin in the skin.
- Azelaic Acid: Azelaic acid treats discolouration and acts as an exfoliator for your skin to treat hyperpigmentation.
- Kojic Acid: Kojic acid is another skin lightening agent which is derived from a fungus. It impedes the production of melanin.
- Retinoids: Retinoids are an amazing anti-ageing skincare product which can help in ageing signs as well as skin lightening.
- Vitamin C: Hyperpigmentation due to sun exposure can be reduced by the use of vitamin C as it is a powerful antioxidant which can hinder the production of melanin.
- Niacinamide: Niacinamide increases the production of collagen in the skin and helps in treating hyperpigmentation.
Another common type of hyperpigmentation treatment is cosmetic procedures which are performed by a professional dermatologist. Here are some common types of cosmetic procedures done to treat hyperpigmentation:
- Chemical peels: it includes using chemicals like glycolic acid or lactic acid to remove the top layers of the skin along with hyperpigmented skin.
- Laser Therapy: This procedure is usually done when the hyperpigmentation is rooted deeper in the skin. It involves removal of epidermal layers of the skin with light beams.
- Microdermabrasion: it involves using handheld machines attached to an abrasive and rolled on the skin to remove the top layer of the skin to remove hyperpigmentation.
If you have some dark patches which won’t go, you can try some home remedies to remove hyperpigmentation at home. So you might give these a try:
- Aloe Vera: Using aloe vera before sleeping and rinsing it in the morning can help reduce hyperpigmentation. Repeat using it every day until you see visible changes.
- Green Tea: Green tea contains polyphenols which can help inhibit melanin production. You can use many products which include green tea extract in it.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which can lighten the pigmentation. Combine equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water. Apply it to your dark patches and leave it on for 2-3 minutes.
This was all about hyperpigmentation and its treatment options. There are several treatment options and home remedies available for you to try getting rid of Hyperpigmentation, do not forget to try them!
Also read: 10 Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Acne Scars