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What to know about hyperpigmentation

By Medical News Today
What to know about hyperpigmentation picture

Hyperpigmentation is the name that healthcare professionals give to patches of skin that become darker than surrounding areas of skin.

Types of hyperpigmentation include age spots, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

What is hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin produces more melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. This can make spots or patches of skin appear darker than surrounding areas.

Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition. It affects people of all skin types.

Some forms of hyperpigmentation, including melasma and sun spots, are more likely to affect areas of skin that face sun exposure, including the face, arms, and legs.

Other types of hyperpigmentation form after an injury or skin inflammation, such as cuts, burns, acne, or lupus. These can occur anywhere on the body.

Having extra pigment in some areas of skin is usually harmless but can sometimes indicate another medical condition.

How to get rid of hyperpigmentation

Although hyperpigmentation is harmless, some people wish to get rid of it. There are a range of possible treatment methods and home remedies that people can try.

To prevent hyperpigmentation, or to stop it becoming more prominent:

  • Avoid exposure to the sun. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect the skin and stop hyperpigmentation from becoming darker.
  • Avoid picking at the skin. To prevent hyperpigmentation from forming after an injury, avoid picking at spots, scabs, and acne.

People can try the following treatments to lighten dark patches of skin and remove hyperpigmentation:

Topical creams and supplements

Many people use topical and oral treatments to treat hyperpigmentation. Topical/oral treatments will include ingredients that lighten the skin, such as:

  • Glutathione
  • Kojic acid
  • Sepiwhite
  • Vitamin C
  • Alpha Arbutin
  • Niacinamide
  • Mulberry extract
  • Licorice extract

 

Causes of hyperpigmentation

The cause of hyperpigmentation depends on the type. The most common causes of hyperpigmentation are:

Sun exposure

The body produces more melanin to protect the skin from prolonged exposure to the sun. This can cause dark spots or patches on the skin called age spots or sun spots.

Skin inflammation

Areas of skin can darken after people have had inflammation of the skin. This can include acne, eczema, lupus, or an injury to the skin. People with darker skin are more likely to develop post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Melasma

Darker patches of skin can form when people experience hormonal changes. This type of hyperpigmentation is common during pregnancy.

 

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