Hyperpigmentation is the production of excess melanin causing dark spots on the skin. Age spots, freckles, sun spots, pregnancy mask are all types of hyperpigmentation and there are several treatments available to reduce dark patches on the skin and promote skin lightening. Furthermore, hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition. It affects people of all skin types.
Some forms of hyperpigmentation (skin darkening), 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 (skin darkening) form after an injury or skin inflammation, such as cuts, burns, acne, or lupus. These can occur anywhere on the body. Indeed, having extra pigment in some areas of skin is usually harmless but can sometimes indicate another medical condition.
What are the reasons behind hyperpigmentation?
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.
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.
Darker patches of skin can form when people experience hormonal changes. This type of hyperpigmentation is common during pregnancy.
Reactions to drug use
Certain medications, such as antimalarial drugs and tricyclic antidepressants, can cause hyperpigmentation. In these cases, patches of skin may turn gray.
More serious causes of hyperpigmentation include Addison’s disease
Addison’s disease affects the adrenal glands. It can cause hyperpigmentation in certain areas of the body, including:
folds of skin
elbows and knees
Furthermore, hemochromatosis is an inherited condition that causes the body to contain too much iron. It can cause hyperpigmentation, making the skin appear darker or tanned.
How to get rid of hyperpigmentation?
To prevent hyperpigmentation, you need to:
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.
Cosmetic procedures for hyperpigmentation include:
intense pulsed light
People who are considering undergoing one of these procedures should discuss the process and possible side effects with a skin care specialist, or dermatologist.
Home remedies for hyperpigmentation
To start with, aloesin, a compound that is present in aloe vera, may lighten hyperpigmentation. Aloesin works by inhibiting the production of melanin in the skin.
People can apply aloe vera gel from the plant directly to the skin daily. However, no research has directly linked aloe vera to reduced areas of hyperpigmentation, so scientists do not yet know the effectiveness of using this technique.
Licorice extracts may lighten hyperpigmentation. Research suggests that a licorice extract called glabridin can have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and skin-whitening effects.
Green tea extracts may improve hyperpigmentation. Researchers have long studied green tea for its potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
How is hyperpigmentation prevented?
It’s not always possible to prevent hyperpigmentation. However, you can protect yourself by:
You must use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 as stated above.
Try to wear hats or clothing that block sunlight.
Avoid going out when the sun becomes harsh during the day, which is typically 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Avoiding certain medications may also help you to prevent hyperpigmentation.
Skin lightening products — also known as bleaching creams, whiteners, skin brighteners, or fading creams — work by reducing a pigment called melanin in the skin. Most people who use lighteners do so to treat skin problems such as age spots, acne scars, or discoloration related to hormones.