Your Most Burning Questions About Hyperpigmentation

 Questions About Hyperpigmentation

Your Questions About Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a blanket name for different skin conditions that occur when your skin produces excess melanin. This results in patches or spots which appear darker than the other surrounding areas.

Parts of the skin which are mostly exposed to skin-damaging factors such as your face, arms, legs, and neck are the ones most affected. 

So, what really bugs you most about hyperpigmentation?

Pay attention; below, we have answered your most burning questions about hyperpigmentation.

What Are The Different Forms Of Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation exists in a variety of forms; the classification mainly depends on the causes and other related factors. The most common forms of hyperpigmentation are melasma, age spots, sun spots, dark spots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

What Causes Hyperpigmentation?

While all forms of hyperpigmentation are linked to excess melanin production, the triggers definitely vary. Here are the most common causes of hyperpigmentation.
  •  Exposure to the sun- Exposure to the sun makes the skin produce more melanin to protect the skin from UV radiation. When the exposure is prolonged, it leads to the formation of patches and dark spots on the skin also known as sunspots.
Wide brim hats
Wear a hat to protect the skin from exposure to the sun
        •  Skin inflammation- This is a biological response of your immune system to harmful stimuli such as infections, skin injury, pathogens, and allergic reactions. This response causes overproduction of melanin which concentrates on the injured part of the skin. Unfortunately, it remains long after the skin is healed, hence the name post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).
        • Reactions to drug use- Certain medications such as antimalarial drugs, topical treatments (in some cases), and iron supplements can lead to hyperpigmentation. In such cases, skin patches turn gray.
        • Hormonal imbalance- This is actually considered the main cause of melasma, a form of hyperpigmentation that affects 90% of pregnant women. It is also common in women who use hormonal birth control pills.
        Other minor causes of hyperpigmentation are genetics and nutritional deficiencies.

        How Can You Prevent Hyperpigmentation?

        Having learned of the causes of hyperpigmentation, avoiding it should be easier.

        Here are a few pointers:

        • Wear protective sunscreen: Using SPF 30 sunscreen on a daily basis is crucial in preventing skin hyperpigmentation. If you are sweating or coming into contact with water, it is necessary to reapply. The best sunscreens are those that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and offer protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
        Sunscreen helps to protect the skin
        • Exfoliate your skin regularly: The buildup of dead skin cells can also cause hyperpigmentation. Exfoliating one to three times per week will help in their removal which brings about new fresh cells that improve your skin tone and texture.
        Exfoliating mask
        Exfoliating mask
        • Avoid exposure to the sun: This goes without saying as the UV rays and the heat from the sun are the main causes of inconsistent skin color. Consider wearing clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat and long-sleeved shirts even when you wear sunscreen.
        • Protect your skin from injuries: While some injuries to your skin may just find their way to you, avoid those that you can. This will keep away PIH. For example, if you take part in activities where your skin (face) is exposed, wear protective gear.
        • Treat acne: using the right medication to avoid the formation of dark spots.

        How Can Hyperpigmentation Be Treated?

        Naturally, hyperpigmentation is very treatable by using both short-term treatment and long-term ones. Different treatments and procedures are known to give great results.

        Here are the best treatments for hyperpigmentation;

        • Laser therapy- a modern skin treatment method for treating skin flaws using a microscopic laser that destroys blemished skin and triggers the skin to regenerate.
        • Tropical treatments- creams or serums that contain active ingredients that lighten the skin. The active ingredients can be natural or synthetic.
        • Microdermabrasion- a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that uses tiny crystals emitted through a wand or a diamond tip to exfoliate your skin. It helps in removing dead cells, debris, and impurities that cause hyperpigmentation to reveal fresh and lighter skin.

        Which Types of Hyperpigmentation Are harder To Treat and Why?

        Image source: Depositphotos

        Melasma is one type that is hard to treat. It causes brown or gray patches on the skin. Melasma can sometimes fade on its own for example when a woman gives birth or when one stops using birth control pills. However, it can also affect someone for years or even for a lifetime especially when it is dermal. The best shot in such cases lies in reducing hyperpigmentation and preventing further darkening.

        This can be achieved by combining sun protection and using treatments to improve it. Stopping the use of hormonal birth control or waiting till you give birth to treat can also help.

        The Take-Away

        The above FAQs about melasma are meant to let you in on as much about hyperpigmentation as possible. Armed with this information, you can now understand what hyperpigmentation is all about, the causes, how to treat it, how to protect yourself from either getting it and if you are already suffering, how to stop your situation from becoming worse.

        Author: Peris Wanjiru is a freelance writer who enjoys writing on beauty, skincare, and wellness but also provides ghostwriting services across other niches. She is a former English teacher with a great love for reading. She is one of the writers at 

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