Hyperpigmentation can be a term for skin that appears darker than normal. It can happen:
- In small patches
- Large areas covered
- All aspects of the body
Increased pigmentation is generally not harmful. However, it may be a sign that you have another medical condition. Learn about the causes and treatment of hyperpigmentation.
There are many kinds of hyperpigmentation. Common ones include sunspots, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Melasma. Melasma can develop during pregnancy and is thought to be caused by hormonal changes. Hyperpigmentation may appear anywhere on the body but most often on the stomach and face.
Sunspots. Sunspots can also be called liver spots, solar lentigines, or liver spots. These spots are caused by excessive sun exposure. They are usually found on exposed areas such as the skin and the hands.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This happens when the skin is damaged or inflamed. Acne is a common reason for this type.
What are the signs and risk factors?
Hyperpigmentation manifests itself in darkened skin patches. These patches can appear anywhere on the body, and they can be large or small.
Inflammation and sun exposure is the most important risk factors for general hyperpigmentation. Both of these situations can increase melanin levels. You are more likely to develop skin pigmentation if you have been exposed to the sun for a longer period.
Depending on the type and severity of the condition, there may be other risk factors for hyperpigmented spots.
- Contraceptive use of oral contraceptives or pregnancy, as seen in melasma
- A darker skin tone is more vulnerable to pigmentation changes.
- You can increase your sensitivity towards the sun with drugs
- Trauma to the skin like a superficial burn or wound,
How is hyperpigmentation diagnosed?
A dermatologist will diagnose the root cause of hyperpigmentation. The dermatologist will review your medical history and perform a physical exam to determine what is causing it. A skin biopsy can sometimes be used to pinpoint the problem.
Hyperpigmentation may be treated by topical prescription medication. This medication often contains Hydroquinone which lightens skin.
The skin can darken if it is used for too long without stopping. You should only use topical Hydroquinone under the guidance of a dermatologist. This will ensure that the medication is not adversely affected.
The use of topical retinoids is also a great way to lighten dark skin spots.
It can take up to a year for both of these drugs to lighten darkened spots.
Some home care services may include over-the-counter medications that can lighten dark areas. These medications do contain less Hydroquinone than prescription medications.
Sunscreen is also an important part of home care. Sunscreen is the most important factor for improving hyperpigmentation. It would help if you looked out for:
Use a physical blocking sunscreen, with zinc oxide as the main active ingredient.
At least 30 to 50 SPF
Sunscreen should be applied daily. Apply sunscreen every two hours if you are outside in the sun. If you swim or sweat, you should apply it more often.
Also, there are skin disorders that may cause hyperpigmentation.
If this is the case, you should look for a mineral sunscreen that contains iron oxide. This can block some visible sunlight. Use daily. Wear sun-protective clothing, which is SPF-infused.
Your doctor might recommend laser treatment or chemical skin peels to reduce hyperpigmentation, depending on the source.
What are the prospects for hyperpigmentation?
Some dark areas may fade by themselves if they are protected from the sun. In some cases, who may require more aggressive treatment. Even with treatment, it is not guaranteed that the dark spots will disappear completely.