Hyperpigmentation refers to the darkening of the skin in certain patches or areas. This could come about due to several reasons. In the following sections, we will understand what this condition entails, what causes it, and the treatment forms of the same.
Some people have certain dark patches on their skin or have certain areas of their skin which are noticeably darker than the rest of their body. This condition is called hyperpigmentation of skin and could be caused by several factors. The skin cells called melanocytes are responsible for producing melanin. It is this melanin that determines the color of the skin. When the melanin is produced in normal levels, the skin color remains even throughout the body, but when there is excessive production of melanin, it causes hyperpigmentation in children and adults (especially in the old). This condition could also affect the people of any race.
One of the main causes of hyperpigmentation is overexposure to the sun’s harmful rays. When the melanocytes come in contact with the sun’s ultraviolet rays, they begin to produce more melanin to protect the skin from the UV and UVB rays―thus increasing the levels in the body and leading to tanning, causing hyperpigmentation on the face as well as peeling of skin. It also results in production of age spots, dark spots or liver spots and makes the existing spots look even more pronounced.
The other prominent reason that is responsible for this condition is hormone imbalance. A change or imbalance in the hormonal levels usually result in melasma or chloasma spots to appear. These spots generally spread over a larger area of skin and resemble dark spots. There are several conditions which can result in these hormonal changes. One of the main reasons is pregnancy which results in a drastic change in hormonal levels. Other than that, there could be slow metabolism, menopause, and irregular menstruation which could all lead to change in hormonal levels and cause hyperpigmentation.
Skin Disorders and Inflammation
There are several skin disorders, problems, and conditions which could all lead to hyperpigmentation. Certain problems like acne, eczema, and other skin rashes can lead to the inflammation of skin and leave in its wake dark spots. Other than that, there might be several bruises and cuts that can cause damage to the skin, and when healed leave behind scars that are dark and of a different color than the rest of the skin.
Medication and Other Conditions
Certain medication forms like birth control pills for example, have seen to leave dark skin patches around the body. In such a case, discontinuing the same has shown great results. Other than that, many deficiencies, gastrointestinal diseases and other diseases are known to lead to this skin condition.
- Chemical peels
- Laser skin resurfacing
- Creams and bleaches
- Certain home remedies that use natural products like aloe vera, potato and lemon juice.
There are several forms of hyperpigmentation treatment that can be carried out, though the results vary from person to person. For some, certain methods work wonderfully, while for others they only fade the existing spots and make them lighter.
Hyperpigmentation of skin can be caused by several factors, as we have seen. The point is to understand what causes this condition and then try to prevent it in the first place with effective skin care. And if the condition still makes way then one can always opt for one of the above mentioned treatments and find a viable solution for themselves.