Hyperpigmentation is a medical term for darker spots on the skin. Excess melanin production, which can be caused by everything from acne scars to sun damage to hormone swings, causes these spots.
Know that you’re not alone if you’re battling with hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is a common skin problem for which there are a variety of treatment options.
Continue reading to discover more about your choices, including at-home products and what to anticipate from procedures such as microdermabrasion.
What causes skin pigmentation or dark spots
An increase in melanin causes hyperpigmentation. Melanin is a pigment found in our skin, hair, and eyes that gives them their color. Sun exposure, hormonal effects, aging, and skin injuries or inflammation are just a few of the variables that might cause an increase in melanin production.
Hyperpigmentation With Sun Exposure
Sun exposure is the leading cause of hyperpigmentation since it is sunlight that initiates the formation of melanin. Melanin protects your skin from damaging UV rays by acting as a natural sunscreen, which is why people tan in the sun. Excessive sun exposure, on the other hand, might interrupt this process, resulting in hyperpigmentation.
Once dark spots have formed, sun exposure can aggravate the problem by darkening age spots (or sun spots), melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation patches.
The number of melanin-producing cells (also known as melanocytes) in the skin diminishes as it ages, but the ones that remain grow in size and their dispersion becomes more targeted. The rise in age spots in people over 40 is due to several physiological changes. In skin aging, you may learn more about how skin ages.
Age And Hyperpigmentation
Hormones And Hyperpigmentation
Hormonal factors are the primary cause of melasma and chloasma, two types of hyperpigmentation. It’s more frequent in women, and it’s considered to happen when the female sex chemicals oestrogen and progesterone drive melanin overproduction when skin is exposed to the sun. Certain hormone therapies can also cause hyperpigmentation as a side effect.
After patients have experienced skin inflammation, their skin might darken in some areas. Acne, eczema, lupus, or a skin injury are examples of this. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is more common in those with darker skin.
When people’s hormones alter, darker patches of skin might appear. During pregnancy, this sort of hyperpigmentation is rather frequent.
Antimalarial medicines and tricyclic antidepressants, for example, can produce hyperpigmentation. Patches of skin may become gray in some circumstances. Hyperpigmentation can be caused by chemicals in topical treatments.
Addison’s illness and hemochromatosis are two more significant causes of hyperpigmentation. The adrenal glands are affected by Addison’s disease. Hyperpigmentation can occur in a variety of places of the body, including:
● Folds of skin
● Knees and elbows
● Inside of the cheek
Other Addison’s disease symptoms include:
● muscular weakness and exhaustion
● nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as weight loss and dizziness
● If you observe any of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor.
Hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder in which the body has an excessive amount of iron. Hyperpigmentation can occur, making the skin look darker or tanned.
If you detect any of the following hemochromatosis symptoms, you should consult your doctor:
● Weight loss
● Stomach ache
● Joint pain
Medical Hyperpigmentation Treatment
Despite the fact that hyperpigmentation is completely harmless, some individuals seek to be free of it. People might experiment with a variety of therapy options and home cures.
To avoid hyperpigmentation or to keep it from getting worse:
- Sun exposure should be avoided. To protect the skin and prevent hyperpigmentation from growing darker, use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Avoid picking at the skin. Picking at patches, scabs, and acne to prevent hyperpigmentation after an accident is a bad idea.
To lighten dark spots of skin and erase hyperpigmentation, people can attempt the following treatments
Topical therapies are commonly used to
treat hyperpigmentation. Ingredients that lighten the skin will be used in
topical treatments, such as:
● Azelaic acid
● Kojic acid
● Vitamin C
Creams for the skin
Some cosmetic treatments can also brighten
patches of skin to make hyperpigmentation less noticeable.
Hyperpigmentation can be treated with a
variety of cosmetic procedures, including:
- Microneedling Radiofrequency such as Sylfirm X, Potenza
- Pico Laser Therapy
- Intense Pulsed Light
- Chemical Peels
- Repair skin boosters ie. Rejuran Healer, PRP, Diamond Feel Treatment, Dermal Sign E+,
- Nutrient therapy including vitamin C, glutathione, amino acids
- oral supplements, nanoMD, Oral Heliocare, Oxithion.
A skin care professional, or dermatologist, should be consulted before undertaking one of these procedures to discuss the process and any side effects.
Pigmentation Treatment At Home
Natural therapies could potentially be able to help lighten hyperpigmented spots. However, no large-scale human trials have been conducted to establish the efficacy of any of these therapies.
If a person wants to attempt a new therapy or natural cure, they should first test it on a tiny patch of skin and cease using it if the skin becomes irritated.
In 2018, a review study was conducted. The following natural therapies may help to lessen the appearance of hyperpigmentation:
Aloesin, a chemical found in aloe vera, has been shown to help with hyperpigmentation. Aloesin acts by preventing melanin formation in the skin.
According to research , aloe vera capsules can help pregnant ladies with melasma.
Aloe vera gel can be applied directly to the skin on a regular basis. However, no studies have explicitly connected aloe vera to reduced regions of hyperpigmentation, therefore experts are unsure of the technique’s usefulness.
Aloe Vera Gel
Hyperpigmentation may be reduced by using licorice extracts. According to glabridin, a licorice extract, has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and skin-whitening properties.
People can apply lotions containing glabridin on regions of hyperpigmentation. Glabridin-containing products can be found at pharmacy shops and on the internet.
Green tea extracts have been shown to help with hyperpigmentation. Researchers have long researched green tea for its possible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities.
Green tea extracts have been shown to improve melasma and minimize sunburn in a small amount of studies. Before scientists can completely grasp if green tea can genuinely ease symptoms, more study is required.
Best Ways to Treat & Prevent Future Hyperpigmentation
Keep your skin moisturized to promote cell turnover.
While the primary purpose of hyperpigmentation treatment is to reduce the dark spots, a good OTC medication should also contain components that improve the skin in other ways. A good product will feature moisturizing ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, as well as retinol to stimulate cell turnover, in addition to treating pigment concerns. The active brighteners might operate more effectively because of the inactive components. A good moisturizer can also assist to rebuild the skin’s lipid (fat) barrier, which helps to protect it even more from the sun’s harmful rays.
Hands off Bug Bites Bug Bites, Blackheads, and Other Injuries
As tempting as it may be to scratch a mosquito bite or crush a stubborn blackhead, remember your mother’s advice and pay attention. Scratching and picking at a place will only exacerbate the inflammatory process that causes skin darkening. The more you muck with it now, the worse it will appear afterwards. The sooner you address hyperpigmentation, however, the easier it will be to remove it. Brown spots’ pigment might penetrate deeper into the skin with time.
Start with over-the-counter whitening products. By blocking tyrosinase, an enzyme responsible for the creation of skin-darkening melanin, treatments including substances like vitamin C, licorice root, and kojic acid can diminish hyperpigmentation. According to the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, other spot-eradicating components to look for in OTC remedies include hydroquinone, soy, arbutin, vitamin E, niacinamide, and n-acetyl glucosamine. It’s critical to carefully observe the packaging recommendations, as using too much of these items might irritate the skin. Also, be patient: OTC skin whitening medications can take weeks, if not months, to work.
Consider getting a prescription for stubborn skin discoloration.
If over-the-counter medicines aren’t working, it’s time to seek professional aid. Because it suppresses the formation of pigment, dermatologists regard prescription-strength hydroquinone, alone or in combination with other lighteners, to be the gold standard for lightening dark spots. It’s our go-to ingredient because, unlike many OTC medicines, it virtually always helps to reduce hyperpigmentation. Hydroquinone therapy, however, should be constantly managed by your dermatologist since high quantities might induce sun sensitivity and bleach the skin, she says.
Consult a dermatologist about high-tech alternatives.
If topical treatments aren’t working, ask your dermatologist about more aggressive treatments, such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or dermabrasion, or a laser or light-based therapy, according to the International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine. (There is one caveat: if you have melasma, lasers and chemical peels may exacerbate your hyperpigmentation.)
Take Action to Prevent or Minimize Damage in the Future
Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher every day, even on overcast or chilly days, is the most effective strategy to avoid sun-induced discolouration. UV rays just cause the pigment to go into overdrive, making dark areas even darker. In exposed regions, you must use sunscreen on a daily basis.
Note that SPF only pertains to UVB short-wave ray protection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using a product that includes Mexoryl, Parsol 1789, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or avobenzone to protect against UVA long-wave radiation.
According to the AAD, irritation can increase hyperpigmentation, especially melasma, so stick to moderate skin-care products that don’t sting or burn. You should also use acne medicine to treat pimples and insect spray to avoid bites to protect yourself against other typical skin-darkening factors.
Hyperpigmentation is a prevalent skin disorder that affects a wide range of people for a variety of causes. Age spots, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are all examples of hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation is a non-cancerous skin disorder that can be treated with cosmetic procedures, lotions, and home remedies. If a person sees additional symptoms in addition to hyperpigmentation, they should seek medical attention.
If a person wishes to cure hyperpigmentation for cosmetic reasons, they should consult a dermatologist, who can advise them on the most effective treatment options.