Hyperpigmentation: What Causes Skin to Darken?
For starters, let’s clear your first doubt that comes in when you read this title. What is meant by dermatology?
Dermatology focuses on the skin. It is the diagnosis and treatment of skin, hair and nail disease. It involves the study and research of health conditions that may affect the skin.
Not only the skin is the largest organ in our body, but also a barrier that protects itself from internal injuries as well as bacteria. Dermatology is an essential part of medical science too since it directly treats the condition that affects your skin.
Hyperpigmentation is a common skin disease that is dealt with by countless people. Even though it is harmless, it can have a major impact on how you look and feel about yourself. Not to forget, it might also make you feel uncomfortable in public situations.
Having hyperpigmentation just means you cover them with makeup or something but it’s a temporary solution. These appear as dark patches on the skin that makes your skin look more uneven than usual.
It gives the appearance of some areas being darker than the rest. Being a common skin complaint, it can also cover large patches or cover smaller areas and can be spread out anywhere in your body.
Technically speaking, hyperpigmentation is easily treatable but the patchiness it produces in the skin becomes unbearable. It’s safe to say that with the best-personalized hyperpigmentation solution, you only need to worry about what you look like since it does not cause any long-lasting health issues or internal damage.
With each and everything has its types, hyperpigmentation is no exception too. Like anything else, it is of different types too. Some of which you might be aware of, and some of which you’ll hear for the first time in this blog. Each one differs in some way or another – like they have different causes, can have different looks and even include treatment accordingly.
Most likely, this condition affects women rather than men. Also known as, ‘chloasma’, it causes patches of discolouration that is usually darker than the usual skin tone. They look like brown to blue-grey spots like freckles and can be seen on your face specifically cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose and upper lip.
Although it mostly occurs in women around 20 – 40 years of age, it is most common in people who are tan or have naturally brown skin tone.
This condition is mostly found in people who are over 50 but people who are light skin tone are also prone to it. Other names of it are ‘liver spots’ and ‘solar lentigines’, it is most likely to show up in places that are exposed to sun rays, such as the back of hands and face.
With the shape of round, oval or irregular, these appear as flat patches that may be tan, brown or black in shade. Even if you aren’t 50 and above or have a light complexion but spend a lot of time under the sun, then sunspots can catch you easily.
Post – Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
PIH is basically skin darkening that persists after a wound has healed. It’s the skin’s natural reaction to irritation. The most common symptom of PIH is a flat spot of discolouration on the skin.
Depending on your skin tone, these can appear white, pink, red, purple, brown or even black. Even though it can develop in each skin type, people who have medium-dark skin tone are inclined to face it. This condition can occur on any area of the body unlike the other two.
There are not one, two or three but a lot of factors that contribute and give rise to hyperpigmentation in anyone.
The main factor that causes hyperpigmentation is the overproduction of melanin. Melanin, a natural skin pigment that affects the skin, hair and eye colour of a person.
If you’ve experienced any of these just know that hyperpigmentation can come at you anytime –
Excess Sun Exposure
It can be said that sun exposure is the first and biggest cause of hyperpigmentation. What triggers the production of melanin is sunlight. Although melanin acts as a natural barrier to harmful ultraviolet rays, extreme sun exposure can produce more melanin that causes hyperpigmentation.
As weird as it may sound, after any skin inflammation the skin cells react to it and produce more melanin. The production of more melanin ends up causing hyperpigmentation. An example of it is Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation. It is usually triggered right after a skin regenerates itself from inflammation.
Certain medical conditions are there that lead to hyperpigmentation. Cancer is one of them. There is also a possibility of medicines leading to hyperpigmentation. Other examples are Addison’s disease and diabetes as these two can overproduce melanin resulting in hyperpigmentation.
Another extremely common factor that can lead to hyperpigmentation is pregnancy. In this condition, since there is a steep rise in the level of estrogenic and progesterone, there is also an increase in the production of melanin. A type of hyperpigmentation known as ‘melasma’ or ‘mask of pregnancy’ is an example.
Getting rid of hyperpigmentation is a personal choice. You can always cure it and continue to live with it because it is harmless, depending upon you. You might be wrong if you think the treatment options are not easy, not affordable or trustworthy.
There are plenty of ways in the market to achieve that clear skin tone and I’m sure you can find one according to your liking from the list below.
Chemicalpeels obtain better results when under guidance. It uses acids at stronger concentration to treat the problematic area. They work by peeling off the top layer or the skin or epidermis and thus reduce dark patches. Since it’s a powerful solution, it also provides quick results.
This type of treatment uses beams of light to reduce hyperpigmentation. Lasers can remove the layer of your skin and it can also target the top layer to induce collagen growth. Both works fine depending on the severity of the problem.
This treatment is used for people who are suffering from hyperpigmentation that has only affected their top layer / epidermis. It uses a special tool that gently swipes away dark patches present and renews overall skin – texture.
Face acids sheds or exfoliated the top most layer of the skin. Also known as skin acids, these even out your skin tone. New skin cells emerge by using acids such as AHA, glycolic acid, kojic acid, salicylic acid and much more.
Retinoids are derived from Vitamin A. They contain smaller molecules within themselves that allows them to penetrate deep within the skin layers and treat nicely. Although these are not the first line treatments for hyperpigmentation, it’s a decent option to be considered.
Can Dermatological procedures be considered to cure hyperpigmentation?
Yes, of course it can. In fact, it is one of the best methods to go for to treat such cases since you’ll always be under guidance and have support until you need it.
A dermatologist will examine your skin nicely based on your skin type, health, your daily dose of medicine, inshort, everything that is related to your lifestyle will be taken into consideration.
Dermatologist helps you analyse the cause of your skin problems and even tell you about the treatment options available. It’s worth consulting a dermatologist since you get to know every detail – time required to treat, cause and type of problem and you get the right course to treat it.
The Cura Team is such an example. With a group of certified dermatologists, we examine your skin really well and that helps us to cure it nicely and you to achieve your desired result.
Being as affordable as we could be, we give you customised skincare consultation that help you with your problematic areas which are based and made according to you.