Skin hyperpigmentation

What Is Skin Hyperpigmentation?

Skin hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition characterized by an increase in pigment production in certain areas of the skin. This causes those areas of skin to appear darker than the surrounding skin. This condition can affect people of all skin tones and genders, though it is more common in people with medium to darker skin tones. The most common forms of hyperpigmentation are melasma, sun spots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Common Causes of Skin Hyperpigmentation

Skin hyperpigmentation can be caused by a variety of factors, including sun exposure, hormones, genetics, and inflammation. The most common causes of skin hyperpigmentation include:

  • Sun Exposure – Exposure to UV rays can activate melanin production, leading to the development of skin discolouration.
  • Hormones – Hormonal changes, such as those caused by pregnancy, the use of contraceptive pills, and menopause, can trigger an increase in melanin production.
  • Genetics – This condition can be hereditary, passed on from either parent to their children.
  • Inflammation – Skin inflammation or skin trauma can cause an increase in melanin production, leading to the darkening of the affected area.

Tips to Prevent and Treat Skin Hyperpigmentation

The following tips can help to reduce the risk of developing skin hyperpigmentation and can also be used to treat existing discolouration:

  • Wear High Factor Sunscreen – Always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher when outdoors or exposed to the sun. Be sure to re-apply frequently.
  • Cover Up – Wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses when outdoors and exposed to UV rays.
  • Use Skin Lightening Products – Products containing hydroquinone, kojic acid, and/or retinol can be used to help fade dark spots and lighten skin in affected areas.
  • Visit a Skincare Professional – Dermatologists can provide treatments such as chemical peels, laser therapy, or microneedling.

Skin hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition that can affect people of all skin tones. While it may not always be possible to prevent hyperpigmentation, following these tips and seeking professional help from a dermatologist may help reduce the severity of discolouration.