Dark spots

How to Deal with Hyperpigmentation

Uneven skin tone, dark spots, blemishes – regardless of what you call it,
hyperpigmentation is a significant complexion killer.

Is an uneven skin tone giving you the beauty blues?

Or maybe an airbrushed finish sans dark spots is on your beauty wish list?

Many of us dream of flawless skin, but no perfect one exists.

Especially when you consider that there are 529 genes involved in pigmentary disorders.

Regardless of your colouring or ethnic background, hyperpigmentation is a real-life issue.

Why not join us on this journey as we uncover the science behind flawless skin.

So you can achieve a radiant complexion that is as vibrant as you are.

Understanding Hyperpigmentation

Welcome to the fascinating world of skin colouration and hyperpigmentation!

First, a definition pigmentation is caused when melanin (which gives our hair and skin colour) is overproduced in some regions of the skin, causing it to look darker than your natural skin tone.

Our skin’s diverse hues and tones result from complex biological processes orchestrated by melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells residing in the basal layer of the skin.

Through the synthesis of melanin, whilst under the influence of the enzyme tyrosinase, melanocytes shape the canvas of the skin, determining its colour from fair to deep; it also determines the colour of our hair and eyes.

While all skin types have a similar number of melanocytes, people of different ethnic backgrounds may possess genes that influence melanocytes to produce varying amounts of pigment, known as melanin.

Excessive melanin production leads to hyperpigmentation, which results in those troublesome spots that can appear on the face, hands and neck.

Phew, we appreciate that it’s a lot to understand, but the skin sciencey bit has to be understood so you can know how to get rid of those troublesome dark spots.

There are a couple of common causes: age spots on the skin that are often exposed to the sun; chloasma, usually caused by birth control hormones or pregnancy; and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which happens after a breakout or trauma to the skin once it heals and leaves behind a dark mark.

Types of Hyperpigmentation

There are the following pigmentation disorders:

Age Spots

Also known as sun spots or solar keratoses, these pigmented blemishes, which range from light brown to black, are associated with ageing and sun damage.

They typically appear in areas exposed to excess sunlight, such as your hands, face, and arms.

Freckles

Ephelides, or freckles, are small pigmented spots containing more melanin than the surrounding skin.

They are often considered an inherited characteristic due to overactive melanocytes and are more prevalent in those who possess a variant of the melanocortin-1 receptor gene.

Chloasma

Commonly occurring during pregnancy, chloasma is characterised by pigmentation in individuals with a genetic predisposition to overproduce melanin.

While these marks often disappear post-pregnancy, some may persist, appearing as a mask on the face or as a vertical line on the belly, known as “linea nigra.”

Melasma

We discuss the difference between general pigmented skin and melasma in detail here.

Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

PIH is caused by trauma to your skin, such as a burn, acne, or squeezing pimples. It is caused by an overproduction of melanin following inflammation.

Cytokines and inflammatory mediators have a stimulatory effect on melanocytes, leading to increased melanin production.

Inflammation may also destroy basal keratinocytes, accumulating pigment at the site of traumatised skin.

In the case of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The key is avoiding inflammation, so please don’t be tempted to squeeze your skin.

The Truth Behind Your Tan

UV exposure plays a significant role in why your skin becomes pigmented, and tanning is your skin’s natural response to sun exposure.

When UV rays penetrate your skin, they stimulate melanocytes to produce melanin, the pigment responsible for your skin’s colour; this process is regulated by an enzyme called tyrosinase.

As melanin is distributed evenly throughout your skin, the tan will develop gradually over a few days.

However, excessive UV exposure, particularly UVB rays, can lead to the overproduction of melanin, resulting in dark patches or uneven pigmentation on your skin’s surface.

Despite the initial appearance of your tan, melanocytes continue to produce melanin, and the tan may fade as your skin’s outer layer sheds.

This shedding process, known as desquamation, gradually removes the pigmented cells from your skin’s surface, leading to the fading of the tan over time.

While tanning may seem like a temporary solution to your uneven skin tone, it can cause dark spots, especially if your skin has been exposed to prolonged sun exposure.

This is why protecting your skin from UV rays with sunscreen and adopting sun-safe practices is so important.

Various treatments, such as topical creams, chemical peels, laser therapy, and microdermabrasion, help to improve, eliminate, and reduce hyperpigmentation. Our article “How to Lighten Skin” discusses these treatments in detail.

Note: Pigmented skin appears as brown patches, while skin cancer appears as red or brown lesions.

If you are concerned about pigmented lesions, we advise you to see a medical practitioner.

To conclude. The naked truth

Skin colouration and hyperpigmentation are very complex and governed by intricate biological processes within your skin.

Melanocytes, pigment-producing cells, play a central role in determining your skin’s colour by producing melanin under the influence of the enzyme tyrosinase.

While those of different ethnic backgrounds may possess genes that influence melanocyte activity and melanin production, factors such as diseases, hormonal changes, UV exposure, and trauma to the skin can contribute to excessive melanin production and hyperpigmentation.

Understanding the various pigmented skin types, including age spots, freckles, chloasma, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, can help you effectively identify and address your specific concerns.

UV exposure is a significant contributor; whilst initially, your tan may look healthy, it is actually a natural response to sun exposure.

Prolonged or excessive sun exposure can also cause dark spots and even skin cancer; therefore, sun protection measures, such as sunscreen and sun-safe practices, are essential for maintaining skin health.

Treatment options include topical creams, chemical peels, laser therapy, and microdermabrasion, all of which will help improve and even eliminate the dark spots in your skin.

If you are concerned about pigmented lesions on your skin, it is recommended that you consult with a medical practitioner for correct evaluation and guidance and to rule out any more severe conditions.

3 replies on “How to Deal with Hyperpigmentation”

am in dire need of your product please let me know when and where i can purchase it my daughter has hyperpigmentation she is 40 and she got it 9 yrs ago while she was pregnant

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