Hyperpigmentation

What is Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is a condition that produces abnormal discolorations on the skin. This prevalent condition can occur in all skin types, genders and ethnicities. It's most common in middle-aged individuals and sun worshipers.

One of the most common occurrences of hyperpigmentation is caused by sun-related UV exposure, which causes the overproduction of melanin (skin color). Melanin rises to the surface of the epidermis, thus creating a dark spot or dark patch on the skin. Sunbathing, tanning beds and sunscreen avoidance are all responsible for this type of hyperpigmentation. Over time, exposure produces Lentigines (liver spots), age spots and dark spots. Other forms of hyperpigmentation, such as Melasma, are caused by a hormone imbalance, primarily occurring during pregnancy. Melasma is referred to as the pregnancy mask, because it can appear in large patches on the face. Melasma can also be caused by certain forms of birth control and various hormonal issues. It's most common in women, but a small percentage of men can get Melasma as well. Melasma can also be caused by a genetic trait, passing from one generation to the next, female and male alike.

Hyperpigmentation is not physically harmful, but it does initiate self-conscience behavior and, at times, it can be difficult to treat. Whenever melancytes (cells that are the origin of melanin/skin color) become compromised in any way, they engage in the production of hyperpigmentation. Post-inflammation from acne lesions, skin wounds or even a rash can also trigger the overproduction of melanin, causing discoloration in the skin. Additionally, any other damaging, ongoing trauma to the skin tissue can produce post-inflammation hyperpigmentation.

Treatment for hyperpigmentation varies, depending on specific forms/types, skin color and ethnicity. Proper skincare regimens and professional-grade skincare products are highly beneficial when addressing hyperpigmentation issues and long-term prevention. Products containing appropriate and specific ingredients to target hyperpigmentation can be very effective at lightening and eventually eliminating patches and spots of discoloration. Melasma can be a little more difficult to treat and because it's a hormonal issue, treatments may need to be addressed internally as well as topically.

Medical treatments from a dermatologist or from plastic surgeons usually entail more aggressive and invasive treatments, such as lasers, prescription medications and chemical peels of varying percentages and strengths. These treatments often have down time associated with them and they can, in some cases, cause more damage to the skin. They can even make the hyperpigmentation more prominent. So, professional skincare product use is a safer bet.

Professional-grade skin care products have ingredients that can treat hyperpigmentation disorders, but product treatments often take more time to lighten the area of discoloration. When it comes to lightening skin discolorations, it's very important to always use an SPF to protect the skin from further UV damage. It's best to discuss options, ingredients and a proper-use protocol with a professional esthetician for a daily skin-lightening regimen.

Each level/form of hyperpigmentation is discussed in greater detail in this section of skin conditions. 

Choose a category below for FAQs on specific hyperpigmentation conditions and ingredient/product recommendations. 

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Winter is the time to lighten dark spots

When it comes to treating hyperpigmentation (dark spots and dark patches) it's always best to plan out an effective skin treatment plan. Professional Skincare Products are the biggest part of any treatment, but a complete regimen that is applied consistently, results in better looking skin. When done correctly, skin is left refreshed and protected. Winter season is the best time to plan a skin lightening and treatment program. Many factors combine to help lighten skin in the winter. Layers of clothing can protect the skin from being exposed, while staying indoors and early sunsets can help with reduced sun exposure....

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