Hyperpigmentation is a name for a number of conditions that cause patches of your skin to become darker. It is most common on the face but can also occur on the hands, chest, arms, and legs.
there are different treatment options. The good news is that hyperpigmentation is not in itself harmless and is not painful.
Hyperpigmentation occurs when your skin produces an excess amount of melanin, a darker skin pigment, in concentrated areas. There are a number of factors that can trigger this melanin production. The most common are sun exposure, hormones, and injury to the skin. However, less common causes such as chemotherapy and Addison’s disease can also lead to hyperpigmentation. Some people may be more genetically predisposed to skin darkening than others.
Hyperpigmentation is not dangerous and is usually not a sign of more serious underlying conditions. If you develop a form of hyperpigmentation, you shouldn’t worry. However, if you want to get rid of hyperpigmentation, there are a number of treatment options available to you.
Hyperpigmentation is a category that includes a few different kinds of skin darkening. The causes and symptoms of each are slightly different.
Age spots (sun spots, liver spots, solar lentigines): these are a common skin condition as you age. They develop from sun exposure over time and, unlike freckles, do not fade as sunny weather disappears. They appear as large brown or tan spots on areas that get lots of sun exposure, such as the face and hands.
Melasma: melasma appears as a group of freckles or darker patches, usually on the face. Unlike age spots and freckles, these are not triggered by the sun, but by hormonal changes. Melasma typically occurs during pregnancy or while taking birth control pills, and it is most common in women of color.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: this is skin darkening that occurs after any trauma or inflammation of your skin. It can develop as a result of acne, burns, cuts, or lupus anywhere on the body. If you notice dark patch in the same area as a previous skin condition that doesn’t fade within a couple of weeks, it may be post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
If you are concerned about hyperpigmentation, or if you have already experienced it and are trying to prevent another flare-up, there are some steps you can take to prevent hyperpigmentation from occurring.
Wear sunscreen: because hyperpigmentation is very often linked to sun exposure, the best think you can do is to wear sunscreen every day. Look for a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and make sure you’re wearing it on both your face and your body when you’ll be outdoors.
Protect your skin: you can also protect your skin from excess sun exposure by wearing hats and long-sleeved clothing when you know you will be in the sun.
Avoid triggering medications: some people develop hyperpigmentation, particularly melasma, linked to hormonal changes that result from taking birth control pills. If this happens to you, you can consider switching to a different method of birth control.
If you are frustrated with your hyperpigmentation, you don’t have to live with it. If you’re looking to remove hyperpigmentation in Houston, give us a call to book a consultation today.