Hyperpigmentation is a state of the darkening skin caused by excess melanin production. Hyperpigmentation includes melasma, age spots, acne scars, and other dark scars and blemishes. The dark patches can form on the legs, hands, or any other region of the body, although they are most commonly seen on the face.
Melasma, also known as ‘mask of pregnancy,’ is caused by excess estrogen and is often seen in pregnancy or women taking birth control pills. Melasma will usually disappear after pregnancy or when a woman stops taking hormonal contraceptives, but there are many other forms of hyperpigmentation which are not so easy to get rid of, and a little effort is needed to remove the dark marks.
It has been studied that hyperpigmentation can take place on all skin types, it is usually seen in those with darker skin tones.
Causes Of Hyperpigmentation
1. Birth Control Pills and Pregnancy
During pregnancy and taking birth control pills, some women develop a form of hyperpigmentation called melasma. It is usually found in people with darker skin but usually disappears after the pregnancy or when you cease to take birth control pills.
2. Exposure to the sun
This is the most common cause of hyperpigmentation and one that can be prevented. The ultraviolet rays of the sun will enhance the production of melanin in the skin, thus causing you to tan. However, if you have been overexposed throughout the years, this out of control production often results in dark spots on the face or hands. It usually occurs later in life, so they are often called age spots.
3. Acne, Eczema or Scarring
Hyperpigmentation can also occur if you have severe acne or eczema when you have picked at the scabs or acne before they are healed. It can also occur if the skin has suffered from a burn or another bad injury like a cut or exposure to chemicals. These are known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and usually, occur while the skin is healing. These can last for a year or more and sometimes are permanent reminders of your ordeal.
4. Illnesses and Other Conditions
Sometimes hyperpigmentation occurs during some diseases such as autoimmune diseases or when taking certain medications such as antibiotics. It is usually temporary and goes away when you are no longer taking medicine, or your condition improves. It has been known to occur during chemotherapy or if you have a vitamin deficiency or metabolic disorder.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is caused by skin damage or inflammation, such as wounds, burns, chemical exposure, acne, atopic dermatitis, or psoriasis, as the name implies. After the wound has healed, the skin becomes darker and discoloured.
5. Age and hyperpigmentation
The number of melanin-producing cells (known as melanocytes) in the skin diminishes as it ages, but the size of the remaining cells grows and their distribution gets more exact. The increase in age spots in adults over 40 is due to several physiological changes.
Read also: How To Remove Dark Spots on Face Naturally
The Role of Melanin in Skin Complexion
Melanin is a pigment found in the skin that can range in hue from white to pink to olive to dark brown. UV rays are one of the most potent stimulators of melanin formation. While you relax and enjoy the sun’s warmth, they work deep within your skin to bring melanin to the surface through a four-step process known as melanogenesis.
UV rays penetrate the epidermis and induce tyrosinase and its mediators, especially UVB rays. Tyrosinase is the major enzyme that causes melanin to be produced in cells called melanocytes. Melanin is then transmitted to keratinocytes, which then move to the skin’s surface. The melanin-laden keratinocytes colour the epidermis before disappearing with the skin’s natural regeneration.
Signs and Symptoms of hyperpigmentation
Certain factors can trigger the symptoms of hyperpigmentation, such as certain kinds of detergents and soaps, coarse clothes, some chemicals, weather conditions like heat and humidity, and smoking.
The symptoms of hyperpigmentation can appear at any place on the body, but mostly on the face, forearm, behind the elbow, upper chest, neck, ankles and the knees. Toddler hyperpigmentation treatment depends on the seriousness of the symptoms. Typically, the symptoms of hyperpigmentation first appear on the cheeks of infants or toddlers.
The signs and symptoms of hyperpigmentation can vary from one person to another depending on the type of hyperpigmentation they are suffering from. However, most hyperpigmentation patients seem to have the symptoms of itchy and dry skin patches.
Some people may suffer from oozing lesions or blisters. The other symptoms can typically include the development of thick crusts, scaling, flaking, and exfoliation of skin, raised surface areas, pinkish or reddish bumps, and hives. Appropriate hyperpigmentation treatment can alleviate almost all these symptoms.
How long does it take hyperpigmentation to fade
The healing phase varies widely based on your skin color, the intensity of your post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, the therapies you choose, and the consistency with which you use them. Hyperpigmentation spots can sometimes last a long time or even be permanent. Some people, particularly those with darker complexion, require a minimum of 3-6 months of treatment before seeing substantial results.
Does vitamin C help with hyperpigmentation?
Vitamin C is a must-have for your facial routine and maintenance, according to specialists. Its rejuvenating and energising characteristics stimulate collagen production, restoring your skin’s brightness. Despite the fact that it can be found in a variety of foods (orange, blackcurrant, kiwi, etc. ), only a little amount of the vitamin is absorbed and acts on the skin.
Vitamin C protects your skin from pollution, the sun, and stress, and thereby slows down the ageing process. It improves the shine of your skin while also reducing the appearance of wrinkles. When it comes to adding vitamin C to your daily routine, it’s natural to be undecided between creams, oils, and serums. Serums are recommended since they are specifically formulated to have a higher and more active vitamin content.
Ascorbic acid (or L-ascorbic acid) is certainly the best known form of vitamin C. Ascorbic acid has been the subject of numerous studies on its skin benefits and is often used in the composition of cosmetic products. Ascorbic acid in high concentrations (15% and more) is ideal for stubborn skin concerns. We offer 2 concentrations of vitamin C: Super Booster C15 (15% stabilized ascorbic acid) to be used all over the face and Super Booster C25 (25% stabilized ascorbic acid) for areas where skin problems are more persistent.