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What is hyper-pigmentation and how to avoid it?

What is hyper-pigmentation? Why it happens? How hyper-pigmentation can be avoided? If you are looking for answers to these questions then you are at the right place since we will be exploring this topic at greater depth in the following sections and find all the answers.

What is hyper-pigmentation?

Hyper-pigmentation is a condition where skin color darkens and gets dark patches or spots. This happens in situations where a person has more melanin in his or her body. Melanin is a brown pigment which is responsible for producing normal skin color and in hyper-pigmentation, melanin forms deposits within the skin.

It is worth mentioning here that, melanocytes are the cells that are present in skin’s outermost layer (called the epidermis) and these are the cells that produce melanin.

Addison’s disease, pregnancy, and similar other conditions often result in hyper-pigmentation. In addition, another reason for such hyper-pigmentation is sunlight exposure that makes parts of skin darken and are commonly known as age spots.

Why sunlight exposure results in hyper-pigmentation?

The function of melanin is to absorb harmful UV rays and protect our skin from UV over exposure. The result is skin tanning, that causes darkening of sections of skin which are already hyper-pigmented.

What are the different types of hyper-pigmentation?

Inflammation | Sun Spots | Melasma | Medical Conditions

  • Inflammation: Hyper-pigmentation can be the result of skin trauma like scrapes, cuts, bug bites, eczema, acne, etc. that cause inflammation and leave behind dark spots when the injury heals.

  • Sun Spots: Over exposure to sunlight results in development of sun spots or hyper-pigmentation in exposed parts such as face and hands.

  • Melasma: It is believed that hormonal changes result in melasma such as during pregnancy. Such hyper-pigmentation can show up in any part of the body. But, commonly it shows up on face and stomach.

  • Medical Conditions: Hyper-pigmentation can occur in some diseases like Addison’s disease. It is a disorder of the adrenal gland and results in increased production of melanin.

How to avoid hyper-pigmentation?

There are different things you can do to avoid hyper-pigmentation that results because of sun exposure.

  • Use a SPF30 sunscreen that can block both UVB and UVA, even when it is rainy or cloudy.

  • Wear clothing and hats which help in blocking sun light.

  • Avoid going into sun when it is shining brightly, such as between 11 A.M. and 4 P.M.

  • Avoid picking at acne, scabs, spots, and other skin problems.

A Final Note

As we can see, hyper-pigmentation can happen because of several reasons. By following the above mentioned tips you will be able to avoid the problem of hyper-pigmentation.

But, if you are already suffering from this problem, topical solutions are not giving desired results, and it is becoming more severe, then consulting an experienced and qualified dermatologist will be the right thing to do. A dermatologist will be able to evaluate severity of the problem and suggest a treatment methodology that will be helpful for you.

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