Sunday, March 15, 2015

Hyperpigmentation



People who are always exposed to the sun, particularly those of Asian, African, Latin or Mediterranean origins, have greater risks of getting hyperpigmentation, a condition characterized by darkening of the skin.

Dermartologists say hyperpigmentation is due to overproduction of the skin pigment called melanin. 


Melanin, which is produced by melanocytes, is the pigment that gives color to the skin, eyes 

and hair. There is hyperpigmentation when melanocytes become hyperactive and produces 

more melanin.

Hyperpigmentation may be present in any part of the body such as the face, hands (particularly 

the back part) and neck. This condition is very common and harmless but some people consider 

it as a nuisance, especially those who are meticulous about their skin.

Aside from excessive sun exposure, hyperpigmentation is also due to hormonal changes, 

heredity, frequent picking at the skin, inflammation, injuries and intake of certain medications like antibiotics, anti-seizure drugs or those used for hormone treatments.

There is also post inflammatory hyperpigmentation when a pimple, acne, a cut, simple abrasion or even a minor injury left a mark on the skin, which appears darker than the other parts of the 
skin.
There are also certain dermatological laser procedures that can result to hyperpigmentation.
Among the skin conditions that show signs of hyperpigmentation include freckles, stain, dark circles under the eyes, sun spots or age spots (freckles caused by sun exposure) and tan.


Pregnant women are also prone to developing hyperpigmentation called melasma, which is also known as “pregnancy mask.”

Melasma is primarily due to hormonal changes during pregnancy. It is characterized by splotchy and pigmented skin condition in the face, neck and back. It usually fades away after the woman gives birth.

There are certain diseases and skin conditions that have been associated with hyperpigmentation. Among these are tinea fungal infections like ringworm, mercury poisoning resulting from topical application of ointments or skin whitening creams that contain mercury, acanthosis nigricans or hyperpigmentation of intertriginous areas due 

to insulin resistance, smoker's melanosis, celiac disease, aromatase deficiency, Nelson's 

syndrome, Grave's disease, haemochromatosis (a genetic disorder characterized by a chronic 

accumulation of iron in the body), Addison's disease, linea nigra (hyperpigmented line in 

the abdomen during pregnancy) and exposure to certain chemicals like salicylic acid. 

Dermatologists say there is actually no cure to hyperpigmentation. However, there are 

treatments that can lighten the affected area of the skin.

Among the recommended treatment is the use of skin care products that contain 

hydroquinone, tretinoin (Retinol), kojic acid, ascorbic acid or vitamin C, azelaic acid, licorice extract and topical glucocorticoids.

Skin care products that contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic and lactic acid are also recommended to treat hyperpigmentation.



Alpha hydroxy acids remove the buildup of dead cells in the surface of the skin that have been stained with pigment, resulting to the lessening of the skin’s discoloration. Dermatologists also recommend exfoliating regularly to get rid of dead skin cells.

But the best way to prevent getting hyperpigmentation is to avoid exposure to the sun or if this cannot be avoid, apply sunscreen with SPF 15 every day before going out.

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