Hyperpigmentation is the name that healthcare professionals give to patches of skin that become darker than surrounding areas of skin.
Types of hyperpigmentation include age spots, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Each of these has different cause and a range of treatments and products, including creams and cosmetic procedures. We discuss these below.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is when patches of skin appear darker than the surrounding skin.
Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin produces more melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. This can make spots or patches of skin appear darker than surrounding areas.
Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition. It affects people of all skin types.
Some forms of hyperpigmentation, including melasma and sun spots, are more likely to affect areas of skin that face sun exposure, including the face, arms, and legs.
Other types of hyperpigmentation form after an injury or skin inflammation, such as cuts, burns, acne, or lupus. These can occur anywhere on the body.
Having extra pigment in some areas of skin is usually harmless but can sometimes indicate another medical condition.
How to get rid of hyperpigmentation
Although hyperpigmentation is harmless, some people wish to get rid of it. There are a range of possible treatment methods and home remedies that people can try.
To prevent hyperpigmentation, or to stop it becoming more prominent:
Avoid exposure to the sun. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect the skin and stop hyperpigmentation from becoming darker.
Avoid picking at the skin. To prevent hyperpigmentation from forming after an injury, avoid picking at spots, scabs, and acne.
People can try the following treatments to lighten dark patches of skin and remove hyperpigmentation:
Many people use topical treatments to treat hyperpigmentation. Topical treatments will include ingredients that lighten the skin
Some cosmetic procedures can also lighten areas of skin to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
Cosmetic procedures for hyperpigmentation include:
Intense pulsed light
People who are considering undergoing one of these procedures should discuss the process and possible side effects with a skin care specialist, or dermatologist.
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