What is Hyperpigmentation? The Condition Unwrapped
Hyperpigmentation is a harmless skin condition where patches of skin are darker than others. In most cases, these dark spots are caused by excess melanin production, which is the skin’s defense against harmful forces like acne and sunlight. Hyperpigmentation can affect absolutely anyone on any part of their body, regardless of age and race, although it may be more prominent in teens as well as the elderly on places like the face and neck.
The Four Categories of Hyperpigmentation
Lentigenes – this category consists of hereditary freckles, passed down to you from your parents’ genes. You can blame genetics for this one.
Solar Lentigenes – commonly called “sun spots”, this category covers types of hyperpigmentation caused by the sun. As mentioned above, melanin is the skin’s defense against what it deems harmful, the sun being the typical culprit. To give some insight, melanin is the pigment that gives you a tan, so if you go out to get some sun, you are really just combating your skin’s self defense mechanism into reproduction.
Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation – also called “acne scars”, this type of hyperpigmentation is the result of trauma on your skin inflicted by acne or other blemishes. If you suffer from post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, you know that acne is relentless, so getting rid of this type of hyperpigmentation can be difficult and a long process.
Melasma – Melasma is common among pregnant women, and is caused by a hormonal imbalance in the body. Since the cause is hormonal imbalance and not pregnancy, it can be found in just about anyone. This type of hyperpigmentation usually shows up on the face around the cheek, nose, and forehead regions.
Simple Ways to Prevent and Get Rid of Hyperpigmentation
Protect yourself from the sun – too much melanin is the cause of hyperpigmentation, so protection yourself from the sun will slow down your skin’s melanin production. It helps to wear sunscreen of an SPF 30 or higher, and stay out of the sun when possible.
Take care of your skin – keeping your skin clean and fresh through exfoliation helps break down the buildup of grime on your skin, making hyperpigmentation less visible and less likely to occur in the first place. If you are prone to hyperpigmentation caused by acne, be gentle when exfoliating so you don’t aggravate your skin and make it worse. If you are in this position, consider using a foaming cleanser for your skin instead of a harsh exfoliator.
If you’re already fighting hyperpigmentation, then this site (Pure HNB) is full of helpful tips and tricks to aid you in battle. But first, let’s understand what the process is to truly get rid of hyperpigmentation.
To truly rid yourself of those ugly skin spots, what you need to do is decrease melanin production and increase your cell turnover rate. The melanin reduction part is simple: follow the tips above and limit sun exposure. Increasing your cell turnover rate means you need to shorten the amount of time it takes for your skin cells to fall off and be replaced.
The sooner these dark skin cells can be shed and replaced with lighter new ones, the better. The one problem is that this step is a little trickier. A sure-fire way to tackle this is by buying a fast-acting, over-the-counter product like Alchimie Forever Pigment Lightening Serum or Meladerm Cream.
If worst comes to worst and neither time nor these medications can help you, you should turn to a dermatologist and ask about laser treatment. During the procedure, concentrated amounts of energy are sent into the dark spot and the melanin in those dark spots defends the skin from damage. In turn, the melanin patches are broken down and they will fade much sooner.
Hopefully these tips will help you in your struggle against hyperpigmentation. Make sure to check out some of the other articles on this website to get some more in depth tips and tricks to stop hyperpigmentation for good.