What Causes Hyperpigmentation?

What Causes Hyperpigmentation?

Dark spots seem to appear out of nowhere and with all of the skincare products available to tackle this problem you would think all causes could use the same solution! Sometimes that’s not the case, so we’ve put together a list for you to help you understand where these spots are coming from and how to make them fade away. 

Melasma, which often appears on your face and stomach, is a form of hyperpigmentation caused by hormonal changes. This usually happens during pregnancy or while taking hormonal birth control pills. These large darker patches of skin usually disappear once hormones return to normal levels, but if not, treatment for this type of hyperpigmentation is the same as the other kinds. 

Hyperpigmentation is most commonly caused by excess melanin production and can happen in a concentrated or diffused area of the body. As you age, melanocytes (the cells that produce melanin) are less regulated and that’s why dark spots appear more often. This can be treated with certain prescriptions like Hydroquinone or with regular skincare containing Azelaic Acid or Niacinamide.

UV light exposure is the cause for sunspots or hyperpigmentation you get from being outside for too long. These brown, black, or tan spots are found on hands, face, or other places that have been exposed to the sun often and will fade with normal hyperpigmentation treatment. If you don’t currently have dark spots from sun exposure, the best way to prevent this is to always wear sunscreen and UPF rated clothing to protect your skin. Melanin is a result of your skin trying to protect itself from sun damage and keeping it covered is the best way to help it out!

Surprisingly, common medications such as ibuprofen in some cases can cause hyperpigmentation on the extremities if you have a bad reaction to it, but with other medications, this can be a typical side effect. Certain antimalarials and psychotropic drugs can give your skin a blueish tint, so check with your physician about skin color changes before trying hyperpigmentation treatments because in these cases, skincare will not help you go back to your normal hue.

Inflammation or acne is a major cause of hyperpigmentation for lots of women and is the most straightforward to manage and avoid almost entirely. As always, we suggest not picking at your skin as much as possible to eliminate intentional injuries and to include anti-inflammatory ingredients like Licorice or Green Tea Extract to help calm your skin.    

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