Hyperpigmentation and melasma is caused by sun damage while melasma is due to hormonalHormonal changes in women during pregnancy.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition where there’s a slight change or deviation from your normal skin tone to a darker and uneven skin tone.
This is essentially the overproduction of melanin on the skin. It manifests itself in dark spots and patchy, uneven skin and is caused mainly by over-exposure to UV rays.
There’s also the skin trauma caused by acne or a wound – post-inflammatory.
Hyperpigmentation – where the skin overcompensates during the healing process by producing so much melanin it leaves scars.
Hyperpigmentation can be as a result of many factors such as sun exposure, chemically formulated skincare products, misuse of healthy skincare products and wrong abuse of lightening products.
Averagely, 3-10 peoples suffer hyper pigmented skin in their life time.
Hyperpigmentation: Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
This is a commonly found among acne sufferers, they mostly experience post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
hyperpigmentation occurs when a skin injury or trauma heals and leaves a mark of discolouration behind. It can be due to cosmetic procedures such as dermabrasion, laser treatment and chemical peels.
Hyperpigmentation vs melasma
Hyperpigmentation is similar to melasma.
The formal is a skin condition that is sun related while melasma is a condition of the skin due to Hormonal changes common in pregnant women.
Melasma – is common during pregnancy
It also called chloasma, melasma is a condition where larger patches of hyperpigmentation develop mainly on the face.
This is not just peculiar with the female gender, it can affect both men and women, melasma is most common in women and usually triggered by changes in hormonal levels.
Melasma occurs in 10–15 percent of pregnant women and in 10–25 percent of women taking oral contraceptives and is sometimes referred to as “the mask of pregnancy”
Hyper-pigmentation can occur in any part of your body that is susceptible.
Symptoms of hyper-pigmentation
- Uneven skin tone
- Dark areas of the skin
- Patches of vary sizes
- Skin redness / psoriasis
- flushing of the skin
Temporary cover up
Yes, you can cover up the discoloration with makeups by applying concealers and foundations. but, come to think of it, how long will you keep hiding with the aid of makeups? like all women, I don’t want to hide.
We want to be happy with and in our skin. Hyperpigmentation is a beast.
You have to treat it with care and attack it from all sides with a healthy products.
What causes and/or triggers hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation activate increase in melanin. Melanin is the natural pigment that gives our skin, hair and eyes their color.
A number of factors can trigger an increase in melanin production, but the main ones are sun exposure, hormonal influences, age and skin injuries or inflammation.
Facial/ body oils and hyperpigmentation
Topical us of oils on your skin does not darken the skin itself.
Certain oils on the other hand can increase photosensitivity or sun sensitivity when exposed to ultra violet rays, when this occurs there’s a greater chance of sun burn occurring and hyper pigmentation.
Natural oils such as almond oil, coconut oil can tan your skin. So, wearing almond oil and going out in the sun can greatly tan and darken your skin.
But almond oil is very beneficial otherwise! This seems to be the case with coconut oil as well.
So if you want to enjoy the benefits these oils, apply them during the night. Stay away from them in the day time. I recommend the use of oils for night only.
Sun exposure and hyperpigmentation
Sunlight triggers melanin production and is the number one cause of hyperpigmentation
Melanin acts as your skin’s natural sunscreen by protecting you from harmful UV rays, which is why people tan in the sun.
But excessive sun exposure can disrupt this process, leading to hyperpigmentation especially with no sunscreen worn.
Once dark spots have developed, sun exposure can also exacerbate the issue by making age spot or sun spot, melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation spots even darker
Hyperpigmentation and hormones
Hormonal inbalance are the main cause of a particular kind of hyperpigmentation known as melasma or chloasma.
It’s particularly common among women and is thought to occur when the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone stimulate the overproduction of melanin when skin is exposed to the sun.
Hyperpigmentation can also be a side effect of certain hormone treatments.
Hyperpigmentation and age
As skin ages, the number of melanin-producing cells (known as melanocytes) decreases but the remaining ones increases in size and their distribution becomes more focused.
These physiological changes explain the increase of age spots in those over 40.
Hyperpigmentation, skin injuries and inflammation
post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs following skin injury or inflammation such as: cuts, burns, chemical exposure, acne, Atopic Dermatitis or Psoriasis.
Skin is left darkened and discoloured after the wound has healed.
Hyperpigmentation, disease and medication
Hyperpigmentation is also symptomatic of certain illnesses such as some auto immune and gastro intestinal diseases, metabolic disorders and vitamin deficiencies.
It can also be triggered by certain medications such as chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, anti malarials and anti-seizure drugs.
Nevertheless, there are products you can use to keep up the good work at home.
Get a cleanser that contains AHAs or BHA such as glycolic, salicylic and lactic acids are all great for resurfacing, de-clogging and brightening the skin.
Skincare products with antioxidants, anti aging and vitamin C (great for brightening) does make a difference to the skin.
Brightening mask enriched with turmeric, green tea, licorice can also add significant benefits in treating hyperpigmentations of the skin.
The final step is a sunscreen. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day can help to prevent hyperpigmentation on the face.
Boring? yes, but if you put in all the aforementioned work without using a sunscreen then you are just wasting your time; those dark spots will just come back much worse.
An over production of melanin can be down to genetics, hormones and age but the biggest enemy is still sun exposure.