What is it

Hyperpigmentation is quite common and describes dark patches or spots that appear on the skin. 

What causes it 

Hyperpigmentatios is caused by different factors like sun exposure, hormonal changes, acne scaring, skin injuries, inflammation or age.

Sun exposure is the main factor of hyperpigmentation which triggers the production of melanin as a natural sunscreen to protect the skin from harmful sun rays. Sun spots are mainly seen on area often exposed to the sun like the face, neck, decolletage , arms and hands. 

Woman on the beach

Another form of hyperpigmentation is melasma, triggered by hormonal fluctuations. It appears in larger patches developed mainly on the face and caused by overproduction of melanin when exposed to the sun.

Acne, cuts, burns, chemical peels, dermatitis or psoriasis causes hyperpigmentation as well. Skin is left darkened and discoloured after healing. 

Age is another cause for skin pigmentation. Melanocytes (cells that produce melanin) renewal decreases and the older cells increase in size creating a more focused distribution of colour causing age spot. Sun exposure will increase the colour and formation of age spots. 

Treatment and prevention

The best way to prevent skin pigmentation is using sunscreen and creams high in antioxidants like Vitamin C, E and Grape seed extract which protect skin cells from damage caused by sun exposure and oxidation. 

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