Hyperpigmentation happens when the skin delivers more melanin, the shade that gives the skin its tone. This can make the spots or spots of the skin appear darker than the surrounding areas. Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition. It affects people of all skin types.
A few types of hyperpigmentation, including melasma and sunspots, are bound to influence territories of the skin that are presented to the sun, including the face, arms, and legs. Other types of hyperpigmentation form after an injury or dermatitis, such as cuts, burns, acne, or lupus. These can occur anywhere on the body. The excess pigment in some areas of the skin is usually harmless but can sometimes indicate another medical condition.
Symptoms and risk factors
Dark areas on the skin are the main symptoms of hyperpigmentation. The spots can vary in size and develop anywhere on the body. The biggest risk factors for general hyperpigmentation are exposure to sunlight and infections, as both conditions can lead to increased melanin production. The more sun you are exposed to, the greater the risk of increased skin pigmentation.
Depending on the type of disorder, other risk factors for hyperpigmentation spots may include:
- Use of oral contraceptives or pregnancy, as shown with melasma
- The darker the complexion, the more prone to pigmentation changes
- Medicines that increase your sensitivity to sunlight
- Trauma to the skin, such as a wound or superficial burn injury
Causes of hyperpigmentation
The cause of hyperpigmentation depends on the type. The most common causes of hyperpigmentation are:
The body produces more melanin to protect the skin from long exposure to the sun. This can cause dark spots or spots on the skin called aging spots or sunspots.
Areas of the skin can darken after people have had dermatitis. This can include acne, eczema, lupus, or a skin injury. People with darker skin tone are more likely to develop post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Dark patches of skin can form when people experience hormonal changes. This type of hyperpigmentation is common during pregnancy.
Reactions to drug use
Some medications can cause hyperpigmentation, such as anti-malarial drugs and tricyclic antidepressants. In these cases, the patches of skin may turn gray. The chemicals in topical treatments can sometimes cause hyperpigmentation.
More genuine purposes of hyperpigmentation incorporate Addison’s infection and hemochromatosis. Addison’s illness influences the adrenal organs. It can cause hyperpigmentation in specific zones of the body, including:
- Folds of skin
- Arches and knees
- Inside the cheek
Other symptoms include Addison’s disease:
- Muscle fatigue and weakness
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Weight loss
- Stomach pain
An individual should see a specialist on the off chance that they notice any of these indications. Hemochromatosis is an inherited condition that causes the body to have too much iron. It can cause hyperpigmentation, which makes the skin appear darker or tan. A person should see a doctor if they notice the following symptoms of hemochromatosis:
- stomach pain
- Weight loss
After careful questioning about possible causes, such as iron overload or medications that darken the skin, some tests may be indicated, which include:
- Adrenal gland function tests
- Thyroid function tests
- Skin biopsy
There is a wide scope of depigmentation medicines utilized for hyperpigmentation, and reactions to the vast majority of them are variable.
The treatment of hyperpigmentation caused by the overproduction of melanin (such as melasma, acne scarring, and liver spots) often includes the use of topical depigmentation agents, which differ in their effectiveness and safety, as well as in prescription rules. Many of them are found only by prescription in the United States, especially in high doses, such as hydroquinone, azelaic acid, and kojic acid. Some are available over the counter, such as niacinamide or cysteamine hydrochloride.
Hydroquinone was the most common treatment for hyperpigmentation before long-term safety concerns were raised, and its use is becoming more regulated in many countries and is not generally promoted by the World Health Organization. For the United States, only 2% is sold without a prescription, and 4% needs a prescription. In the European Union, the use of hydroquinone in cosmetics has been banned.
Oral medications combined with procyanidin plus vitamins A, C, and E are also showing promising results as being safe and effective for melasma. In an 8-week randomized, double-blind, double-blind trial in 56 Filipino women, treatment was associated with significant improvements in left and right areas of malaria, and it was safe and well-tolerated. Other treatments that do not contain topical agents are also available, including fractional laser and skin resurfacing.
It is not always possible to prevent hyperpigmentation. However, you can protect yourself by:
- Utilize a sunblock with an SPF of in any event 30
- Wear hats or clothing that blocks sunlight
- Avoid the sun during times of the day when it is at its strongest, which is usually 10 AM-4 PM.
Avoiding certain medications may also help prevent hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation is generally not harmful and is not usually a sign of a serious medical condition. In some cases, the darkened areas will fade on their own with good sun protection. In other cases, more aggressive treatment is needed. There is no guarantee that the dark spots will completely disappear, even with treatment.