Hyperpigmentation can be a great cause of distress for people who suffer from it, as it tends to be visible on the face and body parts that are highly visible and hard to hide.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Types of hyperpigmentation.
- Age spots or liver spots, usually referred to as solar lentigines by doctors, are small, darkened patches of skin. They occur appear because of sun exposure on areas of skin that are frequently exposed to the sun, such as the face, hands and arms.
- Melasma or chloasma spots are similar to age spots in appearance, but they are larger and irregularly-shaped dark areas that can appear on the face or arms. Melasma is also called the “mask of pregnancy” as a high number of pregnant women are affected by this condition. Pregnancy can be a trigger for melasma, due to the hormonal changes that their bodies undergo and cause overproduction of melanin. Birth control pills can also cause melasma, as similar hormonal changes occur.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation happens when a skin injury or trauma is healed and leaves behind a discoloured area of skin. This is common among people who suffer from acne, and harsh cosmetic procedures (laser treatments, chemical peels) can also be the cause of this condition.
Causes of hyperpigmentation.
How to treat hyperpigmentation?
Creams with topical depigmenting agents.
- A prescription is needed in order to purchase creams with these ingredients.
- Hydroquinone is the most common ingredient used to treat hyperpigmentation. It fades the darkened patches by slowing the production of melanin.
- Kojic acid, which is an acid derived from a fungus that works in a similar way as the hydroquinone.
- Azelaic acid, although primarily developed to treat acne, it was discovered to be helpful in the treatment of hyperpigmentation.