Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area of skin or nails caused by increased melanin. Hyperpigmentation can be diffuse or focal, affecting such areas as the face and the back of the hands.
This can affect patches of your skin or your entire body.
Hyperpigmentation can be caused by sun damage, inflammation, or other skin injuries, including those related to acne vulgaris People with darker skin tones are more prone to hyperpigmentation, especially with excess sun exposure.
Hyperpigmentation doesn’t causes any harm to an individual but sometimes it is caused by an underlying medical condition. Certain medications can also cause your skin to darken. It’s more of a cosmetic issue for most people.
Hyperpigmentation causes skin patches to become more dark than the surrounding skin, as skin produces more melanin pigment that gives skin its color. It can affect any skin type and is more likely during pregnancy, with older age, or after an injury.
Types of hyperpigmentation include:
- Age spots, also called “liver” spots
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
Sun spots are common in areas with more sun exposure, including the face, arms, and legs.
Having extra pigment in some areas of skin is usually harmless but can sometimes indicate another medical condition, such as Addison’s disease. Cushing disease, Acanthosis Nigrricans, Smokers melanosis, and Actopic dermatitis
Vitiligo. Vitiligo is a condition where the body’s immune system attacks pigment cells (melanocytes), causing pigment loss.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can occur after skin inflammation resulting from an injury, cuts, burns, acne, or lupus. It can occur anywhere on the body, but sun exposure can make it more pronounced.
Some cosmetic procedures can also lighten areas of skin to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
Cosmetic procedures for hyperpigmentation include:
- Laser Therapy
- Intense Pulsed Light
- Chemical Peels
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