What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is one of two types of pigmentation is a common skin condition and is characterized by the darking or discolouration of the skin. It is usually harmless but can cause heightened self-consciousness and is caused when levels of pigment, melanin, on the surface of the skin are too high. This condition can affect people of different ethnicity’s as well as different ages and genders.
Melanin is the brown pigment that produces are skin colour. When the is an excess of melanin deposited on the surface of the skin, it gets a lot darker in colour and this is what is called hyperpigmentation.
It can be divided into two main caterogiers; passive pigmentation caused by internal imbalance of melanin or post-inflammatory pigmentation which occurs after trauma such as cuts and burns.
There are two forms of Pigmentation; hyperpigmentation (too much melanin) and hypopigmentation (too little melanin).
Hyperpigmentation is easily treatable with a wide range of technologies.
Types of hyperpigmentation and causes
Age spots, also known as solar lentigines or liver spots usually occur as a result of damage to the skin from the sun’s rays. They are characterized as small, dark spots are generally found on the hands and face, but can affect any skin exposed to sun. Daily exposure to the sun and environmental pollutants can damage cell walls and connective tissues as well as speed up the signs of ageing. Individuals more at risk would be being over 40, having fair skin, or a history of over sun exposure.
Melasma also known as Chloasma and the “mask of pregnancy” can be caused by either sun damage or hormonal changes. They can be characterized as large, brown patches, most commonly on the cheeks, forehead, lips and nose.
It can be triggered by high levels of Oestrogen during the menstrual cycle, hormone changes during pregnancy and sun exposure. Melasma most commonly affects women, with only 10% of cases being male.
Ephelides commonly known as freckles are very common and characterized by tan/light brown/red freckles that appear in groups when exposed to sun. Freckles are often thought as attractive, however, individuals may want to reduce their appearance for an overall even skin tone.
Freckles are more common in fairer skin tones.