An overview of hyperpigmentation of the skin

Skin pigmentation or skin discoloration occurs as a result of an imbalance in the amount of melanin generated by melanocytes. Varying levels of melanin generation lead to different skin disorders. Depigmentation is the case wherein no melanin is generated. A very low level of melanin results in the pigmentation disorder called hypopigmentation and a high level of melanin causes hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation results in the skin tone becoming much darker than normal. Skin pigmentation disorders can also be triggered by other factors like extreme sun exposure, pregnancy or exposure to certain chemicals or drugs. Symptoms of hyperpigmentation The only specific symptom of hyperpigmentation is a darkened skin area with visibly uneven skin tone. These dark patches are of different shapes and sizes and can appear anywhere on the body. Causes of hyperpigmentation Numerous factors can lead to the disorder known as hyperpigmentation in your skin.

  • Continual exposure to the sun for a long duration.
  • Skin damage from injury and wounds.
  • Hormonal fluctuations.
  • Genetic predisposition and issues.
  • Allergic reactions.
  • Hair removal in an improper and unhygienic way.

Treatment of hyperpigmentation There are multiple ways to treat hyperpigmentation but in certain extreme cases,  its effects may not be fully reversed.

  • Lightening Creams Lightening creams are traditional and popular over-the-counter (OTC) treatments that work with fail-safe ingredients to help decrease hyperpigmentation. The normal method of using lightening cream is to apply it once or twice a day to help reduce the pigmentation of skin over time.
  • Retinoids Retinoids are vitamers of vitamin A and are a popular ingredient in a lot of over-the-counter solutions for hyperpigmentation. Their tiny molecular structure helps them to get absorbed deeply into the skin and recover the layers below your skin’s outer layer that is called the epidermis.
  • Chemical peels A chemical peel is a treatment given by dermatologists with prior tests and patient examination. It uses stronger concentrations of acid to treat the pigmented area of the skin. This treatment reduces the darkened appearance of the skin by removing the epidermis. A deep penetrating chemical peel can recover the middle layer of the skin (dermis) to produce surprising results.
  • Laser peel (Skin Resurfacing) A laser peel or skin resurfacing using laser treatment requires adequate beams of light to minimize the hyperpigmentation. There are two types of lasers used for this treatment— ablative lasers that are known for their highly intense wavelengths and are used for removing layers of your skin, non-ablative laser procedures that focus on the middle layer or dermis to accelerate collagen growth and skin tightening effects.
  • Face acids Face acids or skin acids are a type of exfoliating or shedding treatments for hyperpigmentation and work on the top layer of your skin. If you exfoliate your skin, fresh skin cells are generated to replace the old ones. The application of face acids is beneficial for an even skin tone and gives it a smoother appearance.

Home remedies for hyperpigmentation Few combinations like cucumber juice, honey, and lemon juice or bananas mixed with honey, and milk or sandalwood powder with rose-water can be used as home remedies to treat the problem of hyperpigmentation.