Hyperpigmentation is a major complexion issue that can surface at one point or the other.It comes in many forms like age-spots, freckles, melasma and acne-related scars. Though they are notoriously difficult to treat, there are ways to prevent or minimize its damage.
There are major skincare challenges when it comes to resolving hyperpigmentation. But thanks to latest Skincare innovations that have lessened our skin burdens with ways to treat them.
We take you through the different kinds of hyperpigmentation and how to counter them, when you get them.
WHAT IS HYPERPIGMENTATION?
In simple lingo, hyperpigmentation refers to the different forms of skin discolorations like brown spots, melasma, and dark patches.The origin of all these forms of hyperpigmentation points to a pigment in our skin called the melanin. Melanin is a protein that the melanocyte cells in our body produces.
Hyperpigmentation occurs when there is excess production of melanin in the skin. When the skin is over exposed to sun’s rays, it stimulates melanocytes which produces the melanin pigment excessively. This overproduction and uneven distribution of melanin leads to different forms of hyperpigmentation like age spots, melasma and freckles.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF HYPERPIGMENTATION
Hyperpigmentation can manifest itself in different forms. Some of the common forms are:
Often, age-spots, also called liver spots are the first signs of aging caused by overexposure to harmful UV rays of the sun. They become more visible with age as uneven skin tones on sun exposed areas like the face, neck and arms.
This is one of the most common forms of hyperpigmentation mostly faced by women. Usually, hormonal imbalances during pregnancy cause it, which is why it is often termed ‘the mask of pregnancy’. It leads to large, uneven patches of brown spots on the cheeks and other parts of the face. Melasma can be difficult to treat, which also comes with high chances of recurrence in some women.
PIH or POST INFLAMMATORY HYPERPIGMENTATION
This type of hyperpigmentation gives rise to dark spots that are a result of acne, skin lesions, cuts or scratches. Any skin irritation triggers the melanocytes to make more pigments resulting in dark spots on the affected area.
HOW TO TREAT OR PREVENT HYPERPIGMENTATION
Different forms of hyperpigmentation require different kinds of treatment depending on the severity of the condition.
There is no doubt, however, that over exposure to sun is the leading cause of hyperpigmentation. So, the first step to prevent as well as to treat hyperpigmentation is to avoid the sun. No matter what treatment you undergo for hyperpigmentation, it is crucial to prevent the skin from getting more sun damage.
Rain or shine, make sunscreen a part of your daily skincare routine. Take it as your first line of defense against the harmful UV rays that not only accelerates aging but also worsens your hyperpigmentation. If you are out in the sun for long hours, wearing a hat could give some added sun protection.
Apart from sun protection, skin experts also recommend looking for lightening agents to soften the dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Hydroquinone has been widely recognized as the yardstick in treating hyperpigmentation like melasma and age-spots. They are quite affordable but may take longer to treat the affected areas.
Then, there are exfoliating agents like AHAs and BHA that can help in lightening the dark spots. With chemical exfoliations, new skin cells appear while replacing the old cells. Vitamin C, when used in combination with these exfoliating agents alternately has been shown to give favorable results.
Retinol is another potential skin lightening ingredient. It enhances your skin cell turnover and helps in exfoliating the dead cells to give you smooth and clear skin. Though it’s primary use is to improve wrinkles, you can combine retinol with skin brighteners like niacinamide ,and licorice to even your skin tone.
Points To Remember
It is always safe to consult a dermatologist before you begin a proper skin treatment for hyperpigmentation. Some more severe forms like melasma may need a more rigorous treatment than the age spots. When topical applications fail to work, other treatments like chemical peels, laser peels, dermabrasions etc. can help alleviate the troubled areas. You can approach your dermatologist for guidance through the treatment your skin needs.
Here’s a video on the most effective ingredients for Hyperpigmentation:
To conclude, hyperpigmentation can occur at any time to anyone. And it can be quite a struggle to beat it, once you get it. But with genuine efforts, it is possible to achieve an even skin tone. The way to a clear complexion begins by putting off the UV rays at all cost and making sunscreen a usual affair.
Apply a minimum of SPF 30 every single day and re-apply every two hours. Along with sun protection, allow your body to fight skin discolorations by picking on healthy food items that limits oxidative stress on skin. Green leafy vegetables and vitamin-C packed fruits are great choices that come with protective effect on skin. Eat healthy, and evade the sun to get the skin you always wanted.