Hyperpigmentation victims have a new nickname now; melanin-rich people.. It currently marks as the biggest skincare concern.. Nothing seems to be quite the fix when it comes to fading away and banishing it forever.. Besides the wide variety of skincare brands, ingredients and treatments out there, the needs and concerns of melanin-rich people are still widely ignored. The biggest mistake people make when treating hyperpigmentation is the constant belief that one day, all that uneven skin tone will unite into one at a certain point. Today, we are here to tell you facts, you must lower your expectations when it comes to completely annihilating hyperpigmentation. However, there are a few measures you can commit to in order to inhibit it..
What Is hyperpigmentation?
When certain patches of the skin usually localized in common areas become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin, this is called hyperpigmentation. A very common yet harmless skin occurrence usually caused by overactive skin cells called melanocytes, which stimulate the production of melanin (the brown pigment that produces normal skin color).
What Causes Hyperpigmentation?
First and foremost, the number one cause of hyperpigmentation would be unprotected sun exposure. Hormones, illnesses, and medications come after. Pregnancy is another common cause, hormonal fluctuations usually trigger hyperpigmentation. Addison’s disease is another culprit, when one’s adrenal glands decrease in function this can result in increased production of melanin. Some antibiotics and anti-malaria drugs have been known to cause hyperpigmentation as well..
How Does Hyperpigmentation look like?
1|| Sun Spots:
A.k.a. age or liver spots. The most common type of hyperpigmentation. They usually localize on the hands, neck, face or any constantly exposed to the sun body part.. Those small dark patches are the result of excessive sun exposure and inadequate sunscreen protection. Medically speaking; solar lentigines.
2 || Melasma:
A.k.A. the mask of pregnancy appears as brown patches on the cheeks, nose, and forehead. People often think they are sunspots, only they are usually larger. Wildly fluctuating hormones caused by pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone therapy, or other medications stimulate melasma. The good news is after hormonal fluctuations stabilize (due to childbirth or discontinuation of hormonal medications) melasma tends to fade.
3 ||Acne or Injury:
Acne heals, however, if not treated properly scarring can happen causing colored marks on the skin.. Cuts, burns, scrapes, and other injuries can also result in hyperpigmentation, sometimes referred to as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Especially upon forgetting your sunscreen while healing them..
One word: Prevention.. People forget to try to solve the underlying cause of hyperpigmentation because they get so desperate for a quick fix. Sadly, if you do experience hyperpigmentation, there exists no guaranteed full cure for it.. However, certain measures can be taken to lighten the skin. By determining the cause of your hyperpigmentation and your skin type, and after consulting a professional, the best course of action can be taken to inhibit the activity of melanin..
Common hyperpigmentation treatments include the following..
- Hydroquinone Creams: For hyperpigmentation that is not hormonally triggered, Hydroquinone creams contain bleaching agents and can slow the production of melanin. However, hydroquinone has been recently avoided in many skin treatments..
- Retin-A: Retin-A is a topical cream derived from vitamin A that reduces dark patches by exfoliating skin and speeding new cell growth. Retin-A is available via prescription and is often combined with hydroquinone creams.
- Microdermabrasion: A general term that refers to a non-invasive exfoliation technique involving the use of a machine that applies tiny, rough grains to buff away the surface layer of the skin, thereby removing the outermost layer of dead skin cells. The procedure disrupts the skin’s surface, which stimulates blood flow and circulation and leads to new skin cells that look smoother.
- Chemical Peels: Alpha hydroxy acids (such as glycolic acids) and beta hydroxy acids (such as salicylic acids) can exfoliate the skin and remove hyperpigmentation.
- Laser Resurfacing: Laser resurfacing is a procedure during which a laser is used to evaporate the first few layers of damaged skin, leaving behind clear, evenly toned skin. Laser resurfacing is typically used after some treatment with hydroquinone creams or chemical peels.
- Intense Pulsed Light (IPL): Intense pulsed light is a type of laser that uses high-intensity pulses of light that penetrate the skin. The process leaves no scars or blisters and does not require a recovery period. It can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including hyperpigmentation.
Awareness id key, not knowing the main cause of an uneven skin tone is not going to solve the issue long term. For example, if you have acne, putting a lightening cream on your skin isn’t going to stop you from breaking out. If you’re not following an acne-focused skincare routine or exploring prescription treatment options, you’re just working backwards. Years and years of constant unprotected sun exposure will suddenly show up in your mid 30’s as dark patches, always apply your sunblock and advise your youngsters at an early age to do the same!