Hyperpigmentation is one of the common skincare problems. It can cause significant concern, as the dark spots tend to appear on the face, hands and other highly visible body parts that have been exposed to the sun. These dark spots can be difficult to hide. Unwanted pigmentation problems have many causes and can occur in all skin types.
WHAT IS HYPERPIGMENTATION?
It is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in the skin.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON CAUSES and TYPES OF HYPERPIGMENTATION?
The main cause of dark spots is sun damage. Years of sun exposure can result in spotted hyperpigmentation, a condition marked by increased pigment production that results in patchy skin color or a blemished complexion. The degree of sun damage depends largely on a person’s skin color and the history of long-term or intense sun exposure.
- Pigment spots like age spots – appear mainly on body parts that are frequently exposed, such as the face, hands and arm — and tend to be small, dark patches. They are caused by sun exposure.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation – inflammation in the skin caused by acne, burn, rash or traumatic injury. It occurs when a skin injury or trauma heals and leaves a flat area of discolouration behind.
- Melasma or chloasma – a common patchy brown facial skin discoloration, usually seen in women in the reproductive years and is often referred to as “the mask of pregnancy”. It occurs as a result of hormonal influences such as pregnancy and birth control pills, and causes dark and irregularly shaped areas on the face or arms that can be quite large.
If you have hyperpigmentation spots as mentioned above, there are several dermatological treatments and anti-pigmentation procedures for you such as chemical peels and laser therapies. These dermatological treatments can be very effective against hyperpigmentation but they are expensive and relatively invasive. So, if you are not comfortable or cannot afford those expensive treatments, here’s your spot-fading game plan. Follow the tips below and you’ll start to diminish the appearance of dark spots in as quickly as possible and prevent new spots from cropping up.
Don’t Skip the SPF!
The first course of action for any form of hyperpigmentation is to use sun protection to prevent it worsening. In response to the sun’s UV rays, our cells send out protective pigment (or melanin) to naturally keep our skin from getting burned. Don’t just apply sunscreen—remember to reapply every two hours. UV rays, from sunlight, are the primary cause of hyperpigmentation. You can protect your skin by using wide brimmed hats and sunglasses, and a high sun protection factor (SPF) sunscreen.
Stop picking at your skin!
This automatic habit of touching and feeling of skin whenever you get a spot should stop. When you are squashing a pimple, you are pushing stuff back into your skin when you squeeze. So even if you get that one out, you might be irritating another one right next door to it. You can cause an infection, and you can actually make the pimples worse.
Treat your trouble spots regularly!
Spots take weeks to fade –whether these spots are the results from your handiwork like picking your skin or the sun. So, while treating existing hyperpigmentation, make sure you’re also taking steps to prevent spots from forming by using products that contain skin-lightening ingredients. You can find it in products like Beaublends Whitening System – available at Lazada, Shopee and Zalora.
None of above treatments can completely cure hyper pigmentation, however, these will help you prevent pigmentation problems from returning and minimize the possibility of pigmentation problems. Anyone who is experiencing changes in their skin tone should see a board-certified dermatologist for proper diagnosis and to start a customized treatment regimen.