Forms Of Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition that presents itself in various forms and has many causes one of them being the sun, skin injuries or inflammation. It presents itself as patches of skin which are unusually darker than the surrounding skin. It is as a result of excess melanin, which is the skin color pigment, being produced in the skin. This condition is not limited to one race as any race can be affected; however people with Asian and African origin are more prone to this condition as compared to people with lighter skin tones. This is because more melanin is present in darker skin.

The most common form of hyperpigmentation is liver spots scientifically known as solar lentigines. This form of hyperpigmentation comes about as a result of extreme exposure to the sun. This condition usually occurs on the face, arms or hands as these are the areas most exposed to the sun.

Melasma is another form of hyper pigmentation. This is usual for women during pregnancy as a result of hormonal changes. This hormonal changes may cause excess melanin to be formed thus resulting in dark patches which are uneven on the skin. The face isn’t the only place that is affected as these patches may occur on the arms and abdomen areas. Women on birth control are also at risk of getting this condition because the chemicals present in the pills mimic the hormones in women during pregnancy and thus leading to melasma. If this side effect of the pill is too extreme then the medication can be stopped.

Other forms of hyperpigmentation can result from residue caused by acne. Because of the dark spots that are common of acne the skin may be left scarred. The same can be said of injuries that leave the skin with scars. Freckles are also a form of hyperpigmentation. These may be hereditary but can also be as a result of too much exposure to the sun. Freckles usually frequent the face but can also be found on the back and on the arms. These spots become more pronounced with more exposure to the sun. This happens when melanin absorbs the sun’s harmful UV rays and to protect the skin, it causes it to tan thus making the spots appear even darker. In this case, a sunscreen is mandatory during prolonged exposure to the sun.