What is hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is a common and harmless skin condition where parts of the skin become darker due to excess melanin (the pigment that gives skin its colour). It can appear in the form of spots or patches and can affect all skin types.


There are different types of hyperpigmentation, with the most common being sunspots, melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, also known as liver spots and age spots.


Sunspots

An area of skin that gets darker due to overexposure in the sun. They commonly appear as small spots on the face and hands and are most common amongst adults over 50, though they may also appear on younger people who are exposed to the sun for long periods of time.


Melasma

Melasma often appears as brown coloured patches on the skin that resemble freckles. Sometimes referred to as 'mask of pregnancy' melasma occurs because of the overproduction of cells that make the colour of your skin. It is completely harmless and very common.


Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

This can happen as a direct result of skin irritation or damage, particularly repetitive exposure to harsh ingredients in skincare products and is more common in darker skin tones. Mild damage, such as insect bites, acne marks or abrasions can sometimes result in darker post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that is typically epidermal (on the surface layer of the skin), which can be treated quite easily.



What Are The Causes?

In addition to excess melanin, some of the other common causes of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation include:

  • Pregnancy

  • Acne

  • Diabetes

  • Smoking

  • Ageing

  • Obesity





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