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To begin the delve into the subject matter of Hyperpigmentation, let’s break down the word. Replace the word Hyper with Over and the word Pigmentation with coloration. It gives us over coloration. Medically, pigmentation means the color of the skin. So, hyperpigmentation means the darkening of the skin from its authentic color.
Hyperpigmentation can occur in small patches, cover certain or large areas of the body or affect the entire body.
Melanin and Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation isn’t harmful in itself, but it’s a signal of something other happening inside the body or happening because of something taken orally. Usually, it isn’t a sign of a serious illness. There is a chemical produced in our body, identified as Melanin. The amount of Melanin, in our body, determines the color of our skin and hair. It’s made by the skin cells called melanocytes. The composition of melanin in us is also determined historically, meaning how much our previous generations were exposed to the sun. The excess production of Melanin is one of the reasons for hyperpigmentation.
Types of Hyperpigmentation
The three most common types are Melasma, Sunspots, and Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation.
Melasma - Also known as, “the mark of pregnancy”. It is a condition where dark, brown, or grey blotches appear on the skin, especially on the face and stomach. Melasma can occur due to hormonal changes or during pregnancy. Women tend to be more afflicted by Melasma than men. It can also be seen in small spots on the forehead, cheeks, upper lips, nose, and chin. Another name for Melasma is Chloasma. It generally fades away on its own. A good sunscreen is also used and recommended in these conditions. The three types of Melasma are Dermal, Epidermal, and Mixed Melasma.
Sunspots - These occur on whichever part of the body is exposed to the sun for a long duration. Sunspots are dark patches caused by the production of melanin to protect the skin against the UV radiation of the sun. Though this condition fades over time, it does not completely go away, as a certain part of the skin is damaged.
Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation - Pigmentation caused by a wound injury leaves discoloration behind it. The spots left behind after bursting a pimple or acne are also an example of the aforementioned condition. Sometimes, more than others, these spots fade away with time, but if they don’t many measures can be taken to get rid of them.
Causes of Hyperpigmentation
A few causes resulting in the condition are, excess sun exposure, during pregnancy, allergies, tobacco smoking, diabetes, hormonal causes, aging, irritating pimples and acne, exposure to radiation, physical contact with the plants that contain furocoumarins, also chemotherapy drugs on cause these too. There are a few medical conditions whose symptoms or effect is hyperpigmentation are Addison’s disease, Acanthosis nigricans, Diabetic dermopathy, A genetic disorder, Actinic lichen planus, and a few others.
Treatment Of Hyperpigmentation
Medically, there are a few ways from which this condition can be removed. These are Chemical peels, Laser therapy, Topical therapy, Microdermabrasion, Intense pulsed light (IPL), and Cryotherapy. But using a proper sunscreen, that is suitable for your skin type can avoid a lot of discoloration. Adhering to caution while stepping in the sun is important. Cloths that properly protect the skin from the sun’s radiation. Using a high SPF sunscreen. People with higher issues with hyperpigmentation should avoid going outdoors when the sun is too harsh, between 12 pm to 4 pm.
Organically, there are a lot of options that can provide relief from having an uneven skin tone. These need to be followed with patience, as it longer to solve things naturally but they hardly ever have any side effects.
All the above-mentioned natural remedies and also mixed to make face packs or pastes. For instance; Milk and Honey, Avocado and Honey, Turmeric can be mixed with either curd, milk, or coconut oil, and other various ways. Do try a small patch on your hand to test if it causes any allergies. You can also try natural yet high-quality products like many at VANA Botanicals, which have proven to be effective in reducing hyperpigmentation.