What Is Hyperpigmentation and What Are the Causes?

Hyperpigmentation is the development of darker areas of skin caused by excessive production of melanin. Melanin is the main chemical that is responsible for coloration of the skin. There are two main mechanisms which can cause hyperpigmentation. A person can either have an area of skin where the cells which produce melanin are extremely concentrated which leads to a darkening of the skin. However, the development of this condition may also follow when the cells which produce melanin overproduce which leads to a darker around these cells. The condition can affect people of any skin color, but is mainly seen in those from certain ethnicities.

The increased production of melanin can be caused by many things. Of course, excessive exposure to sunlight can definitely cause a darkening of the skin. However, there are also a lot of diseases which affect melanin production. Some of these disease include Nelson’s syndrome, Cushing’s disease, Celiac disease and it can be developed in reaction to tobacco use. The use of certain chemicals can also lead to areas of hyperpigmentation. Insulin, salicylic acid and cisplatin use can cause it. It is also a part of the normal progress of pregnancy where a line called linea nigra will appear on the abdomen, but this usually fades after pregnancy. There are a lot of different things which can cause you skin to change in color and only a physician or dermatologist can effectively determine what the cause is.

There is no cure for hyperpigmentation, but many treatments can lessen its severity. The solution is usually a combination of drugs which help lighten the skin tone around the affected area. Some drugs commonly used are alpha hydroxy acids which includes citric acid, lactic acid and glycolic acid. These chemicals are found in a variety of cosmetics, but treatment options for hyperpigmentation should be chosen by a qualified dermatologist or other physician. The purpose behind using these chemicals is to remove skin cells from the area which have already been contaminated with excessive melanin. This allows new skin cells to take their place which should relieve the darker skin. They are usually applied in the form of a chemical peel. The substance is allowed to soak into the skin which allows the current layer of affected skin to peel off just like happens when you get a sunburn.

There are also some protective actions you can take to help prevent the development of dark areas on your skin. Of course, the most important thing to use is a good sunblock which will prevent damage from ultraviolet radiation which can cause hyperpigmentation. In addition, be sure to consult with your physician about your medication if you start developing dark areas on your skin. There may be alternative treatments which you can use.

If you are developing areas of dark skin you need to consult with a dermatologist. You can find a doctor by searching for things like “Hyperpigmentation Santa Monica” to find a doctor in your area.