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Many of us have felt a sense of pride after winning a battle against a stubborn pimple only to find ourselves struggling with darker skin patches left as a souvenir.
Today we discuss hyperpigmentation and we aim to answer your main questions in just a few minutes.
We all want a healthy looking skin and we understand that darker stubborn spots can be very frustrating especially when you want your skin to look its best “au naturel.”
Below we share with you some information to help you better understand this skin condition to improve your skin and avoid future triggers.
Question 01: What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation describes a condition where the skin appears darker. It can affect any part of the face or body in small patches, spread over bigger areas or even the entire body.
Let’s go down to the basics, your skin is divided into layers, the epidermis, the dermis & subcutaneous tissue. Amongst the many functions of the epidermis, it is responsible for producing melanin, which is produced by melanocytes.
Amongst the most common types of hyperpigmentation are melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or PIH.
Question 02: What is melanin?
Simply put melanin gives your skin, hair, and eyes their beautiful color. Melanin protects the skin from UV light by absorbing it before it damages the DNA of your skin cells. In other words, when you tan, your body is exposed to UV light and hence more melanin is produced to protect you from sun exposure, which ultimately gives your skin a darker pigment.
Question 03: What causes hyperpigmentation?
Many factors can be associated with skin pigmentation, such as age, sun exposure, hormonal changes or injury to the skin.
When the skin suffers from a trauma, melanin jumps right it to defend, protect & heal the skin. As your skin heals, it is producing an excess of melanin, it is the excess melanin that causes the darker patches on your skin.
To top it off, not wearing the right type or amount of sun screen increases your hyperpigmentation.
Question 04: Is hyperpigmentation treatable?
The good news is that most PIH can fade away with time. As to how long it takes to completely fade, that would depend on how dark the affected area compared to your natural skin tone.
Question 05: Is there anything I can do?
Yes, of course. SPF! If you suffer from skin pigmentation (and even if you don’t!), it is absolutely essential that you wear SPF.
Also, using “brightening” targeted serums containing vitamin C, glycolic acid, kojic acid, azelaic acid, retinoids, niacinamide, licorice extract, for example, have proven to be very effective in treating hyperpigmentation.
Finally, there are procedures that your dermatologist or esthetician can suggest to lighten the affected areas such as laser treatments.