Body image and skincare are important factors for your overall mental health. People who aren’t happy in their own skin tend to experience higher levels of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
Your skin is considered your body’s largest organ. It covers your entire body and accounts for about 16% of your body mass. As such, it’s one of the most obvious things people notice about you. Flaws like hyperpigmentation are difficult to hide and can affect the way you view yourself and others.
By understanding what hyperpigmentation is, its causes, and its treatments, you can boost your confidence, reduce insecurities, and learn to love the skin you’re in.
- Hyperpigmentation is an extremely common condition that affects individuals differently.
- While some causes of hyperpigmentation are hereditary or hormonal, there are habits you can implement today to avoid spots of hyperpigmentation on your skin.
- Learn how to properly treat your skin conditions by finding a treatment plan that’s best for you.
What is Hyperpigmentation?
All bodies contain a substance called melanin. This group of molecules affects pigment in everything from eye color, hair color, and skin tone. Melanin production levels affect whether someone has alabaster skin or gets a rich tan in the summer. Sometimes, the body produces more melanin deposits in certain skin cells. This causes patches of skin to appear darker than surrounding areas on the body. This is hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation can appear in small spots, large areas, or affect the whole body. It’s an extremely common and usually safe condition that can affect people of all races and all skin types. It can be treated, but first, it’s helpful to know what may be causing this condition.
5 Causes of Hyperpigmentation
Skin discoloration can be caused by several internal and external factors. Here are five common causes of hyperpigmentation.
Based on hereditary factors, people are born with a natural skin pigment. These skin shades are classified into four categories, with Type I being very pale and Type IV being very dark. People with pale skin have inactive pigment cells that don’t tend to react to factors like sunlight. Likewise, people with darker skin are already creating a high amount of pigment, so their skin doesn’t react much either.
It’s the skin types in the middle that tend to be most susceptible to hyperpigmentation. They have cells that are producing pigment but are still able to respond to melanin-producing factors. In this way, genetics plays a big role in why some people are more likely to experience hyperpigmentation than others.
2. Prolonged Sun Exposure
The sun produces ultraviolet (UV) rays which can be dangerous if you’re overexposed. When you spend too much time in the sun, your body produces more melanin to absorb the energy of the UV rays and help protect your skin. The effects of the sun can lead to hyperpigmentation like freckles and age spots. In older skin, these darkened spots can vary in texture, size, and color. They typically appear on the chest, neck, hands, and anywhere else that has been exposed to the sun for long periods.
3. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
Any time the skin experiences an inflammatory injury, from burns and lesions to acne and friction, the skin’s regeneration system is jeopardized. It can take time for the skin to heal, and as it does, it generates extra amounts of melanin. This causes the site of the injury to appear darker than the rest of the skin. Sometimes it goes away, and sometimes it remains even after the skin has healed. While it may seem like the skin is scarred, the follicle is not actually damaged, so it isn’t a true scar.
4. Certain Medications
Some medications contain heavy metals or other ingredients that react with melanin to create a distinct change in skin tone. Or they may react to sunlight exposure, creating a melanin accumulation that causes areas of the skin to darken. Some blood pressure medications and antibiotics will result in hyperpigmentation from simply reacting with other substances in the skin.
5. Shift in Hormone Balance
During pregnancy, a woman’s body produces an increased amount of estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones. These hormones can increase the melanin levels in the skin, resulting in hyperpigmentation. This is extremely common in pregnancy and will typically subside within a year after giving birth.
3 Hyperpigmentation Treatments
While hyperpigmentation will sometimes go away on its own, many people are highly self-conscious about their condition and are eager to treat it right away. Here are three main options to consider when determining your hyperpigmentation treatments.
1. OTC Beauty Products and Topical Creams
Over-the-counter pigment-correcting beauty products and topical creams are sometimes the easiest to access and apply, so they’re often a preferred choice for hyperpigmentation treatment. While they can take weeks or months of use before seeing any results, they can be highly effective in reducing dark patches on the skin.
Some products contain encapsulated peptide and lightening agents that help reduce the skin’s melanin levels. There is a synergistic effect when lightening agents are paired with gentle exfoliants that help promote skin renewal. Many beauty products work by restricting the activity of tyrosinase, an enzyme essential to the synthesis of melanin, but encapsulated peptide is the first of its kind to target not just Tyrosinase but halts the entire pigmentation process in the skin.
2. Professional Cosmetic Procedures
Sometimes hyperpigmentation treatments require the help of a professional. A licensed dermatologist can use professional equipment to achieve the results you want. Chemical peels remove top layers of skin to take away patches of highly pigmented skin cells. Laser therapy relies on intense light beams to penetrate the deeper skin layers and break down the melanin. Microdermabrasion exfoliates top layers of skin to remove skin cells and return skin to its natural pigment.
3. Natural Home Remedies
Many people would rather avoid a trip to the dermatologist and try more natural remedies at home. While these treatments don’t necessarily bear any scientific proof, some people do see results. The repeated nightly application of aloe vera gel exposes your skin to aloin, which can help reduce skin pigment. Licorice root has a skin lightening agent, and green tea has polyphenols that limit tyrosinase.
Treat Your Hyperpigmentation and Love the Skin You’re In
Snowperk understands that all skin is different. That’s why we’ve developed a personalized skincare product line to meet your specific needs. If you’re struggling with hyperpigmentation, we can provide the products you need to get glowing skin and lasting results. Let snowperk help you love the skin you’re in.
Learn your skin iD and develop your personalized skincare routine today.