What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless skin condition which causes patches of the skin to become darker in colour than the surrounding skin. Age or liver spots are a common form of hyperpigmentation. They occur due to sun damage and are usually found on the hands or face.
What causes hyperpigmentation?
The darkening of the skin occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces skin colouring, forms deposits in the skin. This can be due to prolonged sun exposure. Skin injury, caused by acne spots, eczema or a scab.
Melasma is caused due to hormonal changes, this type of hyperpigmentation is common during pregnancy
How can I prevent hyperpigmentation?
You can help to prevent hyperpigmentation or stop it becoming more prominent by;
- Avoiding exposure to the sun. Use a suncream with an SPF of 30 or higher
- Avoid picking at the skin. This will prevent hyperpigmentation from forming after an injury (a scab or spot)
There are also creams to treat hyperpigmentation. These include ingredients designed to lighten the skin including;
- Azelaic acid
- Kojic acid
- Vitamin C