What You Need To Know About Hyperpigmentation

What You Need To Know About Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation mainly refers to a condition in which an area of the skin and nails tend to darken as a result of increment in melanin production (Agarwal, Saini & Attri, 2018). The increased melanin production and depositing causes skin patches that always seem darker compared to the adjacent skin. The liver spots, sun spots, freckles, age spots and pregnancy marks are different types of hyper pigmentation. 

Sign and Symptoms 

The symptoms of hyperpigmentation include darkened patches and areas of the skin. The patches tend to differ in size and might also develop on any part of the body.  


Several cause of hyperpigmentation exists and include aspects like inflammation, sun burns and various skin injuries that are linked to acne. Individuals with dark skin tones are highly prone to suffer from hyper pigmentation, particularly when they are excessively exposed to the sun.  

A large proportion of the hyperpigmentation forms are as a result of excessive melanin production and the hyperpigmentation may be either focal or diffused, affecting parts of the body that include the face and hands. The melanocytes found on the epidermis’ lower layer are responsible for the melanin production. With the aging of the body, there is less distribution of the melanocytes even has the body fails to regulate melanin diffusion. The UV light also stimulate the production of melanin by the melanocytes, and hyperpigmentation is, therefore, prone to occur in areas where the melanocytes’’’ concentration is high including discoloured and darker spots on the skin that appear after acne treatment.  


The diagnosis of hyperpigmentation includes the performance of physical assessments such as the wood’s lamp assessment (Noh et al., 2018). The diagnosis also takes in a detailed review of the patient’s detailed medical history and skin assessment.  


At present, there are a variety of treatments that may be used in the treatment of the hyperpigmentation conditions. In most occasions, the treatment of hyperpigmentation that is caused by the excessive production of melanin entails the use of various topical depigmentation agents that differ with regards to safety, efficiency and prescription rules (Vanaman et al., 2017). A number of the prescription treatments are only available in the United States, and particularly in larger dosages, and include azelaic, koijic acid, hydroquinone and azelaic acid. However, other drugs are available over the counter and do not require prescription and thes include medications like cysteamine hydrochloride and niacinamide (Rainer et al., 2015). Also, treatments that do not entail the use of topical agents such as dermabrasion and laser are available.  


As a skin condition, hyperpigmentation is always not harmful and is normally not an indication of a serious underlying health condition. In given instances, the dark patches and darkened skin areas tend to fed without any medical intervention. However, in other cases, treatment may be used in treating the conditions and removing the dark patches and areas. Though the treatment may not fully reverse the hyperpigmentation, it is likely to enhance the patient’s condition.  

Hyperpigmentation Self-care 

Though it is nearly impossible to avoid hyperpigmentation, the use of sunscreen with 30 SPF, wearing clothing and hats to block direct sunlight, as well as avoiding sunlight during hot times is recommended (Hakozaki, Swanson & Bissett, 2014). Moreover, it is also recommended that one should avoid certain kinds of medications to avert hyperpigmentation.   


Agarwal, A., Saini, A. G., & Attri, S. (2018). Reversible Hyperpigmentation and Paraparesis: A Simple Remedy!. The Journal of pediatrics. 

Hakozaki, T., Swanson, C. L., & Bissett, D. L. (2014). Hyperpigmentation in aging skin. Textbook of Aging Skin, 1-11. 

Noh, S., Choi, H., Kim, J. S., Kim, I. H., & Mun, J. Y. (2018). Study of hyperpigmentation in human skin disorder using different electron microscopy techniques. Microscopy research and technique. 

Rainer, B., Qi, J., Martin, J., Ogurtsova, A., Talbot, C., Leung, S., ... & Kang, S. (2015, May). Visible light-induced hyperpigmentation in human skin in vivo occurs in dark, but not in light skin, and is associated with differential induction of CCL18 and tyrosinase genes. In JOURNAL OF INVESTIGATIVE DERMATOLOGY (Vol. 135, pp. S103-S103). 75 VARICK ST, 9TH FLR, NEW YORK, NY 10013-1917 USA: NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 

Vanaman, M. W., Jones, I. T., Bolton, J., Larsen, L., Wu, D. C., & Goldman, M. P. (2017). A Randomized, Investigator-Blinded Comparison of Two Topical Regimens in Fitzpatrick Skin Types III-VI With Moderate to Severe Facial Hyperpigmentation. Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD16(11), 1127-1132. 

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