What is hyperpigmentation?
Sometimes referred to as uneven skin pigmentation, hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition that can affect anyone. Patches and spots of darker coloured skin can appear on the face, décolleté, arms, hands and other areas of the body. As hyperpigmentation produces a dark pigmentation mark on the skin, people with dark skin are generally more likely to develop it.
The larger patches of hyperpigmentation that develop primarily on the face are identified as melasma. This condition is generally triggered by hormonal fluctuations. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs when damage to the skin has healed but has left a flat patch of discolouration. Acne sufferers often experience this. Scarring and birthmarks can also be considered as forms of hyperpigmentation.
What causes hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is caused by an increase in the production of melanin. Melanin is the natural pigment that colours skin, hair and eyes. An increase in melanin production is most often triggered by sun exposure, hormonal imbalances and injuries to the skin.
The primary trigger for hyperpigmentation is undoubtedly excessive exposure to the sun. Although melanin is your skin’s natural sunscreen, it cannot provide adequate protection against harmful UV rays for prolonged periods of time. As skin naturally ages, the melanin-producing cells in the skin gradually decrease, offering less protection. Once dark spots have developed on the skin, further exposure to direct sunlight will only exacerbate the condition.
Metabolic disorders, vitamin deficiencies and some types of autoimmune diseases can place you at a greater risk of developing hyperpigmentation. It can also be triggered by some medications.
The unsightly appearance of hyperpigmentation on the face or body can be improved with skin peel treatments. The skin is exfoliated with a combination of vitamins, peptides, plant extracts and fruit enzymes that remove the dead cells of the superficial skin layer to reveal radiant new skin beneath. Skin tone and texture can be enhanced with a non-invasive microdermabrasion treatment that exfoliates and polishes the skin, minimising dark hyperpigmentation in the process.