LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

What Causes Hyperpigmentation On Skin And How To Lessen It

Date May 31, 2019 13:47

It’s safe to say that nearly every one of us has faced a problem of unappealing brown spots on the skin in summer. Most often, these spots appear on open areas of the skin more exposed to ultraviolet light than others: shoulders, face, neck, arms. Although you can hide many skin defects, in particular, couperose, with tan, at the same time sun beams are the main cause of pigment spots, which are very difficult to get rid of.

Hyperpigmentation is a real scourge of our time. Although the darker spots on the skin do not affect our health and lifestyle, their unaesthetic appearance can cause certain discomfort. Moreover, the pigmented areas on the skin can be caused by a number of very serious diseases.

Today, we will tell you what causes hyperpigmentation, what its types are, and how to get rid of it.

Causes of hyperpigmentation

Excess melanin in certain areas of the skin can be caused by many things, including the following:

  • overindulgence in sunbathing or excessive use of a solarium;
  • hormonal and age-related changes in the body;
  • some gastrointestinal tract diseases;
  • disorders in the endocrine system caused by changes in a woman’s endocrine profile during pregnancy or menopause;
  • malnutrition, as well as lack of vitamins and minerals in the body;
  • genetic predisposition;
  • some cosmetic procedures (dermabrasion, injections, hair removal).

Types of hyperpigmentation

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If you want to fight unaesthetic brown spots, first you need to determine the category of your problem. There are two types of hyperpigmentation.

Primary hyperpigmentation. It includes freckles, melasma, lentigo, a Becker’s nevus, and photodermatosis.

Secondary hyperpigmentation usually occurs after:

  • chronic types of acne;
  • yellow skin tone caused by liver disease;
  • hypermelanosis (at the joints of the hand accompanied by hair loss);
  • laser ablation.

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In addition, hyperpigmentation can be caused by some general diseases, namely:

  • an Addison's disease, giving the skin a bronze tone;
  • hypermelanosis around the joints of the hand (accompanied by graying of the hair);
  • liver diseases that lead to a yellow skin tone;
  • chronic vitamin B12 deficiency and chronic intoxication, manifested by dark brown spots.

Let's take a look at the most common types of hyperpigmentation.

Freckles, also known as ephelinids, most often occur in people with the lightest and sun-sensitive skin. Since they appear on all exposed areas of the skin exposed to ultraviolet light, there is only one way to prevent them: sunscreens.

READ ALSO: 3 Masks That Will Help You To Get Rid Of Pigment Spot

Melasma, or chloasma, or as cosmetologists call it, “the mask of pregnancy," is usually strictly localized: on the cheeks, forehead, and neck in the form of dark brown spots. Most often, this type of pigmentation occurs due to hormonal disorders during pregnancy, menopause, or while taking hormonal drugs. It is aggravated by regular exposure to UV light without sunscreens. 

Lentigo is characterized by light or dark brown patches of irregular shape that appear on the skin after 50. They occur due to the excessive use of a solarium at a younger age, as the side effects of medications, and as consequences of sunburns.

Methods of treating hyperpigmentation

This problem is faced by millions of women around the world, so the list of ways to treat and prevent it is rather impressive. We will tell you about the most reliable and effective ones.

Chemical peels

They are aimed at removing the outermost layer of the pigmented skin. Not only does it remove the pigment spots but it also prevents the new ones. The main thing is to make sure that the drug contains tretinoin – this substance has a whitening property.

READ ALSO: Dirt-Cheap Product For Beautiful Skin And Hair. 5 Easy Ways To Use It

Phototherapy

These procedures reduce skin pigmentation and also stimulate the production of elastin and collagen, thus helping to get rid of small wrinkles.

Laser resurfacing

This method is based on destruction of skin cells with high melanin content. Cosmetic laser skin resurfacing is especially effective in treating melasma and freckles. However, after such procedures, the skin needs a week of special care.

Cosmetic products

A good whitening effect is achieved by products containing vegetable substances based on thymol, arbutin, phenol, eugenol, and chinol, as well as salicylic acid. Besides, your skin will benefit from products with extracts of lemon, aloe, cucumber, and other plants.

Ngukiaw / Shutterstock.com

At the same time, consider that as for now, there is no universal method to completely eliminate hyperpigmentation. You can solve this problem only with the help of professionally selected course of treatment considering your individual characteristics. Attempts to get rid of pigment spots with the help of questionable lifehacks and unreliable methods can lead to disastrous consequences. Don’t risk your health, youth, and beauty, and consult a specialist.

READ ALSO: Fight Wrinkles: 15-Minute Exercise Complex To Tighten Face Skin At Home


This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.

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