Causes Of Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation refers to any condition in which the skin forms dark patches or areas of the skin darken in contrast to the surrounding skin. Most people associate hyperpigmentation with exposure to the sun only but it has many causes and comes in many forms.

Melanin may be the main culprit when it comes to hyperpigmentation. Melanin is the pigment found in the skin that gives it color. Melanin is more in people with darker skins as compared to those who have light skins. This means that dark skinned people are more prone to get hyperpigmentation related skin conditions. When the skin is exposed the UV rays the melanin inside it protects the skin by causing it to darken this then leads to the skin developing a tan. In this article we will look at a number of common causes of hyper pigmentation.

Extreme exposure to the sun
This is the first and most common cause of hyperpigmentation. As much as this is a process that you can’t feel happening rest assured that it is. When you stand in the sun for too long without wearing any protective clothing or without wearing sunscreen, the UV rays from the sun activate the melanocytes to produce even more melanin resulting in the darkening of the skin.

To combat this you will need to protect yourself every time you’re in the sun. You can wear hats and sunglasses to protect your face and you can apply sunscreen to protect the rest of your body. Not every sunscreen works effectively though. There are some that don’t effectively screen the UV rays and these rays are harmful. When you buy sunscreen, choose one that specifically states that it protects against UVA & UVB rays.

Hormones
These are common especially in women who are pregnant. The different hormones acting during pregnancy cause the melanin production to increase. This leads to some areas of the skin becoming darker than normal. This condition will affect the face but also the arms, thighs and abdomen can be affected. Women who also take birth control pills are affected because these pills mimic hormones in the body causing them to lead to a rise in production levels of melanin.

There have also been cases of women who are not on the pill and who’ve never fallen pregnant yet suffer from melasma or facial hyperpigmentation. Even some men strange as it may seem, have developed this condition.

Other causes of hyperpigmentation are inflammation and some types of medication.

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