Seeing Spots? The Realities of Hyperpigmentation
As a typical person, you most likely have noticed that there are certain spots on your skin that are a different color than the rest. If not, you are blessed. These darker spots are called hyperpigmentation and they are caused by the overproduction of melanin in one spot. While some consider varieties of this cute, like freckles, other varieties may not be as happily looked upon. We’re here to give you a little insight into what may be causing your hyperpigmentation and how you can get a handle on it if you so choose.
What is it?
Hyperpigmentation, as we mentioned above, is caused by an overproduction of melanin in a concentrated area. This can be seen as sunspots, age spots, etc., and may be triggered by a few different issues. Let’s look into those:
- Inflammation: Any type of skin trauma can kick the pigment-producing cells in your skin into high gear. This includes acne, cuts, bug bites, eczema, and even friction. This means that it’ll leave a dark spot after it heals, also called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
- Sun exposure: UV rays from exposure to sunlight can trigger melanin production as a defense mechanism. That’s what creates what we call a tan. However, if this exposure is happening often or is super intense, it can cause dark spots to appear which are called sunspots. While not inherently cancerous, you should always get sunspots checked by a dermatologist annually.
- Melasma: This one occurs mostly in women, and it’s also called the “mask of pregnancy.” It happens when a patch of skin develops melanin rapidly due to hormone fluctuations. It’s usually triggered by a mix of genetics, hormonal changes, and sun exposure, but it’s also been shown to have a connection to taking oral contraceptives.
- Medical Conditions or Medications: Another cause of hyperpigmentation can be various medical conditions, such as Addison’s disease, that cause melanin production. It can also be connected to a variety of medications, including antimalarials, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics. There could also be a higher risk of hyperpigmentation with certain chemotherapy drugs.
How can I fix it?
Having gotten a better understanding of what hyperpigmentation is, let’s talk about a couple of our favorite products that can help you with it!
- Green Tangerine Vita C Toner Pads by Goodal. This 5-in-1 toner pad will help to exfoliate, brighten, tone, and moisturize to help bring out a beautiful and clear complexion. Made with green tangerine extract for some vitamin C and antioxidants, AHA and BHA for some gentle resurfacing, and hyaluronic acid for deep hydration.
- Serum by Skin & Lab. This is truly a do-it-all serum for any kind of skin issue. Made with pomegranate, raspberry, acai, and lyceum for some antioxidants to target hyperpigmentation and dullness, along with wild yam, sweet almond oil, and licorice for brightening, toning, and hydrating. You also will get niacinamide and adenosine, which can help with acne scars and fine lines.
- Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum by Axis-Y. One of the holy grail products for uneven skintone and all types of hyperpigmentation. This product’s formulation packs a punch with ingredients like niacinamide and squalene to help fade discolouration and even out skin tone. Papaya, sea buckthorn and allantoin help brighten skin tone and speed up cellular cell turnover.
There truly are a ton of things you can do to take care of your skin if you suffer from hyperpigmentation, so try out a few and get a feel for what works best with your skin!