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Useful insights on hyperpigmentation

Listen from Dr. Rathish T. Pillai about the various aspects of hyperpigmentation & skincare tips required to be followed in hyperpigmentation

Published: Feb 25, 2021 05:30:27 PM IST
Updated: Feb 28, 2021 11:08:42 AM IST

Useful insights on hyperpigmentation
What is Hyperpigmentation?       

Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition where patches of the skin are darker than the rest. Dark patches on the face, neck and around mouth are formed due to deposits of extra melanin colour producing pigment

When melanocytes are damaged, they produce more melanin that bundles together. Clusters of melanin on certain parts of the skin lead to dark patches or hyperpigmentation. It can occur on any skin type and age group, but is generally harmless.        

What are the triggering factors for hyperpigmentation?  

  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation caused by acne 
When skin is affected by acne over time it is noticed that skin has been healed, but pigmented spot remains on the skin.  This is ‘post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation’. It can also be caused by eczema, psoriasis and damage from skin treatments, such as microdermabrasion, skin peels or laser therapies.  

  • Melasma caused by fluctuating hormones  
Melasma is the result of fluctuating hormones. Variations in oestrogen and progesterone levels can be brought on by many factors, such as pregnancy, illness and taking birth control pills.  Your diet can also affect your hormones, particularly food with a high level of phytoestrogens, such as soy. 

Some of these causes are temporary and the pigmentation will usually normalise over time.

  • UV damage risk during your menstruation cycle 
Skin is more susceptible to UV damage during premenstrual  For up to one week before period, due to the hormonal activity, skin is at more risk of pigment development when exposed to the sun.      

  • Hyperpigmentation from chemical sunscreens
Chemical sunscreens contain compounds such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone, which protect skin from burning by absorbing UV rays from the sun and dispersing the heat.  It’s believed that the heat dispersed from this can stimulate melanin production and cause hyperpigmentation.  

  • Increased melanin production from parabens  
Parabens are used as a preservative in various skincare products and sunscreens for a long shelf life, parabens are believed to disrupt hormone function by mimicking oestrogen, which results in increased melanin production.  

  • Hyperpigmentation caused by lack of sleep
One of the many detriments of lack of sleep is poor blood circulation, which affects the oxygen supply that supports healthy skin. This can lead to hyperpigmentation or an uneven complexion. Lack of sleep also leads to more stress hormones in your body and, you guessed it, these hormones can cause an increase in skin pigmentation.  

  • Excess pigmentation caused by heat    
Being exposed to heat while cooking, blow-drying your hair, sitting in a sauna and being in front of a fire can make melasma worse, due to the dilation of blood vessels under the skin. Try to reduce exposure to the heat by putting a bit more distance between you and the heat source.

Issued in Public Interest by Oaknet Healthcare

Medications for Hyperpigmentation

Medications for hyperpigmentation include 

Topical creams:  Topical creams will include ingredients that lighten the skin, such as:

  • Azelaic Acid
  • Corticosteroids
  • Hydroquinone
  • Kojic Acid
  • Retinoids, Such As Tretinoin
  • Vitamin C 
Skincare tips to prevent Hyperpigmentation?  

  • Keep Skin Moist to Boost Cell Turnover 
  • Hands Off Bug Bites, Blackheads, and Other Injuries 
  • Consider an Rx for Stubborn Skin Discoloration   
  • Regularly visit Dermatologist for treatment
  • Treat acne early as it may prevent the condition from getting worse    
  • Eat balanced diet  
  • Always wear sunscreen    
  • While going outside always wear hats, sunglasses, stoles and protective clothing to protect the skin from the harsh rays.
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