HYPER-PIGMENTATION

sun damage - melasma - uneven skin tone - age spots

Hyper-pigmentation is due to an overproduction of melanin - the brown pigment that produces normal skin colour.  Hyper-pigmentation is a concentrated, and often localised, increase in the skin’s natural colour, most often caused by sun exposure.  It is a common and usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker than the surrounding skin due to melanin deposits called “solar lentigines” or commonly referred to as age or liver spots.

 

What causes hyper-pigmented skin?

Too much sun, fluctuations in hormone levels or scarring due to acne, imperfections, injuries or surgery, can all lead to uneven skin tone.  Fluctuations in oestrogen levels, due to pregnancy or taking birth control pills, can also stimulate your melanocyte cells to work overtime and create pools of melanin on the skin called melisma spots. Pregnancy, for example, can trigger overproduction of melanin on the face and darkened skin on the abdomen and other areas.

A swollen pimple, acne or anything that causes scarring can also jump-start melanin production (especially in Asian, Hispanic or black skin), leaving a stubborn mark called post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation.

How to care for hyper-pigmented skin?

Sun exposure is the primary cause of pigment changes. Wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF15 every day (even during winter time) may help prevent any further damage from the sun’s harmful UV rays.  The sun protector must be classified as a broad-spectrum sunscreen to guarantee that it blocks both ultraviolet A (ageing) and B (burning) rays. 

Treating hyper-pigmentation can be a lengthy process. DermaQuest’s SkinBrite Collection is designed to brighten, rather than bleach, the skin. Skin brightening can be achieved by suppressing the behaviour of the melanocytes.  Although it sometimes takes longer than bleaching, DermaQuest chooses to use brightening techniques because they are safer and still highly effective.

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