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Things You Need to Know about Hyperpigmentation

Posted By: Anti Aging Toronto | July 12th, 2021 | Blog

hyperpigmentation


Hyperpigmentation is a fairly common skin condition that afflicts countless people of various skin tones and types. It takes on many different forms and has a wide range of causes based on several lifestyle, skincare, and genetic factors. Do you have hyperpigmentation or discolouration on your skin? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about what hyperpigmentation is, what causes it, and the most effective clinical treatment options for your skin.


What Is Skin Hyperpigmentation?


Hyperpigmentation is discolouration that occurs on various parts of the skin. It can have natural causes such as birth defects or it can be caused by external elements like overexposure to UV rays from the sun. Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin produces an abundance of excess melanin in certain areas more than others, resulting in an uneven skin tone. Although people with darker skin tones are more likely to experience noticeable hyperpigmentation or uneven skin pigmentation, it can happen to people of all skin tones and types.


Different Types of Hyperpigmentation


There are many different types of hyperpigmentation that can occur on the skin for various reasons. Here are some of the most common types of hyperpigmentation and skin discolouration that you should know about. Treatment for hyperpigmentation varies depending on the type and cause of excess melanin in your skin.


Age Spots


Age spots, which are also referred to as photoaging, solar lentigines, and liver spots, are inevitable for most people. As you get older, your skin tends to slow down collagen production. Collagen is the main connective tissue protein in your body that essentially binds your skin cells together. It also generates new and healthy skin cells that promote firmness and elasticity to help give your skin a youthful and radiant appearance resulting in an even skin tone. That’s why you might notice that a lot of over-the-counter skin creams and serums are fortified with collagen.


Lack of collagen in addition to prolonged overexposure to the sun can accelerate and increase the development of age spots on your skin over time. Age spots are most prevalent on parts of the skin that are most commonly exposed to the sun such as your face, arms, hands, chest, and legs in warmer months.


Birthmarks


Some, but not all, dermatologists and skincare experts classify birthmarks as a type of hyperpigmentation. Birthmarks are skin abnormalities that occur during fetal development. There are two main types of birthmarks: vascular and pigmented. Vascular birthmarks are red in colour. They’re the result of a cluster of blood vessels that haven’t formed properly beneath the surface of the skin. Pigmented birthmarks occur when there’s an excess of pigment clusters grouped together in one area. They can vary in colour including tan, light or dark brown, red, blue, or black.


Melasma


Melasma is another extremely common form of hyperpigmentation that’s typically prevalent in women, particularly women of colour. Although it’s a bit of a mystery in the medical community, Melasma is believed to be a hormonal side effect as it usually effects women of reproductive age during pregnancy.


Some cases of Melasma development have also been linked to being a side effect of birth control. There have been cases of men also developing Melasma, but these are few and far between compared to the rate at which it occurs in women. What does Melasma look like? It typically occurs on different parts of the face such as the forehead, upper lip, and cheeks in the form of greyish-brown or dark brown patches.


Thankfully, Melasma removal treatment is available in Toronto and it’s fairly easy and affordable for anyone who needs it.


Freckles


Some people have a genetic predisposition to develop freckles. Others develop them over time as they get older due to sun exposure. Freckles are light or dark brown spots that can develop on any part of your body, most commonly the face, neck, shoulders, and chest as these are the areas that are often exposed to the sun. Generally speaking, freckle development is nothing to worry about unless you notice irregular formations, asymmetry, or they start to change in colour.


Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)


Everybody gets acne from time to time. With proper treatment, acne such as pimples can clear up right away. Unfortunately, not everyone is always so lucky. Sometimes pimples can leave behind dark scars on the skin. This is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), also known as scarring.


Although it’s commonly associated with acne, however, PIH can be the result of pretty much any type of skin trauma. It can be a scratch, a scab from an itchy mosquito bite, or even an injury. Whenever any type of skin trauma occurs, your body immediately responds by trying to repair the cells in that area and sometimes, this can result in a production of excess skin pigment cells that leave behind a permanent mark.


What Are Common Causes of Hyperpigmentation?


We’ve already briefly touched on the most common causes of hyperpigmentation, but here’s a closer look at how these factors can affect your skin and lead to discolouration.


UV Rays


You already know that prolonged direct exposure to UV rays is bad for your health. Sun damage sustained in your early years can manifest in your skin’s defense mechanisms later on in life. UV rays break down your cell DNA over time, which can lead to melanoma (skin cancer). In response, the melanocytes in your skin produce excess amounts of melanin to combat the effects of excessive sun exposure. This results in darker skin pigmentation in some areas.


Hormonal Changes


As mentioned, hormonal changes can also heavily impact the appearance and pigmentation of your skin. Most prevalent in women, Melasma is a common side effect of many well-known hormonal changes as a result of birth control, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.


Trauma/Injury


Hyperpigmentation is often the result of the body’s natural response to healing scratches, impalements, acne, and any other form of skin trauma or injury.


Genetics


Genetics plays a major role in the development of your organs, including the skin. Some people are simply more genetically predisposed to developing birthmarks, freckles, moles, and even beauty marks that are darker in tone than other parts of their skin.


Hyperpigmentation Treatment at Anti Aging Toronto Clinic


For the most part, hyperpigmentation is a purely cosmetic skin condition that impacts a lot of people. Some people have a much easier time hiding visible scars and discolouration than others. If you fall into the latter category, then the Anti Aging Toronto Clinic has the right treatment for hyperpigmentation for you. We offer the following:



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