How to fade hyperpigmentation on face
If you’re bothered by darks spots due to hyperpigmentation on your skin, one thing is clear: Today there are more options for erasing that harmless but irksome discoloration than ever before.
What exactly is hyperpigmentation? It’s any patch of skin that looks darker than your natural skin tone due to overproduction of the brown pigment melanin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the most common causes of hyperpigmentation — which can affect people of all skin tones in varying degrees — are:
- Inflammation Skin trauma — such as acne, eczema, bug bites, cuts, scrapes, even scratching or friction from, say, vigorous rubbing — can set off inflammation. Inflammation, in turn, can send pigment-producing cells into high gear, leaving behind a dark spot after the injury has healed.
- Sun Exposure The sun’s UV rays hitting your skin triggers extra melanin production as a way to defend your skin from damage. That extra melanin is what gives you a tan. However, when sun exposure is frequent or excessive it can make dark “sun” spots appear. Although sun spots are not cancerous, according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, sun-exposed skin may develop other precancerous blemishes that look similar. For this reason, it’s important to have your skin checked yearly by a dermatologist.
- Melasma Often referred to as the “mask of pregnancy,” melasma is characterized by brown patches that can commonly form in women during pregnancy. This type of hyperpigmentation most often occurs in women, but can also occur in men. It is thought to be triggered by a combination of sun exposure, genetics, and hormonal changes, since it’s also been linked to the use of oral contraceptives, say experts from the American College of Osteopathic Dermatology. Airborne pollutants that bind to the skin, making it weaker and more easily damaged by the sun, may also be a factor in melasma and other hyperpigmentation, according to Harvard Health.
- Medical Conditions or Medication Hyperpigmentation can also be due to Addison’s disease, an adrenal gland disorder that can increase melanin production. Certain drugs, including antibiotics and, according to the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center, some chemotherapy drugs, can cause hyperpigmentation.