Melanin, a pigment found in the skin, determines your skin color. It is a protein, made by melanocytes, a particular subset of skin cells. Your skin is constantly in a state of flux. The new cells continually replace the epidermal layers beneath the skin’s surface. This then slowly migrates upwards toward the skin’s surface. Here, they eventually perish and slough off.
What are Melanocytes and how do they help cause hyperpigmentation?
Melanocytes exist deep within the epidermal layers. These cells create more melanin in people with colored skin than in those with white skin. Melanocytes actually produce melanin in response to specific factors. For example, inflammation and UV radiation exposure. Extra melanin helps to shield the skin from sun damage in people of color. However, those with lighter skin are less fortunate, as melanin does not offer adequate sun protection for them.
So, here comes hyperpigmentation. It is a term to describe areas of the skin that are darker in color. Although pigment flecks can appear on many skin types, people with colored skin tend to have them far more frequently. In this article, we’ve tried to give you a detailed explanation of it. It will help you better understand hyperpigmentation and the best way to take gegen pigmentflecken.
What types of hyperpigmentation are most common?
There are many forms of hyperpigmentation. Here are some of the categories:
- Age spots: Also known as sunspots, these are little, dark-brown areas. These are typically more prevalent in skin areas exposed to the sun. For example, the area around the eyes, forehead, face, or neck. Besides, they can also appear on the back of your hands or arms.
- Melasma: These are larger hyperpigmented spots. Hormonal contraceptives, or HRT, are the most frequent cause of melasma in females. Meanwhile, pregnancy hormones, or chloasma, are another factor that can lead to this kind of hyperpigmentation in females.
- Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation: This condition arises when inflammation returns to a region of the skin that has already experienced it. For instance, after eczema or acne lesion outbreak. As a result, an area of the skin becomes stained. On the other hand, a chemical peel or laser therapy can also cause this kind of hyperpigmentation.
Common causes of Hyperpigmentation
You might be curious about why some people only experience hyperpigmentation while others don’t. So, understanding the typical causes will help you choose the most effective strategy to take gegen pigmentflecken. These are a few of them:
- UV Radiation: A prolonged exposure to sunshine sparks the production of melanin. This results in suntan development. It can help shield your skin from more sun damage. However, excessive sun exposure can make things worse by deepening and highlighting any type of hyperpigmentation.
- Aging: As we become older, the number of melanocytes decreases. Moreover, the few that survive, grow bigger. On the other hand, the epidermis becomes thin. It gives the skin a thinner, more delicate, and more easily traumatized appearance.
- Hormones: We haven’t yet entirely understood their exact interactions with sunshine. However, progesterone and estrogen increase the incidence of hyperpigmentation in people. About 25% of women using contraception and 50% of pregnant women experience hyperpigmentation.
- Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH): You can bring on hyperpigmentation by doing anything that injures the skin and induces inflammation. This can result in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). The cause is that inflammation prompts the skin to manufacture melanin on its own. The other name of PIH is post-inflammatory erythema (PIE). One of its examples is the reddish tint that acne sufferers’ skin gets after plucking and squeezing areas.
- Medical Conditions: Hyperpigmentation is a side effect of several disorders. Also, the darkening is more obvious in skin folds, creases, or pressure points under this kind of hyperpigmentation. For example, when a patient has Addison’s disease, their cortisol levels are low while their ACTH levels are high. And ACTH stimulates the body to produce more melanin.
- Medication: Hyperpigmentation is a documented side effect of various drugs. Antibiotics, antiretroviral medications, anticoagulants, and analgesics are just a few examples.
How to prevent hyperpigmentation?
The best defense against pigment flecks is to stay out of the sun. Or you can buy sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher as it is another way to protect your skin. Moreover, make sure the ultraviolet protection rating is at least 4 stars. Besides, you should always cover all the areas of your body exposed to the sun with sunscreen. Re-apply it every two hours and after swimming. Moreover, it is important to keep in mind that no sunscreen offers 100% protection. So, that requires limiting your going out in the sun as much as you can.
Another piece of advice is to don a wide-brimmed sun hat. Additionally, avoid exposing yourself to direct sunlight from noon to 3 PM, as the sun is at its harshest during this time. Further, you should try to avoid sunbeds as much as possible.
What should one do if diagnosed with hyperpigmentation?
There are no tests required to diagnose hyperpigmentation because one can do it clinically. However, you must visit your doctor right away if a new pigment mark appears on your skin or if you discover any lesions or pigments. After all, you shouldn’t forget that skin cancer like melanoma is becoming more prevalent. Melanoma has risen as the quickest of all cancer kinds. In fact, research shows that approximately 160,000 cases of melanoma have been reported each year in the US.
However, not every kind of pigmentation is a result of melanoma. Melasma is the primary cause of pigmentflecken in the majority of instances. Only after the diagnosis, you’ll be able to recognize your problem, and then you’ll adopt any treatment. Also, you can only get most drugs used to treat hyperpigmentation with a prescription.
Maintaining your skin requires a lot of effort. Unfortunately, the majority of people overlook their skin when they are young. This is a big mistake. When lesions develop from excessive sun exposure, they are difficult to treat. Even experts advise planning ahead and taking steps to prevent pigmentflecken from ever appearing.
Also, there’s no doubt, we are all afraid of cancer. However, a seemingly insignificant anomaly like hyperpigmentation can have a disastrous impact on your life. On the other hand, it can result in anxiety, shame, and even a decline in self-confidence. Fortunately, being aware of this ailment will benefit you greatly. Meanwhile, it’ll encourage you to fight pigmentflecken effectively.