What do you mean of hyperpigmentation?
It is explained as darkening of an area of skin or nails due to increase in melanin pigment in our body. It can be diffuse or located at one place. It normally affects the skin of face and back of hands.
What is cause of hyperpigmentation?
It is mainly caused by sun damage due to UV rays, inflammation or other skin injuries like acne vulgaris. People of dark skin tone belonging from Asian or Mediterranean or African countries are more prone to hyperpigmentation due to direct sunlight. It may be also caused due to excess production of melanin in the body. Melanin is a pigment produced by melanocytes present at the lower layer of epidermis thus, responsible for the color to skin, nails, eyes and hair. As, the person matures up melanocyte production is less and even the distribution is effected thus, leading to this problem. It can be caused due direct contact with UV light, skin lightening lotions or acne vulgaris. It is also associated with many conditions like;
- Addison’s disease (adrenal insufficiency which affects the production of melanin, which is further elevated)
- Melasma also called as chloasma (patchy dark skin found in pregnant women due to hormonal fluctuations like thyroid dysfunction, usage of birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy)
- Lentigines ( commonly called as age spots which are prevalent in individuals with light skin in the age group 50- 60 )
- Smoker’s melanosis
- Celiac disease
- Fungal infections like ringworm
- Haemochromatosis (accumulation of more iron in body)
- Induced by dermatological laser procedures
How to diagnosis hyperpigmentation?
Skin analysis is the preferred choice by the skin specialist to investigate the origin and severity of the condition. Information retrieved from the clients helps the doctor in knowing the lifestyle of the person, medical or genetic cause of hyperpigmentation.
How it can be treated?
It includes use of hydroquinone, kojic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, ascorbic acid, tretinoin (retinol), topical glucocorticoids, licorice extract, niacinamide (active form of vitamin B3), etc.Examples of AHAs which is commonly used are glycolic and lactic acid. They help in removing the dead cells which are already stained with pigment, thus lessening the discoloration. Newer topical agents have come in market which shows total efficacy in treating darkening of skin which includes; licorice, aloesin, mequinol, rucinol, mulberry, ellagic acid, resveratrol, green tea and N- acetyl glucosamine.
- Before going out in sun always prefer applying sunscreen with SPF 25-30.
- Prefer cotton clothes with light shades in summers and dark shades in winters.
- To use sunglasses of good quality during driving.
- Always remember these four steps to have healthy skin; cleanse, exfoliate gently, moisturize and protect your skin from any problems.
- Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water to detoxify the body.
- Keep a constant check on the intake of tea/ coffee.
- Supplement the diet with antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin B complex.
- Prefer fresh green vegetables, salads and fruits in your diet.
- Use homemade packs like; lime juice and honey, banana and honey, papaya pulp, etc which in turn helps in lightening the dark complexion.
- Apply aloe vera, lemon, potato and cucumber juice.
At last, we can say maintain healthy skin and normal functioning of melanocyte cells by having balanced diet and following the above remedies. Further we can say, if our body is deprived of nutrients repair of skin will be compromised. So, get your skin free from pigmentation and dark patches by having proper advice from your doctor and following a healthy lifestyle.