Skin Darkening: Types, Causes & Prevention

Skin darkening or Hyperpigmentation is a darkening of the skin area caused by the overproduction of a pigment in the skin called melanin. It is common and usually harmless, but it is a cause of concern for a few who get demoralized with it.

There are two occurrences resulting in Hyperpigmentation: One; abnormal production of melanin, Two; when melanocytes are hyperactive. For instance, over exposure to the sun stimulates melanin. Hyperpigmentation can affect any part of the body including the face, neck, and hands.

The following are the certain types of Hyperpigmentation:

– Lentigo/Lentigenes:
It simply means freckles on the skin.

– Solar Lentigenes:
Known as sun spots, age spots, and liver spots, Solar Lentigenes are freckles caused by sun exposure.

– Melasma:
Known as the ‘pregnancy mask,’ melasma is caused by hormonal changes due to pregnancy and is characterized by splotchy, pigmented areas usually on the face (except the eye area).

Causes of Hyperpigmentation:
Some of the main reasons which may cause dark patches on the skin are because of the following.

– Inherited Factors:
Inherited factors caused by birth are responsible for the change in complexion.

– Skin Disorders:
Certain skin disorders give you patchy, thick and dark skin.

– Vitamin Deficiency:
Deficiency of Vitamin A,C,E and B-Complex and result to a dull, dark and rough skin.

– Liver Disorder:
Liver not functioning up to its level could result in skin darkening.

– Hormonal Changes:
Darkening of skin can be due to hormonal changes or pregnancy.

– Overexposure to UV Rays:
Overexposure to the sun can cause tanning of the skin, resulting in over production of melanin causing skin darkening.

Ways you can prevent Hyperpigmentation:
– Avoid direct exposure to sun rays.
– Always apply a good sunscreen before you go out in the sun.
– Keep yourself hydrated to avoid blemishes.
– Avoid excessive consumption of oily and spicy foods.
– Consume lots of fruits and vegetables containing vitamin A, B, C & E.

With a customized skin care regime, you can minimize the appearance of pigmentation to the minimum.