Habit Hack: Guide to Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages and skin types. From post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) to sun damage hyperpigmentation and melasma, there are different types of pigmentation disorders that can appear on different parts of the body. In this Habit Hack, we'll explore the causes of hyperpigmentation, how to prevent it from worsening, and the best skincare products to use for treating pigmentation issues.
How does hyperpigmentation occur?
Hyperpigmentation occurs when there is an excess of melanin, which is responsible for giving our skin its natural colour. This can happen due to various reasons such as sun exposure, hormonal changes, genetics, inflammation, and trauma to the skin. When melanin is produced in excess or deposited in one area, it leads to the appearance of dark patches or spots on the skin.
What are the common types of pigmentation?
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) - this occurs after an injury or inflammation to the skin, such as acne, cuts, or burns.
- Sun damage hyperpigmentation - also known as sunspots or solar lentigines, this type of hyperpigmentation occurs due to long-term sun exposure.
- Melasma - this type of hyperpigmentation is caused by hormonal changes and often appears as dark patches on the face.
How to cure pigmentation?
Treating pigmentation can be challenging once it has developed. Although it may not cause physical discomfort, it is important not to ignore it as it could indicate cellular irregularities that may lead to more serious skin issues. The most effective approach is to use active ingredients that inhibit melanogenesis and reduce dark patches naturally.
- Vitamin C serums - Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to brighten the skin and reduce hyperpigmentation.
- Retinoids - Retinoids help to increase cell turnover, which can help to fade hyperpigmentation over time.
- Hydroquinone - This ingredient is a skin-lightening agent that works by inhibiting the production of melanin in the skin.
- Azelaic acid - This ingredient helps to reduce inflammation and improve skin texture, making it a great option for those with PIH.
- Niacinamide - This ingredient helps to regulate the production of melanin in the skin and improves skin texture.
Is hyperpigmentation a cause for concern?
While hyperpigmentation is generally a harmless condition, it's important to check with a GP to ensure any marks on the skin are identified accurately and promptly. Wearing sunscreen is also crucial for preventing further hyperpigmentation and fading existing marks, especially for those seeking to clear up excessive pigmentation.