Hyper-pigmentation and its causes

Posted on 24 Sep, 2011

Hyper-pigmentation is characterised by brown patches of skin that are darker than the surrounding skin. While we often associate wrinkles as the most obvious unwelcome sign of ageing, hyper-pigmentation also tend to proliferate as time goes by.

Birthmarks and freckles are generally not considered as the same type of hyperpigmentation, simply because you tend to be born with them or to develop them in the early stages of life.

The pigmented patches appear when the skin’s pigment, melanin, is found in increased levels in the skin. This can be caused by hormonal changes and it is not uncommon for pregnant women to discover darker patches either on their face or body.

Sun damage is another factor that can result in the overproduction of melanin. We tend to call these marks ‘age spots’ or ‘liver spots’, although they have nothing to do with either age or the liver. Melanin is produced in response to the damage caused by exposure to the sun.

Prevention is therefore always the best approach to take if you want to avoid pigmentation treatment. The skin has to be protected from damaged caused by the sun, and this can only be done by either wearing clothing that blocks UV rays and by ensuring sunblock is worn.