Hyperpigmentation of The Skin
Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition in which patches of the skin become darker in color compared to the natural skin tone. This is usually caused due to increased production of melanin which is responsible for the color (pigment) of the skin. There are several types of hyperpigmentation, but the most common ones include:
1. Melasma - This is a type of hyperpigmentation that is common mostly in (pregnant) women and it is often caused due to hormonal changes.
2. Solar lentigo (or sunspots) - This hyperpigmentation is mostly linked to overexposure to the sun and it usually appears on the face and the back of the hands.
3. Post-inflammatory - A hyperpigmentation that is caused due to an inflammation of the skin. For example, due to acne.
While hyperpigmentation is usually considered harmless, it may still disturb people from an aesthetic perspective. Furthermore, it is not always possible to avoid hyperpigmentation of the skin completely, however here is what you can do to protect yourself:
1. Apply sunscreen - Applying sunscreen before leaving the house should become a regular day-to-day routine the same as brushing your teeth. It is recommended to apply the sunscreen on all the exposed parts of the skin approximately 20-30 minutes prior to exiting the house. Also, seek to reapply it every two hours, if outside, especially after swimming or sweating. Furthermore, seek to use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 and one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Finally, please note that it is also important to apply sunscreen during the winter as UVA rays have the ability to penetrate through clouds.
2. Limit your exposure to the sun - Avoid being in the sun between 10:00am to 4:00pm when the sun rays are strongest.
3. Wear protective gear - This includes long pants and shirts with long sleeves (when possible) as well as a hat and sunglasses.
* This Blog was written to provide general information only and should not be seen as a replacement for a professional medical consultation. It is highly recommended to always consult your healthcare provider prior to trying a new treatment or a product.