All you need to know about hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is extremely common, especially in South Africa where the climate is harsh.

But what causes the patches of darkened skin that so many women struggle to get rid of?

Hyperpigmentation occurs when the melanocytes in the deeper layers of the skin produce cells that contain a skin-darkening pigment known as melanin. If melanin is over-produced, it may result in darker patches of skin.

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Sunlight triggers the production of melanin. (Picture: Pexels)

When can you expect to see an increase in melanin?

The biggest culprit is the sun. Sunlight triggers the production of melanin, which is why you may see an increase in freckles on your body after spending time in the sun.

Melanin acts as natural protection from the sun and can be described as your body’s natural sunscreen.

Hormone-induced pigmentation, known as melasma, occurs during pregnancy or due to birth control pills. It occurs when the body experiences hormonal fluctuations and is often known as the ‘butterfly mask’ during pregnancy due to its butterfly-like shape. 

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Hormone-induced pigmentation occurs during pregnancy. (Picture: Pexels)

Ever had a bad breakout that resulted in dark spots on the skin? 

Post-inflammatory pigmentation is common among people who experience breakouts, eczema or dermatitis. It occurs when a skin injury heals and leaves an area of discolouration behind. This is the number one reason why you should never pick at pimples – it can result in terrible scarring that takes years to fade!

How to beat it

Depending on the cause and the severity of the pigmentation, there are various treatment options available.

Chemical peels or laser therapy may be needed, or topical creams may be prescribed. 

The number one thing you can do to prevent pigmentation and also to prevent existing pigmentation from getting worse is to apply a broadspectrum SPF every day. Invest in good quality skincare products that specifically target the pigmented areas, like skinPhD’s Pigmentation Control.

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Pigmentation Control 50ml – R490.00

skinPhD Pigmentation Control is a potent and highly effective dermatological preparation, formulated with a scientifically advanced botanical complex, with clinically proven tyrosinase inhibiting activity, synergistically combined with natural malachite extract, a mineral-derived inhibitor of oxidative stress, to effectively reduce blemishes, improve radiance and correct unevenness of skin tone associated with actinically damaged and premature aged skin.

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