The term hyperpigmentation refers to areas of the skin which have darkened in colour due to the increased presence of melanin in those areas. Hyperpigmentation can occur anywhere on the body, but usually appears on the hands or face. Hyperpigmentation treatment aims to lighten or eradicate the signs of hyperpigmentation which may be presented as freckles, melasma, age spots (or sunspots), or areas of the skin which are generally darker in colour.
Causes of Hyperpigmentation
Birthmarks have no specific cause and as the name implies are areas of pigmented skin present from birth. They are caused by an overgrowth of melanin-producing melanocytes.
Genetics may also be the cause of some people being genetically predisposed to skin pigmentation.
Hormonal fluctuations, such as those experienced during pregnancy or before menopause, can affect the skin quite significantly. That is why many pregnant and pre-menopausal women develop melasma, which are characteristic brown or blue-gray splotches, usually on the face.
Ageing process and photo-ageing are the main culprits of general skin darkening, freckles, age spots and sun spots. Excessive unprotected exposure to the sun causes photo-damage to the skin and over time, skin coloration darkens and hyperpigmentation occurs.
Skin trauma or damage and inflammation can cause areas of pigmentation to appear termed as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.