Hyperpigmentation & You: How To Handle Dark Spots and Patches
It’s actually more common than not. Remember that persistent skin discoloration that motivated your exfoliation game? That was probably hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is the appearance of darker than usual skin patches that surface in the skin’s complexion. Medically, hyperpigmentation is “. . . you have more melanin, a substance in the body that is responsible for your skin color . . .” But why does this happen and what can we do about it? Let’s find out!
Stay Protected from UV Rays
Sun damage can be a likely cause of darker than usual patches that appear on the skin. While we love the warmth of the sun’s rays for its mood-enhancing benefits, it’s really important to protect your skin fibers. When your skin attempts to protect itself from burning UV rays, the cells containing melanin overproduce pigment and cause the appearance of darker than usual patches.
Yes, the skin uses melanin as a natural protector against UV rays, but it does not replace the need for sunscreen. Not only is sunscreen important in managing hyperpigmentation, but it also protects the elastin in the skin. Elastin keeps the skin firm and is degraded by the sun’s UV rays over time. Remember to add on some sunscreen before enjoying the sun’s incredible lighting for those angelic selfies.
Pay Attention to Irritation and Sensitivity
Using products that match your skin type is another way to avoid exacerbating your skin. Surprisingly, a simple irritation can lead to enough skin damage that could evolve into Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH). This is when severely traumatized skin causes over pigmentation deep in the epidermis.
Like regular hyperpigmentation, PIH does fade but, it may take your skin a little longer to return to its natural complexion. Using gentle or mild skincare products can help to avoid irritations, rashes, and burns. Niacinamide, Vitamin C, and Glycolic Acid can help your skin get back on track after it has healed.
We know that managing acne can be frustrating. You must be extra gentle with your skin and try your best not to pick at the affected area, no matter how tempting it may be. It’s important to leave those pesky bumps alone so that no unwanted marks, scars, or lingering pigmentation remain.
Scaring and acne pigmentation is a result of melanin overproduction as the pimple heals and can lead to PIH. A spot treatment is an easy solution to repair and remove exudation for a clean area. Tea Tree, Green Tea, and Witchhazel are great ingredients to use for a clearer, more even-toned complexion.
The Long and Short
Hyperpigmentation is common and treating it varies for everyone’s skin type and necessities. While hyperpigmentation can be treated topically, they’re some instances where you may need to consult with a medical professional. Be diligent with your skincare and be aware of how it is responding to your surroundings.