Understanding the Causes and Types of Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is almost always associated with sun exposure. Yet, truth is there’s more to hyperpigmentation than ultraviolet radiation and wearing sunscreen. Read on below to learn more about hyperpigmentation and what steps you can take to prevent or reduce its appearance.

Generally, hyperpigmentation is a direct result of either overreactivity in melanocytes (the hormones responsible for producing melanin, which lends the skin its darker color) or abnormal proliferation of the melanocytes themselves. Hyperpigmentation can be divided into three categories based on what caused it in the first place.

1. PIH or Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation – This type of hyperpigmentation typically occurs following skin injuries or abnormal conditions such as burns, psoriasis, acne, and even after certain professional treatments. This type of hyperpigmentation tends to respond well to treatments.

hyperpigmentation2. Liver spots or age spots – Medically known as lentigines, these are commonly seen in light-skinned individuals. Lentigines tend to occur in areas such as the face, forehead, shoulders, forearms, and the back of the hands that are exposed frequently to the sun. Although the exact cause is unknown, the appearance of liver or age spots is strongly correlated to sun exposure.

3. Melasma – This is typically characterized by the appearance of brown to gray patches on the forehead, bridge of the nose, cheeks, chin, forehead, and above the upper lip. In some cases, melasma has also been reported to appear in the forearms and neck. This condition is mainly attributed to hormonal shifts such as in pregnancy (chloasma), thyroid dysfunction, hormone replacement therapy, and use of birth control drugs.

Laser Treatment for Hyperpigmentation at the Northcoast Laser Cosmetics

At our practice, laser treatment has been the gold standard for treating skin pigment issues. If you’d like to know more about these treatments, we encourage you go get in touch with us today! Call us at 440.639.3223 or fill out this contact form to schedule an initial consultation.

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