Skin Diseases

Hyper pigmentation symptoms, causes and treatment

What Is Pigmentation?

Pigmentation implies colouring of the skin. Skin pigmentation issue influences the colour of your skin. It can be only patches or the whole body, depends upon the situation one is facing. The colour of your skin is brought by a pigment in the skin called melanin. Some unique cells in the skin make melanin. If these special cells get damaged or are harmed, it affects the production of the pigment. Some pigmentation issue influence just parts of the skin. Others influence your whole body.

The cause of this skin disorder called hyperpigmentation is that under certain areas of the skin, melanin is over-produced. This causes black or brown spots to be formed there. These are flat patches which are darkened. Their shape and size can vary according to the pigment under the skin. There are many types of hyperpigmentation. One is the age spots that occur due to the exposure of the sun and the age factor. They are small dark patches on the arms, face or other parts of the body. The other type known as Melasma has big dark patches caused during pregnancy or hormonal imbalance. About ninety per cent of women have Melasma during the time of their pregnancy.

Hyperpigmentation :

Hyperpigmentation has various other causes also. They can be a side effect of some disease like gastrointestinal diseases, metabolic disorders and certain vitamin deficiencies. Certain treatments can also cause hyperpigmentation like drug therapy, chemotherapy and certain antimalarial treatments. Henna tattoos and other tattoos can cause contact dermatitis which leads to hyperpigmentation.


Some people are at a greater risk of hyperpigmentation than others. This can be due to their job occupation or their style and location of work. Engineers working outside or people that have field work have greater exposure of the sun which can cause hyperpigmentation. Although the sunblock can block some of the harmful rays from the sun, it can still cause some damage if the sun is exposed to the sun too much.

Hyperpigmentation is more prevalent among women with darker skin tones and tends to cover their skin up at the time of pregnancy. It happens to such an extent that it is called the mask of the pregnant women.

As mentioned earlier, female hormones like estrogen and progesterone cause the increase of melanin and it leads to the change in the skin tone. This is called hormonal imbalance in women and is a major cause of hyperpigmentation. Lastly, the number one cause is harmful rays from the sun. Melanin is a protection from the sun for the skin and the sun triggers the production of melanin. However, too much melanin can disrupt the process and can create dark patches on the skin instead of making it tan.

Hyperpigmentation is common among Asian skin tones and is a leading cause of insecurity among women. They tend to hide it with cosmetic products like colour correctors and concealers. The orange colour corrector is used for hyperpigmentation in women during makeup. It sits under the foundation making the skin even toned. Hyperpigmentation is known to increase after inflammatory skin conditions.

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Anam Asif

The author Anam Asif

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