Monday, March 3, 2014

Reasons hyperpigmentation is On the Rise

What Is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is the over production of melanin or pigment that causes skin darkening. It is very common but harmless. People regard it as a nuisance especially women as it affects the facial beauty. They want to get rid of it as soon as possible. 

Two things occur when hyperpigmentation takes place:
  • Abnormal concentration of melanocytes that produces melanin
  • When melanocytes are hyperactive, it is commonly because of sun exposure that stimulates the production of melanin.
Anyone can get affected by it but this condition is more prevalent among certain ethnicities like Mediterranean, Asian, Latin and African. Any part of the body can get affected by hyperpigmentation such as neck, face and hands. Melasma is an example of hyperpigmentation. It is often known as the pregnancy mask and caused by hormonal changes due to pregnancy.

4 Reasons of hyperpigmentation
The four reasons of hyperpigmentation are as follows:
  • More birth control is being prescribed: According to many doctors hyperpigmentation is caused due to the consumption of birth control as well as hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Mostly women get affected as they take birth control pills. The sudden replacement of hormones also causes hyperpigmentation, according to Amy B Lewis New York dermatologist. 
  • Sunscreen still isn't worn daily: It is very important to protect the skin from the harmful rays of the sun. But despite this fact many Americans don't wear it daily that is the cause of skin discoloration. One important thing to note is that, nowadays trend of tanning is increasing which is the major cause of hyperpigmentation.
  • Some diseases can affect skin tone: Diabetes causes hyperpigmentation especially the neck get affected by it. Women who are diagnosed with diabetes often get discoloration on this body part.
  • Population changes: Mostly those people experience hyperpigmentation that have increasing number pigment producing cells in their skin. In the US many people are living with darker skin tone.
One of the simple ways to approach hyperpigmentation is to consider whether the increase in color is due to an increase in the production of melanin or whether it is due to an increase in melanocytes and lastly because of the deposition of another substance that gives color to the skin.

For reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation a customized skin care regimen is required. A good sunscreen that contains at least SPF of 15 must be used regularly. Another option is using skin care products that help to treat hyperpigmentation. The products that contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are very effective as AHAs help to remove dead surface cells that have got stained with pigment. AHA chemical peels are also available that make the hyperpigmentation light. But severe cases such as larger skin patches require consultation with a dermatologist.

Always keep in mind prevention is better than cure. The harmful rays of the sun are responsible for hyperpigmentation. It can be prevented by wearing a sunscreen of at least SPF 15 every day as well as avoiding too much of sun exposure.  You must always exfoliate your skin for removing dead surface cells that also cause discoloration. Exfoliating the skin properly help to minimize hyperpigmentation. But don't use strong exfoliants and prefer only mild or light peels. Overdoing it actually worsen hyperpigmentation and overthrow the purpose of exfoliation. A person having dry and sensitive skin must exfoliate twice in a week. Combination or oily skin person must exfoliate twice or thrice in a week. Facial scrubs must not be used on acne prone skin as they are too abrasive to make the condition worse.

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