What is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation – The Causes and Treatment
Hyperpigmentation is an unusual darkening of an area or areas of the skin caused by excess melanin production. Melasma, age spots, acne scars or other dark scars and blemishes are common types of hyperpigmentation. The characteristic dark patches can appear on the legs, hands or any other part of the body, but is most common on the face.
Melasma, also known as ‘mask of pregnancy’, is caused by excess oestrogen and is often seen in pregnancy or in women taking birth control pills. Melasma will usually disappear after pregnancy or when woman stop taking hormonal contraceptives, but other forms of hyperpigmentation are not so easy to get rid of and a little help is needed to remove the dark marks.
Although hyperpigmentation can occur with all skin types, it is commonly seen in those with darker skin tones such as African or South Asian skin. Treatment for hyperpigmentation includes skin lightening creams or soaps, microdermabrasion and laser skin lightening. Another common cause of hyperpigmentation is exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun so adequate protection from the sun should go hand-in-hand with any skin lightening treatment and a high factor sun screen (at least SPF 15) should be worn daily, particularly on the face.
In the United States, Hydroquinone based creams are the most popular topical treatments for hyperpigmentation and hydroquinone based skin lightening creams are readily available over the counter or by prescription. In Europe, South Africa and throughout most of Asia, it is illegal to sell hydroquinone based products but there are many other effective alternatives available. The suspected risks associated with hydroquinone have led to an increase in demand of alternative skin lightening treatments for hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone. Active ingredients in alternative skin lightening treatments include kojic acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid and natural ingredients such as lemon juice, Vitamin E, Vitamin C and extracts from Liquorice and Bearberry.
Whatever the cause, hyperpigmentation can be distressing, especially when the dark patches appear on the face, and the desire for a smooth and even complexion is strong for people of all skin tones. Hyperpigmentation will fade on its own over several months or years, but safe and effective skin lightening treatments can significantly speed up the process of obtaining a healthy and even complexion.
Article courtesy of articlesbase.com. You can find the article at: http://www.articlesbase.com/skin-care-articles/what-is-hyperpigmentation-1771332.html
Anita Greenwood is a contributor to Articlesbase.com.