Hyperpigmentation is a condition where dark patches appear on the skin. The causes can be various. Although generally harmless, hyperpigmentation can interfere with appearance. However, there are several ways that can be done to get over it.
Skin hyperpigmentation occurs when the body produces excessive amounts of melanin, the pigment that gives the body its skin color. These dark patches on the skin can generally appear on any part of the body. However, hyperpigmentation can also occur all over the body.
Hyperpigmentation can be caused by various factors, such as inflammation of the skin, exposure to the sun too often and long, skin aging, use of certain drugs, such as birth control pills, pregnancy, hemochromatosis (excess iron levels), and Addison’s disease.
Types of Hyperpigmentation Disease
Hyperpigmentation can be divided into several types. Each type has a different cause, such as excessive sun exposure, age, or the impact of certain skin diseases.
Some of the most common types of hyperpigmentation disease are:
Melasma is characterized by the appearance of dark patches on the chin, forehead, nose, temples, neck, upper lip, or cheeks on one or both sides of the face. In addition to the face, these black patches that don’t itch or hurt can also appear on other body parts, such as the arms.
Melasma can appear on areas of the body that are frequently exposed to the sun and is more common in women, although it can occur in men as well. Those with dark skin are generally more at risk of developing melasma.
Melasma in women often occurs during pregnancy or because of taking birth control pills. Melasma that appears during pregnancy is called chloasma.
Lentigo is characterized by the appearance of round black or brown spots on the skin, such as on the face, arms, or backs of the hands. The spots that appear are about 0.2-2 cm in size and have an irregular shape.
Based on the cause, lentigo can be divided into 2 types, namely:
- Solar lentigo, which is lentigo caused by sun exposure
- Nonsolar lentigo, ie lentigo caused by congenital disorders such as Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
Lentigo is also commonly experienced by middle-aged or elderly people. As you age, lentigo spots can continue to grow.
3. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
This condition, known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, is characterized by brownish patches on the skin on certain parts of the body that have experienced previous injury or inflammation. The size of the spots is large and the shape is irregular.
These dark patches are caused by injuries, such as burns, allergic reactions, side effects of medications, and inflammation of the skin, such as acne or eczema.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can also occur in people undergoing certain skin-care procedures, such as lasers and microdermabrasion.
4. Hyperpigementation due to side effects of drugs and chemicals
Hyperpigmentation one ii is a type of hyperpigmentation that occurs as a side effect of using certain drugs or chemicals.
These drugs can be antimalarial drugs, heart drugs, such as amiodarone, or chemotherapy, such as bleomycin and busulfan. Meanwhile, the chemicals that trigger hyperpigmentation are silver, gold and mercury.
The spots that appear are usually brownish, grayish, bluish, or bluish gray. These hyperpigmented patches can spread, but the shape and pattern of the patches can depend on the medication you are taking. These patches also commonly appear on the face, especially the lips, hands, feet, or genitals.
The types of skin hyperpigmentation above are not dangerous conditions. However, you need to be careful if the spots that appear spread or expand quickly, have an irregular shape, and the existing spots are accompanied by sores, itching, pain, and easy bleeding. Hyperpigmentation with these characteristics can be a sign of skin cancer.
How to Overcome Hyperpigmentation
The appearance of black spots on the skin, especially facial skin, will certainly interfere with appearance. In order to deal with patches due to hyperpigmentation, there are several treatment methods that you can use or do, including:
Vitamin C and kojic acid
Several studies have shown that creams or ointments containing vitamin C and kojic acid can lighten and reduce skin hyperpigmentation. The combination of these ingredients can inhibit the tyrosinase enzyme that plays a role in the formation of melanin.
Over-the-counter creams or prescription creams can also be an option. Choose products that contain hydroquinone and tretinoin. The combination of the two is known to be effective in helping to brighten the skin.
Creams containing glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and retinol can also be an option. The combination of these ingredients can increase skin cell regeneration and brighten the skin.
However, you need to be careful with the content of tretinoin because its effects can harm the fetus. Therefore, creams containing tretinoin are not recommended for use by pregnant women or women who are planning a pregnancy.
laser or chemical peel
Generally hyperpigmentation that is treated with special creams will disappear. However, if it does not go away, then another treatment method is needed, such as laser or chemical peel.
Skin hyperpigmentation can actually be prevented by using an SPF 30 sunscreen cream before starting activities in the sun on a regular basis. In addition, also wear closed clothes or hats when doing outdoor activities.
However, hyperpigmentation should be checked by a dermatologist if the patches don’t go away, get worse after treatment, or change in shape, size, and color.