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Skin Talk: Hyperpigmentation

Updated: Jun 29

Hyper-pigmentation is the over production of melanin. Melanin gives your skin color. 

The excess melanin can cause dark patches, spots and uneven skin tone. This can be caused from sun exposure, hormones, medication or injuries.

Types of Hyper-pigmentation

  1. Melasma are large brown to grayish-brown patches that tend to be symmetrical on the both sides of the face. It is noticeable in areas such as cheeks, nose, forehead and upper lip. It is caused by a hormone imbalance. It is generally more common in women than men. Sun exposure can trigger melasma so it’s extremely important to wear mineral sunscreen and reapply!

  2. Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is caused by injury to the skin. For example, you pick at a pimple and it leaves a dark spot after it has healed. This typically only affects the top layer of the skin. This can fade within 6-12 months

  3. Solar lentigines, or sun spots, are small, flat dark area that is a result from sun exposure. They are larger than freckles and do not cause any harm. They can indicate excessive sun exposure, which is a risk factor for developing cancer. 

  4. Ephelides are freckles! These too are a result of over production of melanin. Sun exposure & sun burns are the main cause of ephelides. They are more common in lighter-skinned people with blonde or red hair. However, they can occur on anyone. 

  5. Lipofuscin is known as “age spots” or “liver spots” and can be confused with solar lentigines. Lipofuscin is caused by oxidation deprivation in a cell. Sun exposure does play a role in the creation of this spot so it is always important to wear sunscreen. This type of spot can be difficult to treat. It will take time and discipline to show results.

Ways to help minimize melasma, post inflammatory, hyper-pigmentation, solar lentigines, and ephelides:

  • Mineral sunscreen

  • Chemical peels specifically for hyper pigmentation

  • Microneedling

  • Tyrosinase inhibitors

  • Retinol

The below may help with Lipofuscin:

  • Mineral sunscreen

  • Vitamin B6, C & E

  • Alpha Lipoic Acid 

  • DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol)

  • Essential Fatty Acids 

  • Retinol

*You should contact your doctor before starting any supplements

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