Spending summers lying on the sandy beaches for a perfect tan can be very satisfying. Unfortunately, overexposure to the sun might cause particular areas of your skin to appear lighter or darker than the other areas. However, hyperpigmentation is not a condition. Instead, it refers to skin patches that appear dark, giving your skin an uneven tone. In other instances, hyperpigmentation can indicate an underlying medical condition that needs further evaluation. Are you worried about hyperpigmentation and how best to address it? If so, your trusted Glen Allen Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center is the place to visit.
What are your risk factors for hyperpigmentation?
Your two primary risk factors for hyperpigmentation are exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays and inflammation, as they both accelerate melanin production. The more the exposure, the more you enhance your risk. Depending on the pigmentation type you might be suffering from, your other risk factors for the unsightly patches include:
- Oral contraceptive usage
- Medication likely to enhance sun sensitivity
- Dark skin type which is more susceptible to changes in pigmentation
- Skin trauma
Hyperpigmentation mainly results from an increase in melanin production. The increase in melanin production may result from medications and hormone system ailments like Addison disease.
How best can you lower your hyperpigmentation risks?
- Keep your skin moist at all times.
Though your crucial goal with skin discoloration is to lighten the spots to allow your skin to have an even tone, you should also look for products that benefit your skin in different ways. For instance, when looking for a product to address the concern, go for those with moisturizing agents like glycerin, retinol, or hyaluronic acid to boost your cell turnover. Besides allowing the brighteners to work effectively, a good moisturizer might also restore your lipid barrier, shielding you from the sun. However, you must be careful with the ingredients in OTC products, as some of them might cause skin irritation.
- Avoid squeezing the stubborn whiteheads and blackheads.
A significant percentage of people get tempted to pick and squeeze an irritating mosquito bite or blackhead to get it off. Unfortunately, picking an injury worsens it, increasing the inflammation responsible for its discoloration. Thus, the more you mess up the bruise, the worse the spot will appear later. Over time, the discoloration might move deep into your skin, causing it to last longer than it should have.
- Consult your healthcare provider about high-tech options.
Though most OTC products are effective and might help lower hyperpigmentation, it is not guaranteed that the product will help solve your situation. In such an instance, you may contact your dermatologist and ask them for more aggressive ways like chemical peels to banish the discoloration.
- Take preventive measures to minimize future risks.
Since exposure to the sun increases your hyperpigmentation risks, your healthcare provider might suggest a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) above 30 every day when you are not exposing your skin to the sun.
Skin pigmentation can occur in patches or spots, depending on the severity of the discoloration. While most factors are preventable, you cannot prevent hyperpigmentation, especially if it is genetic or results from an injury. Contact your dermatologist for details about hyperpigmentation.