Hyperpigmentation is caused by aggressors such as the sun, sun beds, blue light, hormonal changes, and medication. Often appearing as part of the natural ageing process. Usually, the hyperpigmentation marks are not visible until years after the damage has been done.
Treating hyperpigmentation can be tricky, it's not as simple as applying the latest serum or cream. If you want great results, you must strengthen your skin first because pigmentation marks are produced by your skin, as a way of protecting itself. Unless you address the strength of your skin it will continue with its own self protection techniques.
How is it formed?
Melanin is the natural pigment in your skin (and hair) it gives your skin its colour. But melanin also acts as one of your skins major defence mechanisms.
It has 2 roles; to protect your skin from UV rays and to mop up free radicals from pollution and the environment (free radicals act as scavengers in your skin - they cause premature cell death, known as Reactive Oxidative Stress).
Melanin is produced within cells called Melanocytes. When the skin is exposed to aggressors it triggers a natural chemical response within the cells. This chemical response leads to the creation of melanin. When called upon melanin is there to protect your skin.
The quantity and quality of your melanin depends on your skin colour.
Fair skins produce more Pheomelanin which are the orange/red pigments, giving a light golden tan. In very fair skin melanin cannot reach the skins surface. This skin when exposed to UV, often goes red, but then goes white again without tanning.
Darker skins produce more Eumelanin, the brown/black pigments. The darker the skin the more natural protection you have. But this is not to say darker skin cannot burn, it can.
Melanocytes have a ‘good memory’
If you have been burnt by the sun in the past, next time the area is exposed the melanocytes will give more melanin to the affected, vulnerable areas. Dark patches appear, freckly shoulders are a good example of this reoccurring sign of damage.
If you’ve never burnt your skin but still get hyper pigmentation patches.
Melanin synthesis is also triggered by hormones, more so from the contraceptive pill, during pregnancy, peri-menopause and the menopause proper. This is because the skin is vulnerable at these times. Remember melanin is one of your skins major defence mechanisms. It’s there to protect your skin when damaged or in times of vulnerability.
Light reaction & medication
Using antibiotics when exposed to the sun can also cause hyperpigmentation to form. This is photosensitivity.
Ageing & Hyperpigmentation
As you age your skin becomes more vulnerable, this is thanks to lower amounts of collagen and elastin production. Resulting in a finer, thinner skin. The slowing of oil production means your skin may become drier, more sensitive. Melanin is called upon to defend your skin more often resulting in age spots or dark marks to be visible.
Never use harsh or aggressive products
Some believe that if you have hyperpigmentation, you have tough skin. This is untrue. Don’t use harsh or aggressive products to ‘irradicate’ the patches. Quite the reverse is true. Some treatments could make the problem worse over time.
We must strengthen and nurture your vulnerable skin
If you try to treat only the pigmentation patch you will get a minimal result. If you strengthen your skin first, before treating your hyperpigmentation you will get a superior result. You will protect and defend your skin against further harm too.
We’re here to help you
We can help you treat hyperpigmentation with our Treatment Boost for Pigmentation & Dark Spots. But its not as simple as one magical product. To get real results, you must nurture and care for the fundamental needs of your skin before we go onto treating your hyperpigmentation marks.
You can learn more about our Treatment Boost for Pigmentation & Dark Spots here.
Visit our Virtual Skin Bar
Do you need help choosing the right products to treat your skin? I’m here to help you. With over 30 years’ experience as a skincare expert. I will prescribe the correct products, along with an achievable regime to give you the results that you want. No more guessing, no more half-used products on your bathroom shelf.
Join me for your personalised consultation at our Virtual Skin Bar. All you need is 20 minutes, a phone, tablet, or laptop. Book your appointment here.