Hyper-pigmentation “Uneven Skin Tone”: Causes & Treatments

Skin pigmentation literally means the natural colouring of the skin. Within the human body, there are melanocyte cells that produce a pigment known as melanin. This melanin pigment gives each individual his or her natural or normal colour depending on genes, nationality and so forth. The more the cells produce the melanin pigment the more one will appear darker.

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    So, what is Hyper-pigmentation?

    The word Hyper-pigmentation is another term that describes a particular type of skin discoloration. Basically, it is when one’s skin becomes dark or darker than it was before. It can affect any part of the skin, but commonly on the face. The extent of darkening differs from one person to another but is so obvious that it is noticeable.

    Would be Causes of Hyper-pigmentation

    There are a number of factors that may cause the skin to darken or literally trigger an uneven skin tone. Possible causes include;

    • Age

    Ageing causes a number of changes in one’s skin tone and appearance and hyper-pigmentation is one of them. In this case, the dark spots or patches may appear on the face, décolletage, hands, chest, and the shoulders.

    • Sun Exposure

    This is a notable cause of hyper-pigmentation in both males and females. This may generally occur during the summer periods as one gets recurrently exposed to the UVA rays that penetrate the skin. Apart from causing skin discoloration, sun exposure can also speed up the ageing process.

    • Medical Conditions

    Certain undetected medical conditions such as anaemia or iron deficiency among others can cause the skin to darken. It is therefore important to monitor your health.

    • Exposure to Chemicals

    An exposure to chemicals from the factories or certain harsh skin products can leave the skin dark. With this, it is important to understand the chemical composition of each cosmetic product before applying it to the skin.

    • Genes “Genetics”

    Genes can also cause an increased production of melanin depending on one’s ethnicity. In this case, immune disorders can also cause the genes to produce excess melanin.
    Other common causes include;

    • Contraceptive pill and pregnancy
    • Hormonal levels (changes)
    • Scar tissue

    Types of Skin Hyper-pigmentation

    These are the common types of skin hyper-pigmentation

    • Sunspots
    • These are also referred to as solar lentigines, commonly triggered by an excessive exposure to the sun. Sunspots generally appear on the body parts that are recurrently exposed to the sun, such as hands, face, legs, and shoulders.


    This type of skin hyper-pigmentation occurs after an injury to the skin.

    • Melasma

    Melasma is one of the commonest forms of skin disorders associated with hormonal changes. It is common in pregnant women and basically attacks the face and the abdomen. It can also attack any other part of the body.

    Skin Hyper-pigmentation Treatment

    Unless the exact cause of hyper-pigmentation is obvious, a dermatologist may request a patient to undergo any of the following diagnosis.

    • Blood tests
    • Skin biopsy
    • Magnifying lamp
    • Wood’s Lamp

    Each diagnosis approach is considered to understand the exact cause of hyper-pigmentation before treatment.

    Treating Hyper-pigmentation

    • Lasers

    The modern techs have provided lasers as the best treatment option for hyper-pigmentation. During a laser procedure, a particular laser is utilized and the emitted intense light will pass through the epidermis. The emitted energy will then break down and dissolve the melanin pigment.
    Possible signs include a grey appearance, crusting, blistering, and minor bleeding. The crust will fall off afterward, but this depends on the discoloration extent.
    You may also require more treatment sessions to obtain the best results.

    • Bleaching Products

    Commonly, bleaching products prescribed depending on your level of discoloration can be used. These products should only be described by a dermatologist as some may contain illegal substances that are obviously harmful.

    Benefits of Hyper-pigmentation Skin Treatment

    There are a number of benefits that an individual will enjoy and they include;

    • An appealing appearance
    • Reduce aging signs
    • A normal skin tone
    • Self-esteem

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