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What is hyperpigmentation?

Apart from creases and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation is one of the common skin conditions that many of us have been struggling with. The uneven skin tone or little dark spots appear sneakily. Whatever the skin type you are, you may experience that the patches of skin are darker than surrounding areas of skin.

What are the causes of hyperpigmentation?

The causes of hyperpigmentation are various from sun damage to ageing. Melasma and sunspots often appear on the face, arm and legs that are exposed to sunlight. If your skin is injured or have inflammation, like cuts, burns, acne or lupus. As a result, it leads to hyperpigmentation too.

Sun Damage

The direst and most common causes of pigmentation are sunlight. Excessive sun exposure over time results in brown spots. Moreover, these spots will get darker when you are exposed to the sun more.

Acne, Steroids and Inflammation

When the pimple resolves, the skin will produce extra melanin that leaves a dark spot or mark. The use of systemic (oral, injected, or inhaled) steroid drugs also leads to acne. One of the side effects of picking and scratching acne is the dark marks.


People who have psoriasis will experience inflamed, itchy, painful areas of skin. If people scratch psoriasis plaques, it will change pigmentation or leave marks like scarring. Thankfully, it’s temporary and the skin tone will become even out. But it takes time from months to a year.


Age spots occur on the skin of people who are over 40 years old, resulting from lifelong exposure to the sun. To prevent our skin from UV rays, our skin will produce melanin which results in dark spots.

Hormonal Imbalance & Pregnancy

The imbalance of hormones production will lead to hyperpigmentation or melasma(also known as chloasma or ‘pregnancy mask’). This type of hyperpigmentation often occurs in women. The fluctuations of female sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone will stimulate the increase in melanin production.

A Glance of The Causes of Hyperpigmentation

Causes of Hyperpigmentation, sun exposure, acne, psoriasis, ageing, hormonal imbalance, pregnancy, steroids, inflammation

How to prevent and get rid of hyperpigmentation?

  1. Apply sunscreen to prevent sun damage
  2. Intense pulse light therapy (IPL) is a laser treatment that encourages collagen growth
  3. Dermabrasion helps to remove the epidermis (superficial scarring)
  4. Use brightening products like vitamin C, glycolic acid, retinol and arbutin to even the skin tone and control the production of melanin

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