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Your body will change in various ways as you get older. You might notice that your hair starts thinning or your back is more sensitive to sleeping on soft mattresses. Many people also watch their skin change colors in different places. This guide explains the meaning of hyperpigmentation so you’ll learn everything you need to know about this condition.
What Is the Meaning of Hyperpigmentation?
Age spots can appear on any part of your body. Most people notice them when they show up on their arms, legs or faces. They may appear as large freckles and get darker with time. Your doctor may take a closer look and mention a condition known as hyperpigmentation.
This condition means patches of your skin produce more melanin than usual, resulting in discoloration. It can affect anyone because common triggers result in age spots, like exposure to sunlight or skin inflammation from cuts or acne.
What Are the Different Types?
The location of your sunspots may reveal which type you’re dealing with. These are a few different types your doctor may recognize in your skin.
Sun spots are typically why people go to their doctor about discoloration. They appear on your arms and legs after years of skipping sunscreen or laying in tanning beds.
Sometimes people develop hyperpigmentation after dealing with inflammation surrounding burns, cuts or acne. If your discoloration appears only where you had a recent injury or intense breakout, this is likely what your doctor will point to as the cause of your skin concerns.
Melasma is a condition where people get dark patches around their face or neck. It can happen to anyone, but pregnancy triggers it more often in women due to the intense hormonal changes. Sometimes discoloration can fade as your hormones return to normal after giving birth, but they can also continue if your hormones don’t regulate themselves.
What Are Hyperpigmentation Symptoms?
Hyperpigmentation typically presents with just darkened patches of skin on your face or lower extremities. People often notice them when focusing on their new beauty routine because they want to take care of their bodies. Raised skin or scaling could indicate a more serious issue.
Which Treatments Are Available?
After receiving a diagnosis from your doctor, they might recommend the following treatments. Always consult a professional before pursuing any of these treatments for your hyperpigmentation.
Topical Prescription Medication
Prescription lotion is a frequently used hyperpigmentation remedy. Your doctor may prescribe something with hydroquinone as the main ingredient. It lightens skin spots gradually and is also gentle enough for people with sensitive skin.
Topical Retinoid Prescriptions
Retinoids come in numerous prescriptions and regulate the cell apoptosis cycle to slow the aging process. Your skin spots may happen due to your age, making retinoid prescriptions the best treatment. A closer examination or cellular sample could help your doctor find the exact retinoid your skin needs to begin healing.
Professional Laser Treatment
If you search for laser treatment options, you’ll likely find at-home machines that are more budget-friendly than professional appointments. They’re easy to access, but not the best form of treatment.
While some at-home remedies can provide results, like whitening your teeth naturally with charcoal toothpaste, lasers can damage your skin if you don’t know how to use them. Always trust your skincare to a professional, especially if you need to treat hyperpigmentation.
How Can You Prevent Hyperpigmentation?
You don’t have to dread sun spots and discoloration if you use these prevention tips to take care of your body long before they ever appear.
Wear Sunscreen Daily
Sunshine and UV rays are the most likely culprits of hyperpigmentation. You can always wear sunscreen every day along with protective toner and SPF foundation. If your skin has less exposure, your cells will hold up with age.
Get High SPF Sunscreen
A product’s sun protection factor (SPF) measures your sun exposure that would normally result in burns. Higher SPF sunscreen prevents burns by allowing for a longer period of safe exposure. Any sunscreen at or above 50 SPF will provide adequate protection against the sun and hyperpigmentation.
Reapply Sunscreen Every Few Hours
Sunscreen is a powerful skincare tool, but it isn’t permanent. If you sweat or go swimming, the product will wear off. Reapply every few hours or even every half hour, depending on the intensity of your exposure and activity.
Understand the Meaning of Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition. Your doctor may find that your case happened because of sunburns, aging or even your pregnancy. Discuss the possible causes and treatments with a skincare professional to find the best targeted solutions.
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