What Is Skin Hyperpigmentation, And What Is It Due To?

Summer has now arrived, and the desire for sun and sea accompanies the beautiful days. However, summer is also the period in which some women complain the most about an annoying aesthetic problem: dark spots on the skin. These are skin hyperpigmentation problems that lead to two types of blemishes that become more pronounced in the summer.

What Is Skin Hyperpigmentation, And What Is It Due To?

The term hyperpigmentation explains very well that we are talking about dark spots on the skin. These spots are due to an accumulation of melanin which is concentrated in certain areas of the skin. There are mainly two types of hyperpigmentation.

Melasma Or Chloasma

It is a multifactorial skin imperfection localized mainly on some areas of the face, the cause of which is not yet well known. It mainly affects women and people with dark skin, hair, and eyes. The genetic component has a certain relevance together with other external and internal factors that favor melasma: hormonal alterations, the use of some drugs, including the contraceptive pill and antiepileptics, stress, and some cosmetics that contain perfumes or other ingredients which accentuate the

Furthermore, the greater predisposition in pregnancy is considered a relevant fact, so much so that we speak of “pregnancy mask” when pregnant women are affected. Finally, the sun accentuates the spots by stimulating greater melanin production. Melasma generally disappears over time, and once one or more of the predisposing factors we have seen are missing.

Age Spots Or Senile Lentigo Or Senile Keratosis

Age spots are hyperpigmentations of the skin that turn from light brown to a darker shade that tend to appear with age. They affect both men and women, especially people with fair skin, hair, and eyes. They are mainly located on the hands, face, arms, shoulders, and décolleté. They are considered the manifestation of the physiological aging of the skin and, in particular, of the alterations of both melanogenesis and the skin’s structure. 

Mature cells tend to accumulate longer. Among these, melanin is associated with age spots and keratin with the physiological thickening of the skin due to age (keratosis) which tends to make the spots even more evident. Although they are considered senile, there is an increase in the incidence in subjects under 40. The cause? The sun! Another emerging factor that favors the formation of age spots is pollution. The problem with these spots is that, once they appear, they only disappear with a laser or other dermatological interventions.

Hyperpigmentation And The Sun: The Enemy Of Your Skin

Tan lovers at all costs will be disappointed, but the sun is one of your worst enemies if you have hyperpigmentation problems. In melasma, the sun tends to highlight the problem because it activates melanin. In age spots, the sun is even considered their main cause. You can read it everywhere: the sun favors cellular skin aging. Regarding age spots, a greater incidence has been highlighted in those who have given themselves to a “wild” tan without protection and in the most harmful hours starting from a young age. The activation of melanin for our body is not a matter of spectacular tanning and tanning but a simple defense mechanism against UV rays. 

When you expose yourself to the sun without the right precautions, this protection mechanism is not enough, and the defense system collapses, favoring the formation of age spots in the long term. The demonstration of all this is their location: in general, the hands, face, and arms represent the areas most exposed to the sun, while the shoulders tend to be part of the body most affected by rashes. Both age spots and melasma generally represent only aesthetic hyperpigmentation problems of a benign nature. In any case, it is recommended to keep age spots under control. In recent years, following the greater aggressiveness of the sun and pollution, dermatologists can also evaluate a certain risk, albeit limited, of degeneration for this type of hyperpigmentation.

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