What Are the Causes of Skin Hyperpigmentation?
Skin hyperpigmentation is a relatively common condition in which patches of the skin become darker in tone than others. The skin discoloration results from too much melanin (which is a skin pigment) that creates deposits over the skin. People of any ethnicity or race can develop skin hyperpigmentation. Several possible causes of this condition are discussed in this article.
Skin hyperpigmention occurs as a result of inflammation of the skin. External factors such as cosmetic procedures or UV (ultraviolet) radiation cause skin inflammation that can stimulate the skin cells, known as melanocytes. It can encourage the melanocytes to make more melanin, which results in the darkening of parts of the skin.
UV radiation is the external factor that is most likely the most prevalent cause of skin hyperpigmentation. UV radiation encourages a melanin increase to make the skin appear more “tan.” While this is happening, the body’s systems are supposed to regulate excess production of melanin. However, this is not always the case, and sometimes, especially in elderly people, the body’s internal systems are not able to control the production, resulting in too much melanin. This in turn results in common manifestations of skin hyperpigmentation such as liver spots and age spots.
There are some factors other than UV radiation that can lead to inflammation of the skin and ultimately cause skin hyperpigmentation. Some examples include the clearing up of acne, hair removal processes, perfumes, some types of surgeries, burns and injuries. All of these things can inflame the skin and lead to the symptoms of skin hyperpigmentation.
Some people might simply be more sensitive to developing skin hyperpigmentation, especially people with naturally darker skin tones, such as people of African descent. Their skin is oftentimes much more sensitive to procedures like chemical peels, lasers and injections, all of which can lead to skin inflammation.
Hormone level changes are also common causes of skin hyperpigmentation. Because of this, many pregnant women have a higher chance of developing skin discoloration. This can also happen to females who are taking birth control pills.