Hyperpigmentation issues aren’t only for the elderly. Even young adults can suffer from unsightly dark spots and uneven darkening of the skin. The key to successful treatment of hyperpigmentation is to understand what triggered its appearance in the first place.
Skin darkening in hyperpigmentation has to do with melanocytes (the cells responsible for producing melanin (the pigment responsible for giving color to the eyes, skin, and hair). In most cases, the melanocytes are either abnormally abundant or are overactive.
The following factors trigger overactivity, or sudden increase in the number of melanocytes, resulting in abnormal darkening of the skin:
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) can follow an inflammatory condition in the skin such as acne, burns, and psoriasis. In some cases, PIH can occur after a skin care treatment such as a chemical peel.
- Sun exposure, particularly among light-skinned individuals, is a primary contributor in the appearance of age spots in the elderly population.
- Hormonal fluctuations in women can also cause skin darkening. Melasma, a type of hyperpigmentation characterized by brown to gray-brown patches on various parts of the face, neck, and forearms, is common during pregnancy. Some women using birth control pills or undergoing hormone replacement therapy also experience melasma.
In some cases, hyperpigmentation may be a sign of another disease or health condition such as Addison’s disease (adrenal insufficiency), celiac disease, mercury poisoning, and certain thyroid disorders.
Talk to us today and we’ll help you find out the real cause of your hyperpigmentation issues and recommend a treatment. Call us at 408.559.4700 to set up an appointment.