Hyperpigmentation refers to the darkening of certain areas of the skin due to an increase in melanin production. There are several forms of hyperpigmentation, including:
- Melasma: Melasma appears as brown or gray patches on the face, particularly on the cheeks, forehead, nose, and upper lip. It is often associated with hormonal changes and is more common in women during pregnancy or when taking hormonal medications.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH): PIH occurs as a result of skin inflammation or injury, such as acne, burns, cuts, or other skin conditions. It appears as dark spots or patches that develop after the initial inflammation or injury has healed.
- Solar lentigines: Also known as sunspots or liver spots, solar lentigines are flat, tan to dark brown spots that appear on sun-exposed areas of the skin, primarily the face, hands, shoulders, and arms. They are caused by long-term sun exposure and are more common in older adults.
- Freckles: Freckles are small, flat spots that are typically tan or light brown. They are usually genetic and more common in fair-skinned individuals. Freckles tend to darken with sun exposure and fade or lighten during the winter months.
- Lentigines: Lentigines are similar to solar lentigines but are not directly related to sun exposure. They are more common in individuals with lighter skin tones and can vary in color from tan to dark brown.
- Dark spots from acne: Acne breakouts can leave behind dark spots on the skin, known as post-acne hyperpigmentation. These spots are caused by inflammation and an increase in melanin production.
It’s important to note that hyperpigmentation can also be a symptom of underlying medical conditions, such as certain hormonal disorders or autoimmune diseases. If you have concerns about your skin pigmentation, it is recommended to consult with a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.