Flipping through the pages of a magazine, we’re all guilty of staring enviously at this impeccably airbrushed goddess looking back at us with perfectly even skin. If you’re the kind that has concealer tucked carefully into every bag to cover up those awkward dark spots on the go, then hyperpigmentation and you aren’t strangers.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Say NO to the Sunshine
The wind in my hair, but the Sun, NEVER ON MY FACE! Sunlight is known to boost melanin production. And while melanin got your back on those sunny days (Hello natural sunscreen!), prolonged exposure disrupts its process and can lead to hyperpigmentation. If you’re already someone battling a fierce war with freckles, age spots, melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation spots, the sunlight is just going to accentuate your situation.
Treatment:Sunscreens help curb further darkening. The best sunscreens for hyperpigmentation offer broad spectrum SPF protection with UV filters like zinc oxide and octocrylene found in Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50 or Lotus Herbals Safe Sun UV Screen Matte Gel Pa+++ SPF – 50. You could also visit a dermatologist specialising in Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments to help fade away the dark patches.
The Hormonal Juggle
Ladies, if you thought mood swings were the only menace you had to deal with, think again! Hormonal changes are the main cause of a type of hyperpigmentation known as melasma or chloasma. Basically, when our BFFs Oestrogen and Progesterone decide to go berserk and run riot, melanin production shoots up too, causing skin darkening. Melasma usually affects pregnant and menopausal women.
Treatment: Visit a reputed dermatologist to analyse your condition. While prescribed topical creams by the doctor could work, in dire cases chemical or acid peels, non-ablative laser peels or even traditional laser treatments could help lighten those stubborn patches on the skin.
Spot the difference
You can win the battle, but what about the war against the aftermath? Aging skin, inflammation, acne, chemical exposure, eczema or psoriasis cause blotchy spots (Like reminders- as if the ordeal wasn’t hard enough) known as Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation. Chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, antimalarials, and other medications could also have side-effects that lead to skin darkening. Just like the scars from that toxic relationship, these brown patches too need to be addressed and treated.
Treatment: The best way to treat acne pigmentation is resorting to non-invasive means. The best creams for this type of hyperpigmentation should contain ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids, azelaic acid, kojic acid, salicylic acid, retinoids and vitamin C (in the form of l-ascorbic acid), found in Reviva Brown Spot Night Cream With Kojic Acid and St.Botanica Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C, E Facial Serum. In case of stubborn scars visit your dermat for dermabrasion or advanced laser therapies.