Hyperpigmentation Part 1: Types and Causes

Hyperpigmentation is medically What Causes Hyperpigmentationdefined as the increased pigmentation or color of the skin.  This is a common condition that many individuals deal with at some point or even throughout their entire lives.  Fortunately, there are various treatment options for the several different types of hyperpigmentation, including rosacea.

Physical Signs of Hyperpigmentation

  • Freckles
  • Darkened or lightened areas of the skin
  • Sunspots
  • Birthmarks or beauty marks, also known as congenital lesions
  • Melasma, often referred to as “Pregnancy Mask”
  • Rosacea

Common Causes of Hyperpigmentation

  • Sun Exposure
  • Inflammation and/or Previous Scarring
  • Hormonal Changes
  • Heredity

Surprising Causes of Hyperpigmentation

  • Facial Hair Removal: breaking hair at the shaft, ripping it out, and/or harsh chemicals can inflame the skin
  • Your Laptop: laptop thigh or "erythema ab igne" appears on thighs from prolonged use of a laptop.  It typically appears as net-like patches of discoloration
  • Citrus Fruits: called "bartender's burn" appears on any area of skin where citrus drips may have been left and then sun exposure occurs.  The sun activates the citrus and can cause sunburns and discolored streaks that form in the pattern of the drip marks. 
  • Bras or other regularly worn clothing that is too tight: the constant irritation/friction will irritate skin and can eventually even change skin’s color
  • Certain Medications

The cause for rosacea is still unknown and continues to be researched.

In the next edition of our Hyperpigmentation series, we will discuss common active ingredients and our recommended products to treat hyperpigmentation.

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