WHAT IS HYPERPIGMENTATION?
Hyperpigmentation is a word that signifies more pigmentation, which are darker patches of skin in comparison to the skin of a person. Hyperpigmentation does not mean the only reason for dark skin tones and people who have darker skin tones cannot be classified as being hyperpigmented! Hyperpigmentation (also known as hyper melanosis) signifies that in a person, there are spots of skin, spots, or patches of skin that are lighter than what is normal for the person.
PIGMENT OF SKIN MELANIN MELANIN
The skin has cells in the outside layer (epidermis) known as melanocytes which produce the pigment of the skin called melanin. The production of melanin can cause excess and result in hyperpigmentation.
Melanin pigments are of two kinds: it is the dark eumelanin (black-brown) as well as the light melanin (red-yellow). The key process that creates melanin is the conversion of an amino acid Tyrosineto Dopa through the enzyme called tyrosinase. The majority of the drugs that combat hyperpigmentation block this process or the enzyme.
Melanin is typically found in the granules known as melanosomes. However, melanin production that is excessive may result in an increase of melanin that is deposited free in the epidermis of skin and dermis. This creates a comparatively darker (hyperpigmented) appearance. Additionally, the larger and more dense melanin granules can give a more dark appearance.
SUN EXPOSURE, MELANIN PRODUCTION
Melanin, particularly eumelanin shields skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
UV Rays are comprised of UVA as well as UVB. Both stimulate melanin production. UVA is less energetic and has more penetration when compared with UVB. This is why UVA is more associated with a general growth in melanin production, similar to tanning and aging. UVB in tiny amounts is required to aid in vitamin D production, however excessive exposure can result in sunburn immediately and raise the chance of developing skin cancers as a result of long-term exposure.
In the case of exposure to the sun and sun, more eumelanin is created due to the stimulation of UV radiation, and a more dark skin tone appears. So, those who live near the equator will have more dark skin tone. The proportion of eumelanin to Pheomelanin can be determined not just by sunlight exposure, but also through genetics and environmental factors.
INFLAMMATION and Hyperpigmentation
Inflammation and skin injury are powerful triggers for melanin creation. This is why areas of the skin that have been subjected to extreme inflammation, constant itching, injury, or scarring are often hyperpigmented (PIH post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). The skin’s inflammation mediators can trigger a dramatic rise in melanin production which can result in large quantities of melanosomes that are large and dense, as well as melanin that is free to accumulate in the epidermis below and the deep dermis. The result is that hyperpigmentation can last for a long time and is often challenging to manage.
THE CAUSES OF HYPERPIGMENTATION
It is the most frequent cause of areas of hyperpigmentation. It is possible that this is due to excessive and long-lasting itching, such as in eczema, lichen Planus as well as allergies, pimples chemical reactions, injuries, and burns.
UV radiations caused by sun exposure
It is the most frequently blamed cause of dark spots, such as sunspots (solar lentigines) age spots (senile lentigines) as well as other hyperpigmented spots on sun-exposed regions of the body.
Melasma can be described as an acquired hyperpigmentation disorder that is characterized by generally or less uniformly dispersed, medium-to-dark brunette patches (macules) and affecting exposed areas to sunlight, including the nose, cheeks, and the upper lip, chin temples, forehead and. It is more prevalent among women. The butterfly pattern of hyperpigmentation of cheeks is a characteristic. Melasma is often measured by calculating the extent or intensity of the facial region affected (Melasma area as well as Severity Index -MASI score).
Exposure to UV radiation, which causes an increase in melanin production and accumulation is the most frequently cited reason. Other contributing factors include hormonal imbalance due to contraceptives, pregnancy (melasma during pregnancy is known as the chloasma), or genetic influences as well as cosmetic use. Melasma does not pose a risk of being a severe disease, however, because it can affect appearance, it may cause a significant psychological impact on the individual affected.
Another cause of hyperpigmentation
They include chemotherapy drugs, radiation, as well as autoimmune diseases like lupus and SLE (systemic lupus and erythematosus), hormonal imbalances (seen in the course of pregnancy or oral contraceptive use among women), and prolonged use of cosmetics as well as smoking. Patients with conditions such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism may have hyperpigmented spots. Hyperpigmentation is common in the case of Addison’s disease, which is an uncommon hormonal disorder that affects the adrenal glands, which are situated just over the kidneys. Acanthosis of the skin is a disease that causes dark discoloration of the folds and wrinkles of the body that are more frequent in those when obese.
Take note: Hemochromatosis can be a disorder of iron overload and causes a grayish shade (not to be mistaken for hyperpigmentation).
A Melanocytic Nevus (plural: nevi) or mole that is black/brown is a benign condition of the skin due to an increase in the local area of melanocytes. It can appear at the time of birth (congenital the nevus) or after (acquired the nevus) and may be found on the skin or any body part. These nevi can be genetic or family-related and can last for the rest of the years if present since the beginning of childhood. Those developed in adulthood or in adolescence mostly result from sunlight exposure, which can lead to fade with age.
Congenital nevi vary from small (<1.5cm) to huge ones (giant melanocytic nevus) 20cm or more. They may also show up as brown spots, referred to as cafe au Lait patches or they may be hairy or speckled. The term “Mongolian spot” refers to a Mongolian spot a large blue prominent nevus that can be seen on the buttocks of newborns and the nevus of Ota is a reference to oculo dermal melanosis (hyperpigmentation that affects the face and eye).
Usually, nevi do NOT require treatment. Multiple or congenital nevi, if present, are examined for any changes that are suspicious in texture, color, or size that could suggest an urgent need to check for Skin cancer (melanoma risk of 0-5 percent). The nevi and other nevi that are unattractive or unattractive can be removed through excision or shave biopsy, or using electrosurgery or lasers.
Treatment of hyperpigmented spots can be very difficult and the results may be disappointing. It can take months or even weeks of constant treatment before you see outcomes. In general, hyperpigmentation that occurs in places other than the face is not treated and isn’t that significant. However, hyperpigmentation of the face or melasma is treated to enhance the appearance of the face. There are a variety of chemicals that have been tested to reduce pigmentation and have had mixed results in clinical tests. There are a variety of skin lightening creams offered with a mixture of such ingredients.
They should be used particularly when you are out during the daytime. Sunscreens are recommended in accordance with the conditions and be adequately protected against both UVA as well as UVB.
Learn: Important Sunscreen Points
CREAMS FOR SKIN LIGHTENING
Three of the most efficient substances that are employed to treat the first aggressive form of melasma and hyperpigmentation are hydroquinone, Tretinoin (a retinoid), and corticosteroid (like mometasone and fluocinolone). They are typically available as a triple combination cream. They must only be utilized under the direction and supervision of a physician, and at least one who is a dermatologist. Hydroquinone and tretinoin are both inhibitors of the activity and synthesis respectively of the enzyme tyrosinase, which is responsible for the critical step for the creation of melanin. Corticosteroids are able to reduce inflammation and melanocytes’ activity. If taken in excess hydroquinone could cause streaky skin pigmentation (called ochronosis) while tretinoin could cause irritation and dryness. Corticosteroids can cause topical steroid-damaged/dependent face (TSDF), a recognized entity comprising face redness, thinning of the skin, stretch lines, and acne. So, these creams shouldn’t be used for general fairness creams or in excess in the absence of medical guidance.
Other milder substances that help reduce hyperpigmentation can be found in the creams for lightening skin that is available over the counter. Kojic acid and THC (THCC), and arbutin are all substances that inhibit tyrosinase and have anti-inflammatory properties, thereby reducing melanin production. Other agents that are similar include retinol (a more mild retinoid compared to the tretinoin) as well as azelaic acid and niacinamide. The effectiveness of these drugs has not been established to be significant and therefore, they should only be employed in less severe cases or as a long-term maintenance treatment following the initial three-component use. Other combinations of herbs that do not have research-based evidence that is used in these creams comprise aloe vera, licorice barberry, and extracts of green tea. Antioxidant ingredients also stop melanin production from being stimulated caused by UV-induced skin damage. They are Vitamin C, E, and glutathione.
They are acids with lower concentrations like 1-2 10% glycolic and salicylic acid which help in removing the outer layer of the epidermis, and thus the melanin that has been deposited into it, along with dirt, dead cells, and other debris. This can make the appearance of your face lighter while the agents for skin lightening help in preventing the production of melanin.
This includes various foundations, concealers, and makeup products that do not have medical value but can help enhance the appearance. It is important to be cautious when choosing these products so that they don’t result in skin reactions or irritation, thereby aggravating the issue. Test these products on a small portion of the face is recommended prior to general application to the face.
The procedures are best done by trained and experienced dermatologists. These procedures are recommended for patients who have not shown an improvement in response to treatment using the mentioned lightening agents for the skin, particularly those who have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and resistant melasma. While hyperpigmentation does not pose a risk to the issue, its psychological impact could be substantial. The procedures could require several sessions and mostly work by taking off the skin’s layers. The creams that lighten the skin are usually used in conjunction with medical supervision. The process itself may result in inflammation and even pigmentation when applied incorrectly or without knowledge and proper training.
The treatment options for hyperpigmentation comprise:
- Peels of chemical They are high concentration acids, such as glycolic acid 20-70 percent, lactic acid between 40 and 70 percent, salicylic acid 10-30 10%, and trichloroacetic Acid TCA 35-50 percent)
- Laser therapy This includes Q-switched Ruby laser low-dose Q-switched neodymium-doped aluminum garnet lasers, fractional erbium-doped fiber laser as well as fractional CO2 lasers. Nd with picoseconds-domain: lasers made of YAG
- The intense pulsed light (IPL) IPL is a method of using high-intensity pulses of visible light
- Microdermabrasion – A specially designed application tool with an abrasive finish or small particles of sodium bicarbonate or aluminum oxide that suctions can be used to remove gently the thick outer layer of skin.