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Face care

Hyperpigmentation and its causes

Posted on 28th Apr, 2016

Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition that can cause mental distress as it affects the most visible parts of the body. Therefore, we thought of giving detailed insight on hyperpigmentation and the causes behind it.

Hyperpigmentation is nothing but a change in skin color. It is mainly caused by the overproduction of melanin on a particular area which changes the skin color and makes it darker compared to the remaining parts of the body. The reason for the overproduction of melanin can be many and a few main causes are mentioned below.

Age Spots

Age spots also called dark spots, appear on the frequently exposed parts of the body such as the face, arms, and feet. They generally appear after a certain age because of the overexposure of body parts to sunlight.

Post Inflammation Hyperpigmentation

When a part of skin heals after an injury, skin trauma or acne, it causes post inflammation hyperpigmentation. This is mainly because of the stress undergone by the skin during the healing process. Certain skin treatments which include extreme abrasion can also cause this skin condition.


Melasma is a type of skin pigmentation caused by UV radiation. If a person’s sun sensitivity is high, they are prone to Melasma. The change in hormones during pregnancy is also one of the reasons behind Melasma. Sometimes intake of birth control pills can also cause this pigmentation.

Acanthosis Nigricans

Acanthosis Nigricans is caused by imbalanced hormones which are supposed to regulate the blood sugar levels. The pigmentation is caused around neck, underarms, knuckles, and in some cases, around the groin area. As the blood sugar-regulating hormones are disturbed, Acanthosis Nigricans is also considered as a warning sign for diabetes.

Topical creams

Certain topical creams, especially the ones meant for skin lightening/fairness can also be the reason for hyperpigmentation. Even though they may show some results initially, the ingredients can react with the skin and with exposure to external factors such as sunlight can cause hyperpigmentation.

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