Hyperpigmentation and its causes

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

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.

Sweating and its causes

Sweating, also known as perspiration, is an essential bodily function. It is a process of producing fluid made of water, ammonia, urea, salt, and sugar by the sweat glands.

Causes of Sweating

Our body’s comfortable temperature is 98.6°F (37°C). At this temperature, our body can work at its best. When the body temperature increases from this comfortable level, our brain tries to regulate body temperature. A signal is sent to a part of our brain known as the hypothalamus, which stimulates the sweat glands to produce sweat. When the sweat comes in contact with the air, it evaporates, cools down the body temperature, and brings it back to the normal temperature.

Apart from the increase in physical heat, emotional stress such as fear, anxiety, anger can also produce sweat. Sweat induced by emotional stress is restricted to palms, soles, armpits, and forehead, whereas sweat induced by physical heat can happen throughout the body.

On average, a human body has 2-4 million sweat glands. But the amount of sweat released by each gland differs from person to person, and the determining factors include gender, genetics, health, and the environmental condition, etc.

Why sweating is important

When sweat comes in contact with the bacteria of our body, it creates a bad smell, often called body odor. Because of this, sweating is always considered unpleasant, and many products such as talcum powders, deodorants, antiperspirants, and perfumes are available in the market to keep the body odour at bay.

Nevertheless, we should not forget the fact that sweating is an essential bodily function that comes with certain benefits. Apart from maintaining body temperature, sweating also helps in eliminating body toxinsSweating eliminates the excess salts, retains the calcium in our bones, and prevents the formation of kidney stones. Sweat contains nitrite, which acts as an antibacterial, anti-fungal on the skin and prevents sickness.

But too much of anything is not good, isn’t it? The excessive sweating we often ignore as signs of tension or nervousness could be a health condition that needs proper medical treatment. Read our other blogs on excessive sweating to understand the condition better.