You don’t to be vain to be concerned with your skin and how you look. The health of your skin is sometimes an indication of your overall health and a signal that you need to pay attention to other aspects of your health. And sometimes a skin disorder is just that—a skin disorder that is only reflective of something that is occurring at a superficial level. In this week’s blog, we’ll look at hyperpigmentation to see which of these two categories this phenomenon falls under. We are Kallgren Dermatology Clinic, and we treat skin disorders of all types and provide regular skin care for the long-term health of your skin and whole self. If you notice that you have a patch of skin that is darker than the rest of your skin, this is called hyperpigmentation. To learn more about it, keep reading.
What is Hyperpigmentation?
- Pigment in skin is produced by melanin. Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition that affects many people at some point in their lives. The term hyperpigmentation is exactly what is sounds like: hyper, a prefix meaning “over”, and pigment, meaning “color”. So, hyperpigmentation is an area of skin that has more pigment than the rest of your skin. This can mean dark blotches on your hands or face.
What Causes Hyperpigmentation?
- There are many reasons a person may have hyperpigmentation. Some are serious, but most are not and are treatable.
- One of the most common is overexposure to the sun. When you get a bad sunburn, the melanin cells may essentially malfunction and create a dark spot in that spot. Hyperpigmentation is often found in a spot that was missed by sunscreen.
- Hormonal changes are another common cause of hyperpigmentation. There is what is known as a pregnancy mask, or melasma, that goes away after the birth of a child. Ninety percent of women experience some hyperpigmentation during pregnancy.
- Because hormonal changes happen at other times of life, this condition can also occur again at perimenopause.
- Acne can also cause this condition. Acne causes the skin to be inflamed and what is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can occur.
- There are a number of medications that can list hyperpigmentation as a side effect. When you see your doctor about your hyperpigmentation, be sure to bring a list of all your current and recent medications.
Can it Ever Be a Sign of a Deeper Health Problem?
- Yes, hyperpigmentation can be caused by any of a long list of disorders and diseases. Some disorder that causes this are autoimmune or gastrointestinal diseases, metabolic disorders, and vitamin deficiencies. For this reason, you should always have your hyperpigmentation checked out by a doctor.
- Kallgren Dermatology Clinic is staffed by highly trained and experienced medical professionals. Make sure there is not something more serious going on by making an appointment and having your hyperpigmentation looked at.
- There are several very successful ways to treat hyperpigmentation, all of which are available at Kallgren Dermatology Clinic in Boulder. Among possible treatments are chemical peels, laser peels, skin lightening products, and Photodynamic Therapy.
Call Kallgren Dermatology Clinic in Boulder for an appointment about hyperpigmentation or any other skin condition you are concerned about.