Understanding Hyperpigmentation of the skin.

Understanding Hyperpigmentation of the skin.

What is hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is the medical term for the excessive pigmentation of the skin. In simpler terms, it is when the skin releases more color through melanin. The skin gets its color through melanin.

Hyperpigmentation is when dark patches or spots can be found in certain areas of the skin. Just because it results in the production of more melanin doesn’t mean that it is exclusive to certain skin types where they will be more visible. Although it can be sometimes totally harmless, it can also be an indication of severe skin problems.

Hyperpigmented areas of the body include the arms, hands, face, and other areas that are most exposed to the sun. Although, hyperpigmentation can surface anywhere on the body as a result of severe skin inflammation caused by injuries (caused by fire and cuts) or lupus and acne.

Types of Hyperpigmentation

We have different types of hyperpigmentation but the three most common types are the liver spots (also referred to as the age spot), chloasma (melasma), and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Liver Spots (Age Spots)

It can also be referred to as Solar Lentigines. Just as the name suggested, it is usually found on old people or people that have been exposed to the sun exceedingly. Brown or dark spots will usually appear on the face or hands.

Chloasma (Melasma)

Chloasma or Melasma can also be referred to as the mask of the pregnancy. Pregnant women and dark skin tone people are more likely to experience this. Dark patches in larger sizes are likely to show on the face, forehead, and stomach.

Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

This is the type of hyperpigmentation that occurs in people that have had skin injuries in the past. Anyone who has had some sort of skin inflammation can also suffer from hyperpigmentation. Dark spots are most likely to appear on the face.

Causes of Hyperpigmentation

Excessive pigmentation of the skin can be caused due to the following reasons:

Excessive exposure to the sun

Naturally, more melanin is being produced to protect the skin from the rays of the sun. Excessive exposure to the sun can cause hyperpigmentation since more melanin would be produced to protect the skin during these times.

Inflammation of the skin

One of the effects of hyperpigmentation is the aftermath of the inflammation of the skin. In some people, dark spots can begin to show when they just suffered from skin inflammation.

Drugs, creams, or ointment reactions.

Depending on the type of product, some people’s skin can react by showing darker spots or patches on the skin. Also, certain drugs such as antidepressants, malaria drugs, or tropical chemical treatments can result in hyperpigmentation.

Medical conditions

Serious cases of hyperpigmentation have always been wrapped around severe health conditions such as hemochromatosis and Addison’s disease.

Hemochromatosis occurs as a result of too much iron produced in the body. This condition is usually inherited while Addison’s disease affects the adrenal glands. Hyperpigmentation from such diseases can be found on skin folds, knees, elbows, toes, lips, and inside cheeks.


There are a lot of medical and natural products that can help solve hyperpigmentation of the skin. It is advisable to however see a medical doctor first. From there the likely root cause can be established by using special techniques and medical equipment.

Natural products that work include Aloe Vera and Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, red onion, green tea extract, Black tea water, Licorice extract, milk, tomato paste, etc.


Although cases of hyperpigmentation are usually mild they can however get very serious. The skin deserves care in the most intentional form.

Dermatologists should be sought out when an individual is looking to eradicate dark spots. If it is occurring periodically even after treatments or it occurs alongside other symptoms, such a person might need to see a doctor avoid further complications.

About the author

Pamela Abua