Hyperpigmentation Causes and Removal

Published: 25th March 2011
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Have you ever been embarrassed by places on your skin or nails that were darker in color than the rest of your skin? This is a skin condition called hyperpigmentation. Often called age spots, brown spots, or sun spots, hyperpigmentation can be a source of stress for many people who want to look their best. What causes these spots? Is there any treatment for them? Is there any chance for removal? The answer is yes, they can be treated and in some cases even completely removed. This article will cover what causes dark spots, the environmental and age factors that contribute to it, and how they can be treated.



Hyperpigmentation is caused by increased melanin in the body. Melanin is a pigment that can be found everywhere in nature. In humans, it is what determines skin, eye, and hair color. Since this article is specifically referring to age spots and sun spots on the skin, we'll take a closer look into the specific effects of melanin in the skin. The bottom layer of the epidermis contain melanocytes, which are the cells that actually produce melanin. Most humans contain a similar concentration of these melanocytes in their skin, but have lighter or darker skin depending on how frequently the melanin producing genes they posses are expressed. In some rare cases, humans can have little to no melanin in their bodies at all, known as albinism.



Increased melanin production has been known to have many causes. Some diseases like Addison's disease, Celiac disease, and Cushings disease can cause this condition, but it can also be caused from sun damage to the skin, acne, and inflammation. If you spend a lot of time tanning, swimming, surfing, or just exercising outdoors, you could be more prone to getting these brown spots. Aging is also a factor because melanocyte distribution in the epidermis is less regulated with age, so if there are areas where concentrations of the cells are more dense than the surrounding areas, hyperpigmentation occurs leaving what is commonly referred to as age spots. These spots can be unsightly and disturbing to the person who has them. They can occur all over or stay in remote areas like the hands and face.



Now that you're terrified of age spots, there's no need to be. There are some treatments and measures you can take to help prevent them and get rid of those you may already have. What can be done? Stay away from tanning beds as UV light can have the same effects as the sun. If you live in an area where you're more exposed to the sun like Florida or California, wear protection and stay in the shade as much as possible to prevent sun damage. Start fighting the problem as soon as possible with a melanin blocking beauty product, then use an exfoliant to gradually remove old skin cells with the brown spots. Then the new skin underneath will be blocked from developing the spots while the damaged skin cells are sloughed off over time. Don't get overzealous and scrub too hard or too often. Just use a gentle but effective exfoliant and you'll start to see the difference as the old dead skin cells are removed.



For most people, hyperpigmentation is inevitable with age. With causes coming from many different sources, you'll want to avoid those that you can and use treatments that aid in removal of ones you may have already developed. Find a good melanin blocking beauty product, and supplement it with a gentle but effective exfoliant. With continued use, you should start to see a great improvement over time, and may even find the spots completely removed.



Laura Taff is a mom blogger and the e-commerce owner of Youthful Anew, where you can get the Paris Beauty award winning line of age spots treatments such as age spot serum and age spot removal cream.


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