Hyperpigmentation: how to fight?

Cosmeticians notice a disappointing trend: the number
people suffering from hyperpigmentation are steadily growing. Can safely
state that hyperpigmentation is the scourge of our time. Despite,
that pigmentation does not affect the state of health
human, does not affect his lifestyle, they are serious
aesthetic disadvantage delivering to a person big
psychological discomfort. Pigmented areas on the face
create an unattractive appearance and can cause
some serious illnesses. In addition, any cosmetologist
knows how hard it is to remove age spots and return to the face
uniform color.


  • Causes of age spots
  • Biochemical mechanism of pigmentation
  • Types and classification of hyperpigmentation
  • Treatment and prevention of hyperpigmentation

Causes of age spots

Factors contributing to the appearance of pigment spots are
endogenous and exogenous. To endogenous factors

  • genetic predisposition;
  • failure of the hormonal system (pregnancy,
  • somatic conditions (skin diseases);

Exogenous factors include:

  • UV radiation (active insolation);
  • violation of the integrity of the skin (chemical trauma,
    mechanical nature);
  • some cosmetic procedures (chemical peels,
  • cosmetic procedures in which the skin is injured
    (injections, peels, epilation, etc.)

In all of the above cases, 95% of pigment spots are formed on


Hyperpigmentation causes overproduction of melanin
– the pigment that gives our skin, hair and eyes
their natural color is in certain areas of the skin. it
overproduction may be caused by a number of factors, but
the main ones are related to the sun, or are they genetic,
age factors, hormonal influences, skin damage or

Sunlight causes melanin production, making it the most
the main cause of hyperpigmentation.

The influence of the sun is the main cause of hyperpigmentation,
since it is the sun’s rays that cause melanin production in
first of all. Melanin acts as a natural sunscreen
means of your skin, protecting you from the harmful effects
ultraviolet rays, which is why a tan appears. But
excessive exposure to the sun can break this
process that leads to hyperpigmentation.

Once dark spots are formed, the sun’s rays affect
them, turning them on freckles, age spots, melasma or
post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation therefore these
the spots are even darker.

Limiting the amount of time you spend in the sun
closed clothes and the use of widespread sunscreen
high UV protection can help reduce
risk of hyperpigmentation and also prevent deterioration
states of those dark spots that have already appeared.

Hormonal influences are the main cause
development of a type of hyperpigmentation, known as
melasma or chloasma. This species is especially common among
women, because it is believed to occur when women
sex hormones estrogen and progesterone stimulate overproduction
melanin, and when the skin is exposed to the sun.

The appearance of melasma causes primarily the action of women
hormones. So many pregnant women suffer from it, this disease
also known as the “mask of pregnancy”. It is more common in people
with darker skin.

Hyperpigmentation is also a symptom of some
diseases such as autoimmune and
gastrointestinal diseases, metabolic disorders and lack of
of vitamins. Hyperpigmentation can also be a side effect.
hormone therapy, chemotherapy, antibiotic treatment,
antimalarials, anticonvulsants and other

Photocontact dermatitis caused by henna dyes or
tattooed, can lead to residual

Some professions and occupations lead to hyperpigmentation through
associated risks of sunburn or chemical burns.
People who are most at risk for their occupation,
– these are gardeners, those who work with tar and tar, and
employees of bakeries and perfume factories.

Based on the name itself,
post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation appears after injury
skin or inflammation, such as incised wounds, burns, chemical
effects of acne, eczema and psoriasis. Hyperpigmentation occurs
when skin becomes darkened or discolored after
wound healing. Some diseases and drugs are known to
cause hyperpigmentation.

Biochemical mechanism of pigmentation

The pigment melanin is the body’s defensive reaction to excessive
radiation that has developed in humans


Removal of age spots is impossible without an understanding of complex
biochemical processes that arise for a number of reasons and depend
from many factors, both endogenous and exogenous.
The dominant role in the formation of pathological
hyperpigmentation plays the formation of melanin pigment. Melanin
is synthesized from the amino acid tyrosine using the enzyme
tyrosinases in the cells of the epidermis melanocytes, which are located
under the layer of basal keratinocytes. The melanocytes are
substances that are surrounded by a shell, where melanin is produced.
Melanin performs the function of a filter that can absorb
ultraviolet radiation.

Synthesized melanin is transmitted to keratinocytes, where
accumulates and is evenly distributed, thus giving the skin
a certain shade. There are several types of melanin:

  • leucomelanin (colorless pigment);
  • pheomelanin (red pigment);
  • eumelanin (pigment brown and black).

The predominance of a pigment in the body determines the color
skin and hair.

Types and classification of hyperpigmentation

Pigmentation is of several types:

  1. primary;
  2. secondary;
  3. common (generalized).

Primary hyperpigmentation are:

  • limited (freckles, melasma, lentigo, Becker nevus and
  • common (generalized).

Some systemic diseases can cause pigmentation.

  • Addison’s disease gives the skin a bronze tint;
  • in diseases of the liver, the skin acquires a variety of yellow
    shade: from light yellow to dark;
  • chronic intoxication and chronic vitamin deficiency
    B12 appear dark brown spots;
  • hypermelanosis around the joints of the hand with graying hair.

Secondary hyperpigmentation most often occurs after:

  • chronic acne (acne);
  • laser destruction;
  • hypermelanosis (near the joints of the hand with hair loss).

Let us consider in more detail each type of hyperpigmentation.

Freckles appear in people with the first (Celtic) and the second
Fitzpatrick skin phototype. Cause of – presence
specific gene in melanocytes that actively secretes melanin
under the influence of ultraviolet radiation. Freckles are not considered
cosmetic flaw and at a young age look very cute. They
Give the person a special tenderness and innocence. Especially bright freckles
appear at a young age, but over time they turn pale, and their
quantity may increase.

Chloasma or as it is also called melasma – acquired
pigmentation that develops as a result of a violation
hormonal levels. Chloasma appears during pregnancy, with
ovarian cancer, when taking hormonal drugs,
menopause period. Chloasma develops more often in women with severe
localized on the face and neck. The spots are usually brown and
have a specific location on the face: in the center of the forehead,
over the upper lip, chin, cheeks, cheekbones.

Depending on the location of the spots, there are three forms

  • centrofacial (spots are localized in the center of the forehead, above the upper
    lip, on the backs of the nose, on the chin);
  • molar (pigment spots are localized in the cheeks, on
    level 6 7 8 upper and lower teeth);
  • mandibular (pigmentation is localized in the region

With therapeutic treatment, there are three stages of development.

  • epidermal appearance – bright contrasting spots on the background
    homogeneous skin, this type of age spots is best treated
  • dermal type – most difficult to treat, because
    melanophages penetrated deep into the dermis.
  • mixed species is a combination of epidermal and dermal
    chloasms, some spots are bright, easy to remove, others
    – dim and almost impossible to eliminate.

Lentigo – pigment spots, localized mainly on
face. There are youth and age lentigo. Lentigo can
appear at any age, spots are beige or brown
Colour. In children, lentigo (juvenile pigmentation) appears in
as a result of active insolation. In the elderly – as a result
impaired lipid barrier and increased horny light transmission
layer. Lentigo treatment and prevention is skin patching
from ultraviolet radiation.


Becker Nevus is a disease that appears in
adolescence. Normal pigment spots of this nature.
localized on the body, and is more common in men. Classic
treatment methods do not give a positive result. Stays secure
protect the skin with photo protectors.

Brock’s pigmented dermatosis – the spots have a symmetrical
location in the chin, nasolabial folds and around the mouth.
The cause of the spots is chronic ovarian disease or
gastrointestinal tract.

Melasma – uneven brown or bronze spots,
localized on the face and hands. Sometimes spots are accompanied
warts, scaling and itching. Melasma appears in
as a result of diseases of the pituitary gland, taking some medicinal
drugs, sensitization to ultraviolet rays.

Treatment and prevention of hyperpigmentation

Eliminating age spots is very difficult, but not impossible. AT
Currently, modern medicine has a whole range of
effective remedies that can get rid of any kind
pigmentation. Hyperpigmentation treatment is a complex of measures.
including the joint efforts of a dermatologist and a cosmetologist.
Therapeutic manipulations consist in the use of bleaching preparations and
exfoliating means. But first you need to identify the cause
pigmentation. If spots are provoked by somatic
disease, then bleaching stains will not give the expected result, and
even entail other unpleasant complications.

All actions in the fight against hyperpigmentation are aimed at:

  1. Decreased melanin production in the body.
  2. Exfoliation of the stratum corneum.
  3. Reliable protection of the skin from UV radiation.

In this regard, the fight against hyprepigmentation is carried out in
following directions:

  • use of drugs depressing action
  • peeling to exfoliate the stratum corneum;
  • use of external means to protect against harmful
    UV exposure.

Chemical agents are used to exfoliate the stratum corneum.
peelings and hardware techniques. Depending on the type of pigmentation
apply superficial or median peelings: retinoic,
glycol, enzyme. From hardware techniques use phototherapy,
laser resurfacing and microdermabrasion.

Nowadays, they began to add to the bleaching agents
antioxidants, since it became aware of the harmful effects of free
radicals on the cells and tissues of the dermis. Therefore a prerequisite
All whitening treatments protect skin from
ultraviolet radiation. Today there is
a huge amount of sunscreen, which include
Physical, chemical or combination UV filters

It is also advisable to use external bleaching.
means especially when it comes to epidermal type
pigmentation. Therefore, in order to reduce the production of melanin pigment
preparations based on hydroquinone, azelaic acid,
able to reduce the synthesis of pigment. Also apply substances on
based on arbutin and kojic acid inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase,
which, as we know, is involved in the synthesis of melanin. Also
ascorbic acid, antioxidants of various groups and
anti-inflammatory substances can reduce synthesis

Among cosmetic products a good whitening effect.
possess drugs that are composed of plant substances
containing phenol, quinone, thymol, eugenol, arbutin, and
salicylic acid. Also included in the bleaching agents
plant extracts of scarlet, cucumber, lemon, mulberry root
and other plants.

It is believed that other methods of care – such as oil treatment
jojoba, lemon juice or diet – can also be
effective against hyperpigmentation. However, there are no
scientific evidence to support these claims.

Let’s face it: there are no universal methods for complete
eliminate hyperpigmentation. But the correct therapeutic
strategy can lead to regression of pigmentation. Effectively
pigment spots can be removed only with the understanding
individual causes of the mechanism of their occurrence. Exists
unshakable medical rule that says: any disease is easier
to warn than to treat. For this reason, protect the skin from harmful
UV exposure should be young and throughout
of life.


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