The skin is the body’s first line of defense against environmental hazards including the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Though it’s designed to protect the body, it suffers damage as a result of the free radicals that have negative impacts on the cells of the skin.

As a result, UV rays can cause premature skin aging, a condition where wrinkles, fine lines, and discoloration appear on the skin earlier than expected.

Premature skin aging is a problem most people deal with today. One of the most dreaded effects of long-term sun exposure is skin pigmentation or hyperpigmentation. It’s a condition where some parts of the skin begin to darken and occur in small patches.

Causes Of Hyperpigmentation

Skin pigmentation disorders are relatively common and widespread. Though it can be treated, most patients feel embarrassed and stressed because their appearance is involved. Below are some of the causing factors:1

– Prolonged Skin Exposure

The most common cause of this skin problem is prolonged sun exposure. There are two layers of the skin, the epidermis or the outermost layer and the dermis, the lower layer. In the lowest layer of the epidermis are the melanocytes, which are cells responsible for producing the pigment called melanin.

When these cells are overstimulated, or the epidermis is exposed to the sun, it produces excess pigmentation.2

– Hormonal Changes

Another cause of hyperpigmentation is hormonal changes, for example, during pregnancy. When there is an imbalance in the hormones in the body, the body can produce more melanin than usual.3

– Genetics

Genetics can also play a role in the appearance of skin patches. People who have a familial history of this skin condition are at a higher risk of suffering from it too.

Treating Hyperpigmentation

Today, there are many ways to treat hyperpigmentation. Treatment options range from creams and serums to laser procedures.4

– Laser Therapy

Among the most efficient techniques available is laser treatment. This method targets the melanin present on the skin, especially on the dark patches.5

– Special Creams And Skin Treatments

Chemical peels and special creams also promise a clear and flawless skin after using them religiously on the patches. Avoiding too much sun exposure may also help.

The skin is a delicate part of the body so taking good care of it is important. Aside from avoiding activities that might damage the skin, it is also important to maintain a healthy diet and to live a healthier lifestyle.