Pigmentation has two purposes: It gives your skin colour and it protects your skin from the sun.
Hyperpigmentation is areas where there is an overproduction of pigment, leaving the skin to appear dark, mottled and uneven in colour.
There are 3 main causes of hyperpigmentation:
- Sun-induced – melanin is the pigment that gives skin colour. It’s also the body’ natural “internal sunscreen”, so the more you are exposed to UV or heat, the more pigmentation is made, typically known as sun or age spots.
- Hormonal – caused internally by fluctuations in hormones usually during pregnancy known as melasma or chloasma or found in women taking contraceptives.
- Post-Inflammatory – often referred to PIH and is common after an inflamed wound heals e.g. acne scarring