Understanding Hyperpigmentation and Its Impact on Skin
Hyperpigmentation, which causes the skin to develop dark spots, stems from irregular or excessive melanin distribution. Melanin is the pigment responsible for our skin color, produced by melanocyte cells. These cells react to UV rays, which is why our skin darkens when exposed to the sun.
Melanin Production and Pigmentation Spots
When melanin production becomes deregulated, it accumulates in certain areas, eventually resulting in pigmentation spots or dark spots. There are several types of pigmentation spots:
1- Lentigos (age spots): These are the most common type of spots. Typically round and light-colored, you may begin to notice these once you're in your 40s.
2- Melasma (pregnancy mask): These spots appear due to hormonal imbalances during pregnancy or from contraceptive pill usage. Other factors, such as prolonged sun exposure and a darker skin tone, can also contribute to their appearance.
Hereditary freckles, or macules, are found on the epidermis. You aren't born with these spots; instead, they appear due to extended UV ray exposure in childhood.
Post-inflammatory brown spots are a result of local inflammation, caused by issues like acne pimples, scars, or other types of irritation. This is especially true for darker skin types, which can develop hyperpigmentation after sun exposure.