What is hyper pigmentation? Melanin is the substance that imparts colour to skin. People with dark skin have high levels of Melanin (and vice versa). In hyper pigmentation, there is localized increase in the level of Melanin particularly in some areas of in Skin and nails.
How Melanin is produced? Melanin is normally produced in the body in response to Ultraviolet radiations. Melanocytes are the cells that produce melanin. Melanin offers protection against UV radiations. Melanin is the pigment that imparts color to eyes, hair, lips and skin.
Causes of Hyper pigmentation:
1. Trauma (Burns, UV Exposure, Post Surgical, Radiation Exposure
2. Inflammation (Addison’s Disease, Cushing’s Disease, Smoking, Porphyria, Fungal Infections, Hemochromatosis)
3. Hormonal (Acanthosis nigracans, Melasma, Linea nigra)
4. Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
5. Aromatase deficiency
6. Nelson’s Syndrome
7. Graves Disease
8. Drugs (Iron, Steroids, Oral Contraceptive Pills, NSAIDS, Phenytoin, Antimalarials, Amiodarone, Antipsychotics, Cytotxic drugs, Tetracyclines)
How To Remove hyper pigmentation?
This is the question of the day. The basic principle of treatment of any disease is as under;
1. Identify the causative agent
2. Remove the causative agent
3. Treat the symptoms
4. Prevent the recurrence of disease
As evident from the causes, the causative agent varies widely in cases of hyper pigmentation. Proper treatment of hyper pigmentation starts with the identification of the causative agent. For this, there is a wide variety of tests to choose from. Hyper pigmentation is not an innocent disease. It can be the 1st manifestation of a lethal process.
Getting Rid of HyperPigmentation
A person can get rid of hyper pigmentation by using some simple measures such as follows;
Many sunscreens are available commercially. As mentioned earlier, Ultraviolet rays are the leading cause of hyper pigmentation. Sunscreen blocks such rays to some extent and reduces the exposure. So if you are an outside type of person, you should regularly use sunscreens.
It is available in forms of topical ointment, lotions and is component of skin whitening creams. Its safety has not been established by Food and drug administration of USA but its role as a de-pigmenting agent has been established beyond a reasonable doubt.
Hydroquinone is present in lot of naturally occurring compounds. It is also a part of our daily consumable drinks, beer and coffee in particular. Hydroquinone mixed with alpha hydroxy acids has been shown to be very effective in removing hyper pigmentation (particularly of face and hands).