As we age, we a may notice our skin tone change, especially if it manifests as dark spots on our hands, face, neck, and chest that weren’t there before. This is known as hyperpigmentation. Unwanted appearance of hyperpigmentation can be treated in a variety of ways.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is either an upswing in melanin production or a concentration of the area in which melanin is being produced and showing itself on the skin as darker pigment. While generally harmless and not a sign of skin cancer, these spots can be cosmetically annoying for anyone, especially for those who are careful about skin care.
What causes hyperpigmentation?
Little circles of darker skin are often referred to as “sun spots”. The sun is indeed the cause of many of these hyperpigmentation spots, but not exclusively. Unprotected sun exposure stimulates melanin production in the skin and causes these dark “sun,” “age,” or “liver” spots. Hyperpigmentation is also caused by changes in hormones, particularly during pregnancy.
As our skin is so sensitive to the sun, the number one preventative measure is wearing sunscreen to stop penetration to the deeper layers of our skin. Of course, a light-wearing non-oily daily moisturizer with SPF 30 is best to balance sun protection at the same time as maintaining skin tone and health. Unnecessary sun exposure should be avoided too–there are many alternatives to suntanning if tanned skin is a priority for you.
Exfoliation is another helpful preventative measure. Dead skin cells can present darker areas on the skin and it is important to help slough them off. A mild exfoliant that cleanses but does not give your skin that “tight” feeling is best, as exfoliants are most useful when used in careful moderation.
ZO Skin Health offers products such as Ossential Advanced Radical Night Repair and the Level III: Aggressive Anti-Aging Program that uses high concentrations of retinol to combat sagging, darkening skin. For more dramatic results, ZO Medical also offers medical-grade programs to significantly improve the tone of your skin.