What is Hyperpigmentation?

What is Hyperpigmentation?

Causes and treatment

Is your skin not as clear as it used to be? Do you see dark patches on your face and wonder what you're doing wrong that is causing your skin to act like that? You are not alone. Hyperpigmentation is a pretty common skin condition and the reasons for it are more common than you imagined.

Hyperpigmentation is the condition of your skin wherein some parts of your skin appear to be darker than the surrounding parts. This skin condition is very common and can occur in any skin type. There are various reasons why you might have pigmented skin. Pigmentation can occur in small patches or cover larger areas as well.

The pigmentation is a result of melanin production. This is the same pigment that gives colour to your skin, hair and eyes. But in certain circumstances, melanin can get deposited unevenly in certain areas and appear as dark patches. Although harmless, this deposition makes that area appear darker than the rest. The colour of patches can be brown, black, gray, pink or red.

What are the various types of hyperpigmentation?

There are three major types of hyperpigmentation.

  1. Age spots: they are also commonly called sun spots or liver spots. These are small and brown or tan coloured spots that form due to overexposure of sun rays. They usually occur on body parts which are frequently exposed to the sun, which include face, neck, hands and arms. People who expose their skin constantly develop them, but they are more common as the person gets older. 
  2. Melasma: this condition is also called chloasma or “the mask of pregnancy”. They are characterised by dark skin patches which usually cover a significant area. They can commonly occur on the face, forehead and stomach. Such hyperpigmentation occurs mostly in pregnant women or women who are taking birth control pills. They are triggered by a fluctuation of hormone levels. Further, they can be observed more commonly in people with medium to dark skin tones.
  3. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: these are spots or patches that occur as a consequence of skin condition, for instance, acne or eczema. They can appear on any part of the body. This condition is usually observed in people who have recently gone through an injury and are suffering from skin inflammation. They can also be the direct result of cosmetic treatment such as dermabrasion, laser surgery, and chemical peels.

Scarring, birthmarks and skin cancers also make the skin develop dark patches. However, these do not count as hyperpigmentation.

But what is it about your lifestyle that is triggering the melanin production and causing it to behave in a way that it usually wouldn't?

Causes of Hyperpigmentation

To get to the root of this problem, let us first understand what sets in motion the release and deposition of melanin in certain areas of the skin. Mentioned below are some of the most common reasons for hyperpigmentation.

Sun exposure

The primary reason for hyperpigmentation is the overexposure of sunlight. Sunlight triggers the production of melanin. It is important for the skin to release a certain amount of melanin as it protects your skin from harmful UV rays. Despite the fact that it acts as a natural sunscreen, its overproduction does more harm than good. When you expose your skin to the sunlight for a long time, the natural process of melanin production gets disrupted and it starts depositing in areas of skin in an uneven fashion. Further exposure to the sun worsens the condition by resulting in making pre-existing age spots (sun spots), post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and even melasma spots grow darker.

Abnormal hormone production:

As mentioned above, imbalance in the production of sex hormones cause spots to develop and this condition is called melasma or chloasma. They usually occur in women and are triggered by the imbalance in the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, especially during pregnancy. When the body is exposed to the sun, these hormones further stimulate the excessive production of melanin.

This condition can also arise due to the intake of contraceptive pills, process of hormone replacement therapy, thyroid disorders and even stress. Melasma also causes spots to develop on the bridge of the nose.


Cells which are responsible for the release of melanin are called melanocytes. As one gets older, these cells start decreasing in number. The ones that remain begin increasing in size and their melanin production becomes more concentrated in some areas. This condition is mostly observed in people who are above the age of 40.

Skin injuries and inflammation:

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH for short, is a condition caused when the skin sustains an injury and inflammation as a result. The injuries can be caused due to various reasons, such as cuts, burns, acne, psoriasis or chemical exposure. The process of healing or regeneration of the skin causes overproduction of melanin, resulting in a darkened and discoloured patch to develop in the place of the wound. This condition further aggravates in areas which are exposed to sunlight, darkening the patches and extending the healing time. The colour of spots can be pink, red or brown, depending on the kind of skin tone and depth of melanin deposition. This condition can occur in both men and women and in all skin types. However, it is also observed to occur more in darker skin tones.

Other factors that cause hyperpigmentation:

Usually, hyperpigmentation around the mouth is a direct consequence of a suntan, injury or medication. It can also be caused due to melanoma, diabetes or other disorders. Hyperpigmentation can also be genetic. Most brown-skinned communities have pigmented lips. However, other reasons for pigmentation on lips include smoking, over-exposure to sunlight, and as a result of taking certain medications, antimalarials and anti-seizure drugs.

How can you deal with hyperpigmentation?

While dermatological treatments such as chemical peel, laser therapy and microdermabrasion do help in getting rid of those nasty patches, the treatments do more harm than good. They can result in over-irritation of the skin and can worsen the condition.

The most legible way to deal with hyperpigmentation is to prevent it altogether. Avoid going out in the sun in peak hours. Whenever you go out, do not forget to apply sunscreen to shield your skin against the harmful UV rays. Generally, a mineral based UVA and UVB broad-spectrum coverage sun cream is enough to protect your skin.

Avoiding the formation of hyperpigmentation is one thing, dealing with them when they have already appeared on your face is another. If you have developed hyperpigmentation and want them to fade away in thin air, your hero ingredient, Vitamin C, shall come to the rescue. Hyperpigmentation can get stubborn, and you absolutely need Vitamin C in your skincare routine to reclaim your smooth and clear skin.

But why does Vitamin C work wonders? 

  • An enzyme called tyrosinase is essential for the release of melanin. Vitamin C blocks the excessive secretion of this enzyme, thereby reducing the melanin release as well. Applying large amounts of Vitamin C on the skin will eventually lead to fading of the spots. 
  • Vitamin C is also famous for its amazing anti-inflammatory nd inti-aging properties. This leads to deep seated wounds and inflammation of the skin to heal naturally, without leaving marks after healing. 
  • This magical element is also a superb antioxidant. This property too plays a significant role in fighting off hyperpigmentation. In addition, Vitamin C does not hamper the natural colour of the skin; it only makes the abnormal melanin deposition fade away.

Vitamin C leaves your skin glowing and healthy-looking after every application. 

Now you must be wondering whether consuming Vitamin C does any good for hyperpigmentation. You should know that taking Vitamin C in the form of tablets is less effective since the mineral does not get targeted where it needs to be. You might see lightning spots, but the effect is very slow.

On the other hand, when Vitamin C is made to penetrate in the skin, you save time to get it absorbed in the blood stream and then reach the target area. Topical application of Vitamin C lets the mineral reach the hyperpigmented skin patch directly and thus the fading process starts faster.

Kzen: The Skincare Solution You Can Trust

If you’ve been looking for a potent Vitamin C serum that actually works, look no further. Kzen brings you a one stop solution for diminishing those seemingly immovable dark spots. Ageless Face Serum is a powerful concoction Vitamin C and Hyaluronic acid, making it a dream team to fight off hyperpigmentation, while providing nourishment as well.

Vitamin C fades hyperpigmentation, enhances skin radiance and protects from UV exposure. Hyaluronic acid, which is a splendid humectant, boosts skin hydration and makes it look smoother, plumper and healthier. In addition, this spectacular serum also combats fine lines which appear as one ages. If these two were not enough, this serum is also packed with the goodness of aloe vera gel, which provides high amounts of nourishment to the skin. This lets the skin heal faster and soothes the inflamed and injured skin as well.

Radiance Face Oil is also rich in Vitamin C as it is composed of mandarin orange oil. additionally, it comes with turmeric, and saffron essential oils. Mandarin essential oil is known for its ability to heal. It is mild on the skin and controls acne while adding brightness to the skin. Most importantly, it diminishes scars and age spots and counters fine lines and wrinkles.Turmeric oil has anti-microbial properties which also helps in reducing blemishes and boosts skin radiance. Finally, saffron oil acts as a natural illuminator and aids in repair of the skin at the same time.

Ageless Face Toner is also packed with the goodness of mandarin orange hydrosol. This toner tightens, tones and hydrates the skin to give a youthful glow to the skin. It helps in restoring the pH balance of the skin and tightens enlarged pores. This helps in avoiding dirt and oil to accumulate in the pores and thus keeps the pimples at bay. It also has the goodness of rose water which has anti-inflammatory properties. This helps in balancing the skin’s natural oils and calming inflamed skin. Lastly, it contains Vitamin E which reduces dark spots and blemishes and promotes an even-toned complexion.

Kzen products are cruelty free, vegan and non comedogenic. They are also paraben free, sulphate free and contain absolutely no artificial fragrance. So, when you shop from Kzen, you bring home products made with love. Check out our wide range of products for skin and hair and fall in love with yourself all over again.

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