Whether it’s dark marks caused by acne or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation following a bug bite, hyperpigmentation can really mess with one’s self-esteem and emotional state.
The good news is there is something you can do about it. Let’s figure out what you can do to improve or prevent those dark marks with this easy-to-follow guide.
1. Wear Sunscreen
One of the most common kinds of hyperpigmentation is sun-induced hyperpigmentation which results from years of sun exposure. What you can d to protect yourself from this kind of hyperpigmentation is to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from UV damage.
There are generally three kinds of UV damage including UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVA is the one most responsible for causing signs of aging because it loosens collagen fiber by damaging it which causes the skin to sag. This can also lead to wrinkles and fine lines. UVB refers to the sun’s ability to burn the skin and its effects can show up as inflammation on the skin. UVC is ultraviolet light that is absorbed by the ozone layer.
So if you’re trying to prevent hyperpigmentation you need to wear broad-spectrum SPF that can protect against both UVA and UVB. Be diligent and use daily sun protection, not just sun protection on high-exposure days.
It might also be helpful to add niacinamide to your skincare routine. Protection from environmental damage is one of the niacinamide benefits that you’ll find most helpful on your skincare journey.
2. Use a Depigmenting Agent
Depigmenting agents are tyrosine inhibitors and tyrosine is known for speeding up the melanin generation process. One way to reduce or inhibit tyrosine is to use a depigmenting agent.
A few examples of depigmenting agents include hydroquinone, kojic acid, and licorice. All of this can help to suppress the tyrosine enzyme on your skin, thus slowing down the melanin generation process and resulting hyperpigmentation.
Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and it’s highly recommended to use AHAs for this purpose. AHAs are known to lighten pigmentation on the surface of the skin and a few examples include glycolic acid, citric acid, and lactic acid.
Causes of Hyperpigmentation
Inflammation can result from any type of injury to the skin caused by acne, bug bites, and scars. Eczema can also lead to hyperpigmentation, especially in the body. Hormonal shifts such as pregnancy, birth control, menopause, or insulin resistance can also make one more prone to developing hyperpigmentation on the skin.
For post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, the most important thing is to treat the underlying cause ao you don’t develop new hyperpigmented patches.
Remember, your skin is already a perfectly functioning organ capable of taking care of itself. All you need to do is help it along by adding a few tweaks here and there to help it function better.
It’s perfectly normal to not have skin that’s one color from head to toe and hyperpigmentation is normal and common as many people experience it.