What Is Pigmentation?
What is skin pigmentation?
Skin pigmentation, or strictly speaking hyperpigmentation, is a condition where we have spots or patches of skin darker than surrounding areas of skin. This is usually harmless and is a result of the excess production of melanin within the skin.
What causes pigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation can be caused by excessive sun exposure, hormone imbalances, inflammation and injury to the skin. Living in Australia, the most common cause I see is sun induced hyperpigmentation. The biggest mistake women make is thinking their makeup offers sufficient sun protection. It really doesn’t. We live in a very harsh climate and we need to be absolute in our diligence with sun protection. Another very common cause is hormone induced pigment, as so many of us are on the pill, HRT or IVF.
Where does it usually appear?
Pigment may appear anywhere on the body, however it most commonly appears on the face, neck and décolletage.
Are some people more susceptible than others?
This depends on the type of pigment. Those of us with fair skin, blonde or red hair and light eyes are more prone to sun induced pigment like freckles and sunspots. People with olive skin, dark hair and dark eyes are usually more prone to hormonal pigment and post inflammatory pigment. Women that are pregnant, that take the oral contraceptive pill, hormone replacement therapy or those that use IVF are more likely to suffer from hormonal pigmentation such as melasma.
You also increase your risk if:
• You use other hormone therapies
• You work outdoors or live in harsher, hotter climates