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Skin Darkening: Types, Causes & Prevention

Dr. Jolly Shah 90% (1049 ratings)
MBBS, DNB (Dermatology)
Dermatologist, Mulund W, Mumbai  •  21 years experience
Skin Darkening: Types, Causes & Prevention

Have you been noticing that some parts of your skin have turned dark and dull recently? Do you have ugly blotches and spots developing on your skin that keep on worsening? These may indicate that you have been affected by a medical condition known as skin darkening. Also known as hyperpigmentation, it is commonly caused by the overproduction of a pigment known as melanin. Although skin darkening is not a harmful condition, it demoralizes an affected person.

Types of Hyperpigmentation:

There are several types of hyperpigmentation or skin darkening. They are:

  1. Lentigenes: This type of skin darkening refers to on the dark brown or black marks on skin surface.

  2. Solar Lentigenes: This type of skin darkening includes sun spots, age spots or liver spots. These are spots, which are caused due to exposure to the sun.

  3. Melasma: This type of skin darkening, also called as mask of pregnancy, occurs due to hormonal changes of pregnancy. Some areas of the facial skin become blotchy and pigmented.

Causes of Skin darkening:

There are several conditions, which may lead to the occurrence of skin darkening or hyperpigmentation. They include the following:

  1. Hereditary factors: Some inherited factors present since birth may be responsible for the change in the skin complexion and the development of patches.

  2. Skin disorders: Several skin disorders may cause the darkening of the skin, resulting into the formation of blotches and the skin becoming thicker.

  3. Vitamin deficiency: Insufficient consumption of essential vitamins such as vitamin A, E, C and B complex may result in darkening and roughening of the skin. Vitamin deprivation also makes the skin look dull. Liver disorders: Certain liver disorders are also responsible for hyperpigmentation. A dysfunctional liver may lead to darkening of the skin.

  4. Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes within our body and during pregnancy in women may also cause skin darkening.

  5. Exposure to UV rays: Overexposure to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun may lead to skin tanning. This causes overproduction of melanin, which in turn results in skin darkening.

Prevention:

There are several ways in which you can prevent skin darkening. They include the following:

  1. Avoid exposing yourself directly to the rays of the sun.

  2. Try to apply sunscreen every time before you go out in the sun.

  3. You should drink plenty of water and always keep yourself hydrated.

  4. Try to abstain from consuming too much of spicy, oily and rich foods.

  5. You must intake a lot of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in vitamin A, B, C, and E.

There are many options for treating the hyperpigmentation, from skin lightening peels to lasers. A properly planned customized skin care routine and treatment options can minimize, the pigmentation on your skin dramatically.

 

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