Also known as Hyperpigmentation, Age Spots, Sun Spots, Melasma, Chloasma.
Pigmentation is a common skin condition, where some areas or patches of skin turn darker in colour. It is usually a harmless condition, caused when there is too much of the pigment, melanin, on the surface of the skin. This condition can affect people of all races.
Hyperpigmentation has several symptoms which are common and usually harmless, but can often be embarrassing.
Hyperpigmentation is a condition where patches of skin become darker in colour than normal, healthy skin. This darkening often occurs because there is an excess of melanin, which forms deposits in the skin. Melanin is the brown pigment that produces our normal skin colour.
Age spots / Sun Spots
Age Spots (Solar Lengtigines) are a form of pigmentation. They usually occur as a result of damage to the skin from the sun’s rays. Often excessive exposure to the sun or sunbeds when we are younger doesn’t show the damage at the time but as we age these excesses will become visible as brown spots on the skin. The small, dark spots are generally found on the hands and face, but any area exposed to the sun can be affected.
Exposure to the sun’s rays and a daily onslaught of environmental elements, such as air pollution and the toxins in our food, all wreak havoc on our skin. These aggressors damage cell walls and connective tissues, resulting in the visible signs of ageing we all see in our skin. Skin can look dull and lack lustre, pigmentation and age spots start to appear and wrinkles become more prevalent.
Melasma and Chloasma
Are common forms of pigmentation that can be caused by either sun damage or hormonal changes. These conditions can be recognised as large, brown patches, most commonly on the cheeks, upper lip, the bridge of the nose and the forehead. The patches tend to darken over the summer months or during periods of high sun exposure.
Melasma can be triggered by higher levels of Oestrogen at certain times during the menstrual cycle, or as a result of sun exposure. It can also be associated with a change in contraceptive pill, IUD or hormone patch. Melasma most commonly affects women, with only 10% of cases being male.
Chloasma, often referred to as the ‘mask of pregnancy’ is usually related to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and can develop on the face and other areas of the body.