Freckles on your nose are cute at age seven but similar dark spots when you’re forty-seven? Not such a lot . Call them age spots, liver spots or sun spots – regardless of what name they are going by, these patches are often signs of skin damage. Here’s what you would like to understand about what’s happening together with your skin when hyperpigmentation occurs, why it happens, and what solutions to think about .
What Causes Dark Spots?
Whether you’re dark or fair, your skin contains a pigment called melanin. Produced by cells called melanocytes, melanin acts as a sort of protection for skin. However, when hyperpigmentation occurs, your skin produces excess melanin which forms deposits, creating spots and patches darker in color than the encompassing skin. Although hyperpigmentation affects people of all skin colors, it tends to affect darker skin types more frequently. Here are three reasons why you’ll be affected by dark spots:
The number one explanation for dark spots is sun damage. When stimulated by harmful UV rays, melanocytes react by releasing melanin which acts as a natural sunscreen. Melanin is beneficial because it absorbs the energy from UV rays and redistributes it. However, the sun can trigger the assembly of an excessive amount of melanin, causing dark patches of skin.
The sun isn’t just the basis problem for sun spots, it also causes the dark marks that we call age spots or liver spots. this sort of hyperpigmentation is additionally caused by sun damage, accumulated over a few years of exposure. “As you age,” says Harvard school of medicine , “Years of being within the sun start to feature up.” commonest in adults over the age of 55, these tan, brown or black spots tend to speckle the areas most exposed to the sun: face, hands, back, feet and shoulders.
Aging also can intensify the looks of hyperpigmentation for 2 reasons. First, as we age, melanocytes decrease in number but increase in size and pigment production. Second, skin that’s older tends to seem thinner, paler and more translucent, emphasizing the looks of dark spots.
When hormone levels zigzag up and down, one among the foremost common side effects may be a change in pigmentation called melasma. Frequently seen during pregnancy, hormonal therapies or maybe changes in contraception , extra hormones stimulate the assembly of melanin. Pregnant women often develop dark patches on the nose, cheeks, jawline, forehead or chin, creating a pattern called “mask of pregnancy” or “chloasma.” this sort of hyperpigmentation typically lasts until pregnancy ends or hormonal levels return to balance.
Exposure to the sun and warmth can worsen the looks of this hormonally triggered hyperpigmentation. If you suffer from melasma and hope to unwind during a sauna or a session of hot yoga, you’ll want to rethink your chillaxing plans. A heat environment can affect your hyperpigmentation, helping dark patches enlarge and spread.
Dark spots can sometimes develop after inflammation or an injury to the skin, especially for those affected by acne, eczema, allergies or other skin conditions. Termed post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, this sort of discoloration is that the skin’s natural response to inflammation. After a wound occurs, the skin becomes inflamed and, because it heals, the skin naturally produces excess melanin which darkens the skin.
Hyperpigmentation thanks to inflammation is particularly common after breakouts. because the irritated skin heals from acne, a dark spot is left behind, ranging in color from pink to red, purple, brown or black. the more severe the inflammation, the larger and darker the spot are often . Also, there’s a reason why the experts warn you to avoid picking your acne – popping those pimples can increase the likelihood of developing a dark spot.