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How to Handle Hyperpigmentation

By Danielle Lewis | Oct 16, 2019
How to Handle Hyperpigmentation

We’ve all been there. You get through a breakout and just when you think you’re in the clear BOOM, you see it: A dark mark where that pimple once stood. What’s the deal with it and how can you get rid of it ASAP? Keep reading to get a handle on hyperpigmentation and tips on how to keep it at bay.

What is hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is caused when the skin produces more melanin in certain areas making them darker in color than the surrounding skin. It typically looks like dark patches or spots and can be found anywhere on the body. Hyperpigmentation can be caused by underlying medical conditions, skin injuries and increased exposure to the sun. There are three common types:

Melasma

Melasma is usually caused by hormonal changes (often, during pregnancy). Typically you see the effects on the face and stomach.

Sunspots

Sunspots are the result of excessive exposure to the sun and are typically visible on the face, hands and anywhere else exposed to the sun.

Post-Inflammatory

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is caused when there is some type of injury to the skin. This can range from getting a tattoo to experiencing a breakout.

Although hyperpigmentation is frustrating, it isn’t harmful and can usually be managed and treated.

What should I do to prevent and treat hyperpigmentation?

Protecting yourself from excessive sun exposure not only minimizes the effects of hyperpigmentation, but also helps you avoid sunburn, skin cancer and rapid aging. Be sure to use SPF daily and wear hats and clothing that blocks direct sunlight when possible.

SPF is your immediate line of defense. But, if you’ve already you can also use topical creams and serums to treat hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C and retinoids help brighten discoloration overall. Microdermabraison, lasers and chemical peels are also great ways to treat and brighten affected areas. Looking for treatments that may already be in your home? Green tea, licorice and aloe have all been known to help with hyperpigmentation as well.

How do you avoid "picking"?

When you experience a breakout, you may be tempted to pick at it and hurry things along but you should never do this! It causes scarring that leads to discoloration. Picking pimples tears the skin and doesn’t give your body the time it needs to heal on its own. Instead, let your breakout run its course and treat it with things like salicylic acid and other topical acne creams. Try using a small acne patch to give yourself a physical barrier from picking at the pimple.

Dealing with discoloration? Try these tips and let us know what you think @wander_beauty.

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