Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area of skin caused by the overproduction of a pigment known as melanin. Solar lentigenes widely known as sun spots, age spots, and liver spots are caused by sun exposure. This is because exposure to the rays of the sun causes inflammation and as you know, if the inflammatory response is severe, you’ll be sunburned. Hyperpigmentation is an inflammatory response caused overtime, by sometimes brief exposures to the sun.
While sun exposure does often cause hyperpigmentation, there are a number of other causes including heredity, picking at the skin, hormonal changes, and certain types of medication including antibiotics, hormonal treatments, and anti-seizure medications.
The skin condition does not have a “cure” but there are a number of skin lightening treatments that can reduce discoloration. First off, prevent sun spots by wearing broad spectrum SPF sunscreen anytime you’re exposed to the sun. Additionally, avoid exposure to the sun when it’s the most powerful (between 10 am-4 pm).
Be aware that discoloration is also found in dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. If you have mature skin you should exfoliate 1-2 times per week. Excessive exfoliation on the other hand, can cause skin irritation, which also leads to an inflammatory response.
Make sure to wear SPF moisturizer or sunscreen even on those crisp but sunny Fall days, especially if you’re going to be outdoors for more than one hour. Even on a cooler day, the suns rays are still powerful.
Finally, choose a dark spot corrector with licorice extract, a de-pigmenting agent that inhibits the production of melanin as well as niacinamide an effective skin-lightening compound that’s good for dry, flaking, aging skin. A very good option is Zax’s Original Darkspot Cream.
Sara Novak is a Natural Health Care Expert for Zax Health. Follow her on Twitter at @sarafnovak.