Once we reach a certain age, almost all of us face some skin discoloration when we look in the mirror. Whether it’s melasma, scarring or sun damage, instances of the skin becoming darker – also known as hyperpigmentation – are very common. Here, we’ll look closer at each case and some tested treatments.
What causes hyperpigmentation?
Skin discoloration and hyperpigmentation begins with an increase in melanin, the substance that regulates the body’s pigment. Primarily, hyperpigmentation is caused by exposing the skin to ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun, but it can also be caused by acne scarring.
What is Melasma?
Commonly referred to as the pregnancy mask, hormonal changes during pregnancy often lead to hyperpigmentation known as melasma. Overall, 50% to 70% of pregnant women experience some form of melasma2 during pregnancy. The good news: Melasma frequently clears up after the baby is born, but if it doesn’t, talk to your dermatologist.
What causes acne scars?
Acne scars can often develop in areas where blemishes have been present. Those with deeper skin tones may notice darkening within the scars, while people with lighter skin tones may show redness. Luckily, there are products available to help these scars fade over time.
Can I stop sun damage from getting worse?
Fortunately, an early diagnosis and early treatment from your skin care practitioner can level the playing field and reduce the severity of the appearance of dark spots and sun damage. Be aware that a broad-spectrum sunscreen, like Sunshield Matte™ Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen, should be used every day and reapplied every 2-3 hours if you’re outdoors.
And remember, sun damage isn’t simply from days spent at the beach or pool. In fact, sun exposure is often experienced in the car! Whether commuting or on a road trip, you could help prevent further discoloration by re-applying sunscreen before you get back behind the wheel.
Whatever your situation, be sure to talk to your skin care physician about your specific condition and concerns. When it comes to dealing with hyperpigmentation, dermatologists have been recommending Obagi Nu-Derm® as a solution for decades. Nu-Derm includes prescription-strength hydroquinone, the dermatologist’s gold standard to help to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. With proper treatment, skin discoloration can be a thing of your past.