Hyperpigmentation is a term used to describe any darker patches of skin on the body. Age spots are just one type of hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin produces more melanin. Melanin is the pigment which gives skin its colour. Hyperpigmentation can occur in all skin types and is quite common. In most cases, hyperpigmentation is harmless. However, some people want to reduce the visibility of hyperpigmentation and may choose a skin pigmentation treatment. Before choosing a suitable treatment, it is useful to know more about the type of hyperpigmentation and the reasons why it occurs.

Types of hyperpigmentation

Age spots or liver spots - These are the brown or black spots that tend to appear on places which have been exposed to the sun as you age. They are most commonly seen on the hands and face.

Melasma (chloasma) is also known as " the mask of pregnancy" - Dark or grey patches of skin can appear on the face, stomach or forehead. This condition can occur during pregnancy and can also be triggered by hormonal changes connected with using birth control pills. This condition is more common in people with darker skin.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation - This can occur after any sort of injury or inflammation of the skin. It can follow acne or eczema. It can follow a burn or skin cut.

Other reasons for hyperpigmentation

Sun exposure, inflammation and hormonal changes can trigger hyperpigmentation -- but sometimes drug reactions can cause the skin to darken. Anti-malaria medication and some tricyclic antidepressants have been known to cause patches of grey skin. Some topical creams may be a trigger for certain people.

Hyperpigmentation is also linked to two medical conditions: Addison's disease and hemochromatosis. Where these conditions are suspected, it's important to seek medical advice from a doctor;

Addison's disease is a condition affecting the adrenal glands. Hyperpigmentation tends to affect specific areas of the body: folds of skin, lips, inside the cheeks, knuckles, knees, elbows, toes. Other symptoms experienced with Addison's disease include fatigue and muscle weakness, nausea, dizziness, diarrhoea and vomiting, stomach pains and weight loss.

Hemochromatosis is a genetic condition. As the body contains too much iron it can make the skin appear darker or very tanned. Other symptoms connected with this condition include; weight loss, stomach pains, fatigue and joint pains.

Avoiding hyperpigmentation

There are a few things you can do to avoid hyperpigmentation. Firstly, try to avoid over exposure to the sun. Always use a sunscreen with at least SPF30. This will help stop any existing patches of hyperpigmentation from darkening even more. Secondly, try to avoid scratching or picking any damaged skin. This includes scabs and spots as hyperpigmentation can follow skin injury.

Treating hyperpigmentation

Studies are underway to examine the effectiveness of home remedies using aloe vera, licorice and green tea. However, studies are limited and much more research into the properties of these natural remedies is required. Anyone using natural remedies should test small areas of the skin before use to check for any adverse effects.

Topical creams are also available and contain ingredients such as vitamin C, retinoids and azelaic acid which are used to lighten the skin.


Full face£119£83
1/2 Face£79£55
1/4 Face£59£41
Full Arms£239£167
Upper or Lower Arms£159£111
1/4 Arms£99£69
Full Back£259£181
3/4 Back£219£153
1/2 Back£179£125
1/4 Back£99£69
Hands & Fingers£79£56
Neck Front or Back£79£56
Legs Upper or Lower£299£209
1/4 Legs£179£125


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