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How To Manage Hyperpigmentation In The Summer?

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Hyperpigmentation is caused when the skin produces excess melanin- a pigment that gives skin its natural colour. This can be defined as a condition that makes the skin appear darker and even produces dark patches on the skin. Hyperpigmentation can occur during any time of the year but is seen to occur more frequently during the summer season. This article talks in-depth about the probable causes, effects and remedies for hyperpigmentation that might help you combat this condition.  


Causes of hyperpigmentation:

The hyperpigmentation that is usually known to heighten during the summer season is not only caused by the effect of sun rays and heat Here are a few other reasons that might cause hyperpigmentation on your skin-  

  • Disbalance or Change in hormones – Change in hormonal levels due to an underlying illness, intake of hormonal pills or pregnancy might alter the production and distribution of melanin that might lead to hyperpigmentation. Moreover, genetics also play a major role in hyperpigmentation.  
  • Skin Conditions – hyperpigmentation can often be a result of eczema, acne, melasma and psoriasis. All these conditions may scar the skin and often leave dark coloured patches mostly around the chest, face and neck. 
  • Exposure to the Sun – this is the most common cause of hyperpigmentation. Prolonged exposure to the sun leads to darkened and uneven skin tone, especially in the sun-exposed areas of the body.  
  • Due to some medications – some medicines can also cause hyperpigmentation. In some cases, the patches and spots on your skin might be grey in colour while others may cause generalised hyperpigmentation. Topical treatments might also contain chemicals that cause this condition.  

Besides the above-listed causes, there can be conditions like marks due to injury and underlying systemic conditions that can cause patches of hyperpigmentation on your skin.

Hyperpigmentation in summer, while often referred to as “age spots” or “sun spots,” hyperpigmentation can actually be caused by a number of factors beyond sun damage. Another type of hyperpigmentation, called melasma, can make an appearance due to “environmental stressors like lack of sleep or hormonal changes like pregnancy and menopause.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

How to avoid hyperpigmentation due to sun:

Even though hyperpigmentation that is caused due to sun (especially heightened during summers) is often harmless and is a very common condition, several people get frustrated by it. So here are two ways you can avoid hyperpigmentation.  

  • Apply good sunscreen– Use sunscreen properly. An SPF of 30 or more should be preferred if you are prone to suntan.  
  • Reduce your time under the sun and avoid exposure to the harmful UV rays – avoid stepping out in peak hours of summer ie between 11 AM to 3 PM.  
  • Wear Protective clothing- Wear clothes that are breathable and light-coloured, while also covering the maximum of your body to avoid direct sun rays. The use of hats and umbrellas when stepping into the sun can also help.  
  • Take care of your skin– Cleansing, moisturising and nourishing your skin is important. Be punctual with your skincare routine.

Persistent, unexplained darkening or lightening of the skin, or any skin sore or lesion that changes shape, size, or color may be a sign of skin cancer. Consult a dermatologist if you experience any such symptoms or signs.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D.

Ways to manage hyperpigmentation:

Several people experience hyperpigmentation during the summer season when they are exposed to the heat. The following list consists of a few ways you can manage hyperpigmentation but use the products only after consulting a dermatologist-

  • Exfoliation – this method helps to remove the dead cells and speeds up the healing process. Ingredients such as lactic acid, salicylic acid and glycolic acid work as the best chemical exfoliators and help with hyperpigmentation. Exfoliation by physically scrubbing the skin can be a harsh way.
  • Use the right products – refer to your dermatologist and try to choose appropriate products in your skincare regimen. The right ingredients should be looked for in the product and can be chosen based on your skin type.  
  • Save your skin from inflammation – inflammation is a major cause of hyperpigmentation. It is necessary to use anti-inflammatory ingredients such as Vitamin C, resveratrol and Centella Asiatica. These ingredients help in increasing the production of anti-inflammatory molecules in the skin by depleting certain harmful effects.

Home remedies to cure hyperpigmentation:

Before opting for medical and chemical treatments you must try a few basic home remedies for hyperpigmentation. The following list consists of a few ingredients found at home that might help you cure hyperpigmentation. 

  • Green tea – green tea contains several antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory properties. This helps in skin lightening and reducing dark patches. Therefore green tea extracts might help improve hyperpigmentation.  
  • Aloe vera – the aloesin compound that is present in aloe vera might help in reducing the effect of sun damage on the skin.  
  • Licorice – licorice contains glabridin that helps in soothing the skin, has anti-inflammatory properties and is also rich in antioxidants. Licorice extracts therefore may help in reducing hyperpigmentation.  
  • Soothing agents- application of cold water, clay masks, etc. after sun exposure.

Medical remedies for hyperpigmentation:

If following the home remedies is not helping your hyperpigmentation then you might want to consult a dermatologist and discuss the following treatments. 

  • Usage of Topical Creams – many topical creams and other topical treatments, may help with hyperpigmentation. The topical creams contain certain ingredients which have been proven to be effective in addressing this problem:
  • Vitamin C
  • Kojic acid
  • Azelaic acid
  • Hydroquinone
  • Retinoids
  • Cosmetic Procedures – the following cosmetic procedures might help in removing hyperpigmentation:
  • Chemical peels
  • Laser therapy
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Intense pulsed light

Thus, in conclusion, hyperpigmentation is a very common condition that is faced by the majority of the population. It is nothing to be extremely worried about. You can merely follow the remedies stated above to cure this condition. However, it is extremely essential to refer to a dermatologist before applying any new product to your skin so that your condition doesn’t worsen.  

Also Read: Natural Home Remedies for Hyperpigmentation

Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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