Hyperpigmentationm, (discoloration) is both a long- and short term cosmetic problem caused by many factors. Hyperpigmentation and or discoloration occurs in several ways. One is overexposure to the sun and may appear suddenly, especially in women, after years of sun tanning. A second way is hormone fluctuations associated with birth control, pregnancy, or menopause and will worsen with UV exposure. Thirdly, post-inflammatory, which is pigment deposited as a result of areas where trauma has occurred. For example, acne, bug bites, ingrown hairs and psoriasis or eczema. All of the above factors can cause dark spots to form, but regular exfoliating treatments along with daily use of sunscreen can help fade existing spots. Although, the best treatment for hyperpigmentation is prevention by using an SPF of 30 or greater broad spectrum sunscreen every day on any exposed skin.
Hypopigmentation (sun damage, age spots, discoloration, and/or melasma) refers to any area with less than the normal amount or reduction in pigment. An example of hypopigmentation is a lack of pigment from trauma due to a burn or cut, resulting in pigment loss of the scar. There generally are no treatments for hypopigmentation, but if it is due to over-exposure to the sun, the treatment of the surrounding hyperpigmentation will most often make the hypopigmentation appear less noticeable.
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