How to Get Rid of Hyperpigmentation (Aging or Dark Spots)

Skin trauma — such as acne, eczemabug bites, cuts, scrapes, even scratching or friction from, say, vigorous rubbing — can set off inflammation. Inflammation, in turn, can send pigment-producing cells into high gear, leaving behind a dark spot after the injury has healed. WhAccording to the Mayo Clinic, the sun’s UV rays trigger extra melanin production as a way to defend your skin from damage. That extra melanin is what gives you a tan. But when sun exposure is frequent or excessive it can make dark sunspots appear. Although sunspots are not cancerous, according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, sun-exposed skin may develop precancerous blemishes that look similar to sunspots. en inflammation is the cause of discoloration it is often referred to as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.Additionally, according to the Cleveland Clinic, other hormonal medications used for birth control and menopause symptoms may cause melasma, as well as other types of medications discussed below.Certain drugs, including antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and antimalarials may all increase the risk of hyperpigmentation, according to a book published by StatPearls in July 2022. Some chemotherapy drugs can also cause temporary hyperpigmentation, per the advocacy group Cancer Connect. In the case of chemotherapy drugs, associated dark spots usually resolve 10 to 12 weeks after treatment ends as new skin cells replace dead ones.A good moisturizer can also restore the skin’s lipid, or fat, barrier, helping new skin cells stay healthy as they rise to the surface in place of old ones, notes the University of Tennessee Medical Center.”Scratching and picking at a spot will only increase the inflammation that’s responsible for skin discoloration,” says Jeanine Downie, MD, a dermatologist and the director of Image Dermatology in Montclair, New Jersey. “The more you mess with it now, the worse it’ll look later.” Treatments containing ingredients like vitamin C, licorice root, and kojic acid help reduce hyperpigmentation by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme responsible for the formation of skin-darkening melanin,” says Ni’Kita Wilson, a cosmetic chemist in New York City. Research published in 2017 in the Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry supports Wilson’s advice, noting that the knowledge of the link between tyrosinase and excess melanin development has led to the rise of multiple OTC products with the aforementioned ingredients.