Welcome to #THERAPUETICTHURSDAYS!
Today’s post will take the form of a highly informative mini health hub, full of helpful resources and interesting information in relation to hyperpigmentation. I’m no expert on the subject but I do suffer (very mildly) with this condition from time to time. I’d love to get my face to a place where I feel 100% comfortable makeup free, so I’m always researching ways to better my skin. Here I’ll share with you a few things I’ve learned, along with some links to websites that really helped accelerate the healing process for me. So, grab your trusty pen and notebook of yours and get ready to take notes – I’ma keep it as simple as I possibly can for you guys.
First, you may not actually know what hyperpigmentation is, so allow American Osteopathic College of Dermatology to put it simply for you:
“Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in the skin.” – The ACOD
But what you may not know is that there are many different types of hyperpigmentation and of course, knowing the cause is the best way to find a cure. Luckily a few online sources can help you to determine this, if you’re willing to learn and read a little…
According to WikiHow, there are three common causes – Melasma, Lentigines and Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (also known as PIH).
- Melasma is a regular occurrence for women during pregnancy and for that we have to thank our hormones. As Melasma is related to normal hormonal fluctuations, it can also appear as a side effect for those taking the contraceptive pill. Any medication that alters or interferes with your hormones has a long list of side effects, but this really is one to watch out for.
- Lentigines are better known as liver spots, blemish spots or age spots. They’re found on approximately 90% of people over aged 60+ and are a result of extended periods of exposure to UV rays.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH is probably the least problematic, caused by skin injury such as psoriasis, burns, acne, and some skin care treatments and known to disappear within hours or days as the skin regenerates and heals.
Knowledge is power, and Into The Gloss tapped into that when they interviewed Dayle Breault, of Goddess of Skin on the subject. She told them that not many people understand exactly what is going on with their skin even when they have determined the cause and type of their condition…
“People think it’s going to fade—which it will do—but it won’t do that without scrubbing away the cells and working on it. And sometimes it’ll get darker before it gets lighter” – Dayle Breault, famed facialist to the stars.
- Try staying out of the sun as much as you can. Limiting your exposure to UV rays will decrease the chance of your skin being affected by lentigines.
- Consider medications that may be behind the cause of your hyperpigmentation. There may be more suitable, effective options out there that you are yet to explore. Don’t hesitate to speak to your doctor.
- Always use a professional for skin treatments and express your concerns/previous experiences before agreeing to service or use any product you are in any way unsure of.
- Use/consume vitamin C whenever you can. In a serum, in powder form… whichever you prefer!
- Visit a dermatologist who can analyse your skin condition, as well as advise you. It’s never a good idea to self-diagnose (although I am guilty of it myself) so it’s always vital you seek a second opinion, as well as a professional one!
- If prescription creams and ointment doesn’t work, you may want to explore nonablative professional procedures, such as skin peels, IPL and laser skin resurfacing (I REALLY want to try this, but it’s for cosmetic reasons and therefore it is not a current priority). Again, use only highly trained professionals and never jump into something you are unknowledgeable about. Research and patience is key to success in this case.
- If you’re into the natural, DIY thang (like me) then you may prefer to test out some home remedies. Aloe Vera is meant to be great for lightening and soothing dark areas of the skin. As is the juice of a cucumber, but that’s a little bit more effort (yup, lazy lady alert).
Other useful/relevant resources/reads:
I hope this post helps assist you when it comes to treating and preventing hyperpigmentation, but if you have any further question please do feel free to post them below. Likewise, if you have any other suggestions for those with this condition, do share them in the comments section. Thanks for reading/visiting 🙂