Hyperpigmentation is a form of pigmentation disorder that appears as a darker colored area of skin compared to the surrounding skin: flat, light brown to black spots of various shapes and sizes. They can be aesthetically very disturbing, especially on the face.
The Melanin production is stimulated by the following factors:
The most common cause of hyperpigmentation is UV rays, because sunlight activates the production of melanin in the melanocytes of the skin. The dye reaches the surrounding skin cells via cell extensions of the melanocytes. There it covers the cell nucleus like a protective cap, absorbs damaging UV rays and thus protects the cell nucleus. This protection, which is already associated with UV-related skin damage, becomes visible as even pigmentation or skin tan. In conjunction with other factors, this UV-related pigmentation can be disrupted and darker pigmented skin areas develop.
Hormonal influences are the main cause of the development of a special type of hyperpigmentation called melasma or chloasma. Melasma mainly occurs in women. They are thought to occur when the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone stimulate excessive secretion of melanin while the skin is exposed to the sun.
Illnesses & medications
Hyperpigmentation can also be a cosmetically undesirable side effect of various diseases, e.g. B. autoimmune diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, metabolic disorders and vitamin deficiency syndromes. It can also occur as a side effect of hormone preparations, chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, antiepileptic drugs and other medications.
Age spots are a type of pigmentation that can appear on the face, hands, and other areas of skin that are frequently exposed to the sun. Pigment spots also arise here due to the increased activity of the melanocytes.
Injuries or inflammation of the skin
After cuts, burns, acne, eczema, psoriasis or after contact with certain irritants have healed, a dark, pigmented area of skin remains after the wound has healed. The melanocytes, the melanin-producing cells, are stimulated to release excessive amounts of melanosomes (pigment granules). The melanosomes contain tyrosinase, a pigmentation enzyme that initiates melanin formation, as well as melanin that has already been formed. The resulting excess pigment grains color the previously wounded area darker. The discoloration will remain for some time after healing.
Hyperpigmentation (e.g. freckles) can be congenital or only develop over the course of life.
Possible effects on your biomarkers
Hyperpigmentation (pigment spots) is caused by a local overproduction of melanin or by an increase in melanocytes or a hyperactivity of existing melanocytes, the pigment that gives the skin, hair and eyes their actual color.
Can occur after an injury or inflammation of the skin.
Age spots (Lentigo senilis or Lentigo solaris)
These small, flat and darkly colored spots (ranging from light brown to black in color) are usually found on areas of skin that are exposed to increased sun exposure. Accordingly, age spots are particularly common on the face or hands.
The predisposition to these small pigment spots is hereditary and cannot be influenced. They are particularly common in people who belong to the so-called Celtic skin type - i.e. men and women who have reddish hair, light skin and usually blue or green eyes.
Melasma (large-scale pigment disorders)
Melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation common in women that occurs particularly during and after pregnancy. Large, dark discolorations form primarily on the cheeks, the bridge of the nose, the forehead and the lower lip.
There are other manifestations of skin pigmentation, such as: B. Moles, scarring, birthmarks, precancerous lesions (actinic keratosis) or skin cancer. However, these skin changes are not understood as an expression of cosmetically undesirable hyperpigmentation, but rather are classified as pathological skin problems.