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Dark Spots on the Skin, Hyper Pigmentation and You

The last time you looked in the mirror did you notice any dark spots on the skin that did not belong there? Did you notice that there was some darkening in some areas of your face, neck or lips that was not the same color as the rest of your face? If you have been suffering from any of the above you may have what many in the skin care field call hyper pigmentation. While this big word sounds like it may have an equally big diagnosis, have no fear as the answer is that it does not. This is a common occurrence that has no other ill effects except for the outward appearance of discoloration.
Hyper pigmentation is a harmless occurrence that occurs when sections or patches of skin begin to get darker than other areas of the skin. This happens when the melanin in our skin, or what causes our skin to get darker, begins to form areas where the melanin builds up. This condition can affect people of any ethnic background regardless of the color of their skin. There are many different causes of discoloration. These can range from outside sources such as the sun to internal ones such as an excess of hormone production in the body.
One form of hyper pigmentation is age spots. These spots are natural and usually come with time. As the name indicates, age spots are a result of our skin aging as well as being exposed to the sun. It is just a fact of life that the older we get, so do our bodies. These spots usually affect our face and hands or other areas of our bodies that may be exposed to the sun for long periods of time.
Melasma is another form of discoloration that affects mostly women and can also be found during pregnancy or during the use of a birth control pill. The hormones seem to trigger an increase in melanin production and therefore cause the discoloration of the skin. Dark spots on the skin or dark patches on the skin can usually be found when hyper pigmentation or melasma is present.
Dark spots on the skin can result from different things. They can be from a birthmark or a freckle. Dark spots could be a result of acne or hormones. There are many different causes for hyper pigmentation, so it is vital that you keep track of any new or size changes of existing dark spots on the skin. While we have seen that for the most part, dark spots seem to be more of a cosmetic issue than anything, dark spots or discoloration could also be a warning sign of other issues. Don't take any chances. If you start to notice dark spots, discoloration or size changes in spots, see your Doctor immediately to make sure it is not anything severe. If it is mainly a cosmetic issue, either your doctor can prescribe a treatment or you can try an over-the-counter skin lightener or whitener to help alleviate the stares. Don't wait until it's too late!
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