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Skin pigmentation, also known as hyperpigmentation is a condition characterised by the formation of skin patches that are darker than the surrounding  skin tissue. Types include freckles, melasma, age spots, birthmarks and liver spots.

What is Skin Pigmentation

Melanin determines the colour or tone of human skin. When the cells that produce melanin become damaged or unhealthy skin pigmentation variability occurs.  Problems with excessive skin pigmentation are referred to as hyperpigmentation. The term refers to all conditions characterised by the formation of skin patches that are darker than the surrounding tissue.

Types of Skin Pigmentation

The dark spots usually occur in visible areas on the hands, the face and the neck so effective treatment options are often sought.

The most common symptoms of this condition, regardless of the contributing factors, include:

  • Darkened areas of the skin such as age spots 
  • The appearance of freckles or moles on the skin 
  • Darkened skin patches can vary in size from a few millimetres to several centimetres

Skin Pigmentation Causes

Skin pigmentation disorders can be triggered by various internal or external factors which can contribute to the formation of dark spots. These include: 

  • Excessive sun exposure or UV damage
  • Skin inflammation from new and old injuries
  • Medical conditions such as Addison’s Disease or Haemochromatosis
  • Accelerated production of melanin within the skin
  • Melasma 
  • Medications
  • Hormonal Changes
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Fungal infections
  • Birthmarks

How to Treat Skin Pigmentation

  • Some marks will require excision especially if a melanoma is suspected
  • Some forms of hyperpigmentation respond well to special skincare.
  • Some oral treatment can help to slow melanin production and fade hyperpigmentation
  • Sun protection and avoidance is always recommended
  • Some forms of hyperpigmentation respond well to laser treatment

Cosmetic Medicine Centre offers a range of treatments depending on your individual needs, which will be determined by the doctor at consultation.  

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