What Are the Most Common Underlying Causes for Hyperpigmentation?

The most common underlying causes for hyperpigmentation are primarily related to factors that either directly stimulate melanin production or influence skin health and pigmentation indirectly. Here are the key underlying causes:

  1. Sun Exposure: Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is a major trigger for hyperpigmentation. It stimulates melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin, leading to conditions like sunspots or solar lentigines.
  2. Inflammatory Skin Conditions: Inflammatory processes in the skin, such as acne, eczema, or psoriasis, can lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). This happens as the skin heals, often leaving darkened patches.
  3. Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations, particularly those involving estrogen and progesterone, can cause melasma. This condition is commonly seen in pregnant women, those taking birth control pills, or undergoing hormone replacement therapy.
  4. Genetics and Skin Type: Genetic predisposition plays a significant role in hyperpigmentation. People with darker skin tones have more active melanocytes, making them more susceptible to hyperpigmentation.
  5. Medications and Chemical Exposure: Certain medications, such as some chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics like tetracyclines, and anti-seizure medications, can cause hyperpigmentation. Additionally, exposure to certain chemicals in cosmetics or skin care products can trigger pigmentation changes.
  6. Endocrine Disorders: Disorders like Addison’s disease, which affects adrenal gland function, can lead to increased melanin production and darkened skin. Hemochromatosis, a condition of iron overload, can also cause skin darkening.
  7. Aging: As skin ages, it becomes more prone to hyperpigmentation due to cumulative sun exposure and the natural aging process, leading to age spots or liver spots.
  8. Friction and Skin Trauma: Chronic friction from tight clothing or frequent rubbing, as well as skin trauma from injuries or surgical procedures, can result in localized hyperpigmentation.
  9. Nutritional Deficiencies: Deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, can sometimes lead to changes in skin pigmentation.

Understanding these underlying causes is crucial for diagnosing and treating hyperpigmentation effectively. Treatment often involves a combination of addressing the underlying cause, using topical treatments like retinoids or hydroquinone, and implementing sun protection strategies.

Your best skin is one phone call away.

Call today to schedule your FREE 30-min. Consultation.

Pelage Medi-Spa Issaquah
Scroll to Top