You’ve probably heard the term in advertising or by skin care professionals, but what is hyperpigmentation? Also referred to as age spots, liver spots, melisma, dark spots, acne scarring, or pigmentation, hyperpigmentation is an umbrella term that refers to dark spots on the skin. These pigmented areas are caused by an excess of melanin deposits on the skin’s outer layers. This process occurs when the cells overproduce melanin to protect themselves — often in response to a change in estrogen levels, sun exposure, or a myriad of medical conditions or treatments.
Hyperpigmentation can affect any skin tone and any part of the body, and while it’s generally harmless, it can be unsightly. Since many are eager to lighten their uneven pigment, a major industry has developed to help people treat various forms of hyperpigmentation.
When looking into a way to treat even minor hyperpigmentation, it’s advised to consult a dermatologist. Dark spots on the skin can be a sign of a deeper issue, therefore it’s important to not ensure that the hyperpigmentation isn’t a symptom of another condition. A dermatologist will also be able to ensure the condition is treated in the best possible way for an individual’s skin tone.