Causes of pigmentation
on the skin
Hyperpigmentation is a common, harmless skin condition, resulting in flat, darkened patches of the skin (different in colour, size & shape) occuring when melanin is overproduced.
Most common types of hyperpigmentation are:
- solar lentigo
- post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
Almost all women, persumably up to 90%, and in particular darker photo types, note some degree of hyperpigmentation during pregnancy.
The pigment melanin
Melanin is the pigment in human skin responsible for its dark brown color, whether it appears as overall complexion or within defined pigmentation disordered areas. Melanin is produced by specific cells deep under the skin and is contained in tiny vesicles that migrate to the upper layer of the skin where it settles and exposes its dark brownish color. In its final form, when embedded in the skin surface, melanin is very robust and only few known treatments can diminish its undesired dark spotting. For that purpose, the vast majority of the products for skin brightening are directed to prevent the initial formation of melanin deep in the skin rather than treating hyperpigmentation directly.