There are many skin condition challenges when it comes to African American skin. Some may affect your entire body, while others are more localized. One such condition is Hyperpigmentation.
We have to talk about melanin, in order to talk about hyperpigmentation and African American skin. Melanin is a compound formed by cells at the bottom of your skin known as melanocytes. Melanin is responsible for the color of the skin. When melanin shows discoloration or dark spots, it's considered hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition that is known to occur on various areas of your skin, that includes your nails. The condition is, in actuality, the excess production of melanin in your body. This causes the skin to darken in various areas. According to scientific research, hyperpigmentation affects roughly 1 in every 17,000 people.
There are primarily 2 types of hyperpigmentation, namely diffused and focal. Diffused hyperpigmentation is where melanin is produced in excess on your skin whereas focal hyperpigmentation affects your eyes.
The melanocytes in your human body produce melanin at a steady rate. However, in certain conditions, the production of melanin increases at an alarming rate. The event of excess production is usually brought on by UV light.
UV light is a stimulant that causes your body's melanocytes to produce excess melanin. This is one reason why many African Americans avoid skin laser treatments.
This is the primary reason why you are told to wear sunscreen; it protects your skin and prevents hyperpigmentation. Excess exposure to the sun causes skin darkening due to the excess production of melanin.
Another cause of hyperpigmentation is an imbalance of hormones. Whether due to a disorder or the excess usage of birth control pills, the imbalance of hormones causes hyperpigmentation, easily seen on the forehead, cheeks and chin.
There are a number of myths surrounding hyperpigmentation. These myths range from the causes of hyperpigmentation to those affected by it. Here is a look at some of the most common myths surrounding hyperpigmentation.
Those with Ethic Skin are not affected by Hyperpigmentation – The fact of the matter is that hyperpigmentation is a skin condition caused by the excess production of melanin in your skin. In no way, shape or form is hyperpigmentation a condition that does not affect ethnic skin, hyperpigmentation occurs in all skin types.
Skin Lightening Cream Prevents Hyperpigmentation – Interestingly, prolonged use of some skin lightening creams can actually cause melanocytes to produce more melanin, thereby causing hyperpigmentation.
Young Children cannot get Hyperpigmentation – As the body ages, the regulation of the release of melanin is less controlled by the body. In other words, the body starts to lose control over the production of melanin.
Hyperpigmentation, as problematic as it may be, is a skin condition that can be easily prevented. In fact, there are many ways to prevent hyperpigmentation. Here is a look at a few preventive measures that can be taken to prevent hyperpigmentation.
Use Sunscreen – The easiest way to prevent hyperpigmentation is through the use of sunscreen. Any sunscreen with at least SPF 15 is a good choice. However, it is a good idea to check with a dermatologist and ask which SPF is right for you as SPF can range from 4 to 50.
Stay out of the Sun – Another rather simple way to prevent hyperpigmentation is to stay out of the sun as much as possible. The less exposed you are to UV light, the less chances there are of the melanocytes in your skin from producing excess melanin.
This won't be easy. Especially during warm weather months. You can wear hats and lightweight long sleeve clothing to help protect your skin from the sun..
Avoid Skin Lightening Creams – Some skin lightening creams can cause your melanocytes to produce excess melanin. In order to avoid hyperpigmentation, try using other methods to lighten your skin, such as good food, a healthy diet and exercise.
How in the world can food or a healthy diet help with lightening your skin? For one thing, the quality of the food you eat helps nourish your skin. Topical products are only part of the solution in skin care. What you eat plays an even more important role. Your skin will be a reflection of how well you're eating.
Avoid Laser Treatment – Many females go for various dermatological treatments that involve the use of a laser. These lasers can actually cause hyperpigmentation. Therefore, it is better to avoid them and use alternative treatments.
Treating hyperpigmentation is rather simple and usually involves the consumption of various foods, drinks and/or the use of topical solutions. For example, foods and drinks rich in powerful antioxidants are a great way to treat hyperpigmentation. These antioxidants fight against hyperpigmentation.
Various medical solutions make use of licorice extracts, ascorbic acid, Retinol, and even kojic acid. These extracts and compounds are found in various topical creams and help fight against hyperpigmentation. You will often see hormones mentioned in certain skin care products. Be careful of hormones, they are often steroid-based.
Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition that is caused by the excess production of melanin. Contrary to popular belief, hyperpigmentation is not exclusive to African American skin.
Furthermore, although age does play a small role in its appearance, hyperpigmentation can be found even in children. As the saying goes, prevention is better than the cure, so make sure to be smart and prevent hyperpigmentation from occurring.
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