What Are the Causes of Skin Pigmentation?
As you get older, your skin accumulates sun damage. This can lead to the formation of what are known as sunspots. These are almost like permanent freckles which arise as a result of long term sun damage. These flat brown spots, also called liver spots (despite having nothing to do with the liver) are harmless, but many people have an aesthetic issue with them.
Another type of pigmentation is melasma. These are much larger patches of lighter brown/orange spots of pigmentation. They are usually hormonally driven and are really common in women, especially around menopausal time. They can also develop during pregnancy.
The last type of pigmentation worth mentioning is post-inflammatory pigmentation. If you have anything in/on your skin that’s causing a lot of inflammation, whether its a big scrape or burn, that needs to heal, this can stimulate the melanocytes to produce melanin and then you get a dark mark after. Examples of this include having large scrapes or burns which need to heal, as well as acne that inflames the skin.
Post-inflammatory pigmentation will go away on its own but it does take time as your skin has to basically resurface. As a result of this it does take a good few months to see an improvement but there are amazing skincare products and treatments out there that will help prevent the pigmentation from happening in the first place, and also speed up the process of it healing.
Why Your Pigmentation Is Getting Worse
Sun damage is the leading cause of aggravating skin pigmentation. In severe cases, sun damage and UV radiation can lead to the skin feeling burnt and raw, and even lead to the development of skin cancer.
Daily SPF sun protection is one of the best things people can do to prevent pigmentation. As well as causing pigmentation, UV light and sun exposure will make existing discolouration worse. Even if you have pigmentation caused by acne inflammation, the sun will still aggravate this. SPF is especially important for lighter skinned individuals as they have less protective melanin in the skin.
The new wave of instant result facial treatments are also causing skin pigmentation.
If someone is going in for a facial treatment like a deep microneedling or a medium/deep facial peel that’s not administered properly, pigmentation issues can occur afterwards. If you’re causing damage this deep down in the skin, people will get darker spots afterwards as a result of the injury caused to the skin.