Dark spots have been an enemy to our beautiful black skin for years. Here’s how we fight back.
Commonly dubbed “liver” spots, the darkening of the skin in small, large, or whole sections is known as hyperpigmentation. This skin condition, while not harmful, may see you making trips to the dermatologist for an official diagnosis and treatment regimen. So, what exactly causes hyperpigmentation, how can you avoid it, and what can you use to rid your skin of it? Read on to find out.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Simply put, hyperpigmentation is skin discoloration.
While this condition is not painful, it may result from other underlying conditions such as melasma, sun over-exposure, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. For example, pregnant women, or those using certain contraceptives, may develop melasma, which is often caused by hormonal changes.
This condition results in dark spots appearing on any area of the body, but especially on the stomach and face. While just enough sunlight can provide you with your prescribed vitamin D intake, plus a bomb tan, too much sunlight can cause skin discoloration. Every skincare brand brags about how influential SPF is, and while it may seem like a fad, it’s actually a fact. Sunspots, or “solar lentigines,” come from excess sun exposure over time and often appear on areas exposed to the sun, like the hands and face.
Another source of hyperpigmentation is post-inflammation from scars or bruises from topical burns, minor cuts, or acne. While these wounds heal, they leave dark spots and uneven skin.
How do you fix hyperpigmentation?
In most cases, your dermatologist can diagnose the cause of your hyperpigmentation. They may request your medical history and give you a physical exam to determine the cause of your skin discoloration. In rare cases, a skin biopsy can narrow down the cause of the hyperpigmentation.
Usually, topical prescription medication can treat cases of hyperpigmentation. Creams that have hydroquinone, which lightens the skin, are especially effective. The ariFade Cream Dark Spot & Tone Corrector from ariSkinCare is one such treatment. This dermatologist-formulated cream is a fast-acting dark spot lotion that targets damage or trauma to the skin caused by acne, insect bites, sun over-exposure, ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and stretch marks.
Pair that with the AriSkinCare ariToner to get a complete skin treatment combo approved by Jamaica's top dermatologists. The ariToner is a leave-on exfoliant that reduces the size of enlarged pores and removes old skin cells both on the skin’s surface and inside the pore.
It also dissolves whiteheads and blackheads, tightens and rejuvenates dull skin, evens skin tone, creates radiant, even-toned skin, fades dark spots, builds collagen, and unclogs and diminishes enlarged pores.
Excellent for all skin types, this toner is effective for skin discoloration caused by acne breakouts, aging, or keratosis pilaris.
After cleansing and toning your skin, moisturizing is also essential. Complete your skincare routine with the ariHealing Oil to moisturize, nourish, and protect your skin. This non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic oil has no preservatives, fragrances, or parabens. It leaves a satin glow finish and has non-greasy aftertouch.
So, how can you avoid hyperpigmentation?
Sun Protection Factor, or SPF. Found in most if not all sunscreens and now many base make-up products, SPF helps protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays. Experts recommend using a minimum SPF sunscreen of 15, applying the proper amount, and reapplying every 2 hours for the best protection.
Other treatments include using topical retinoids, which also assist with lightening dark spots. Your doctor may even recommend laser treatment or chemical peels to reduce hyperpigmentation, depending on the cause of your condition.
Overcompensation for hyperpigmentation.
Warning! Don’t overdo it. Ongoing use of topical hydroquinone can cause darkening of the skin, known as ochronosis. So it’s best to use these treatments only under the care of a dermatologist so that they can appropriately guide you on how and for how long to use the medication.
For all your skincare essentials, including ariSkinCare and other phenomenal Caribbean brands, visit the region’s largest source for online skin and beauty products made by Caribbean people for Caribbean people at home and abroad, Caribshopper.com.