Hyperpigmentation: causes ,symptoms, and treatment

Published At: 09 January 2020 , 06:48 PM


It is a diffuse or focal accumulation of pigment in the skin, which leads to a change in the color of the entire surface of the body or individual parts of the skin.


Various reasons can cause excessive melanin content in some areas of the skin: endocrine disorders, hormonal dysfunction in a woman during pregnancy or in the menopause, digestive system pathologies, metabolic disorders provoked by a violation of metabolic processes caused by a deficiency or excess of vitamins and minerals. Sometimes the excessive accumulation of pigment is caused by severe intoxication of the body, injuries, and inflammatory processes in the skin, prolonged exposure to the sun. Causes of hyperpigmentation can cause some drugs, such as antibiotics of the tetracycline group, salicylic acid preparations, St. John's wort extract. In the formation of zones of pigmentation, a hereditary factor and neuropsychic disorders play a role.


Most often, the localization of age spots noted on the face, hands, chest. Hyperpigmentation can be congenital, for example, freckles or acquired - chloasma, melasma.

Freckles are multiple small, rounded pigment spots of pale or dark brown color. Under the influence of insolation, freckles acquire a more pronounced color.

Chloasma - dark brown pigment spots of irregular round shape, localized more often in the face. Often occur against the background of hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy, as well as with several liver pathologies (hepatic chloasma), adrenal glands, helminthic invasions. May disappear with the elimination of the cause of occurrence or may persist for a long time.

Melasma - brown, often symmetrically located pigment spots with predominant localization on the face, neck, shoulders, resulting from the combined action of the sun's rays and hormones. Most often, melasma occurs in pregnant women and women taking hormonal contraceptives.

Secondary hyperpigmentation of the skin appears due to the outcome of traumatic or inflammatory skin diseases - infiltrates, neurodermatitis, eczema.


The diagnosis of hyperpigmentation does not cause difficulties for a specialist. This violation detected during an external examination of the patient. However, several laboratory and instrumental examinations can be prescribed for the patient to determine the reasons for the offense.

To determine the causes of pigmentation, a general and biochemical blood test, general urinalysis, and ultrasound examination of the liver can prescribe to the patient. In doubtful cases, it may be necessary to conduct magnetic resonance or computed tomography, and the patient may also be assigned a consultation of narrow specialists.


Hyperpigmentation of the skin is a cosmetic defect that does not pose a severe threat to the health of the patient. However, such cosmetic problems can create deep psychological discomfort due to dissatisfaction with their appearance. The need for hyperpigmentation therapy is also associated with the fact that defects located in open areas of the body exposed to repeated exposure to sunlight, which can increase their elements and increase the intensity of their color.

Hyperpigmentation therapy based on an integrated approach and refusal from self-medication, since the use of some cosmetics can significantly aggravate the course of the disease.

Treatment of the disorder should begin with the establishment of its causes. In most cases, hyperpigmentation disappears with the appointment of the correct treatment for the underlying disease, which caused its occurrence. To eliminate the symptoms of the disease, the patient may prescribe a course of vitamin therapy and the use of depigmenting agents such as hydrogen peroxide, citric acid, lotions and ointments based on salicylic acid, quinine, mercury, tannin, salo.

An integrated approach to the treatment of hyperpigmentation based on the use of cosmetics that reduce the production of melanin in skin cells, as well as provide high-quality skin protection from exposure to sunlight. To prevent relapse of the disease, systematic compliance with the rules of skincare recommended by a specialist will be required.