What is Hyperpigmentation?

Some changes in your skin come with age, such as the unpopular age spots (also known as sun spots or liver spots). These have nothing to do with the liver and are caused instead by long-term sun exposure.

Hyperpigmentation is the result of the darkening of the skin from Melanocytes. Melanocytes are responsible for the main color of a persons’ skin. The Melanocyte produces granules called melanosomes that contain the melanin, the brown pigment.. The Melanosomes are transferred from melanocytes to keratinocytes in the granular layer of the skin. Only when the melanosomes enter the keratinocytes which move into the upper layers of the skin, does the skin have color.

The effect of Ultra Violet (UV) light on Melanocytes is not fulling understood, however skin tans in response to UV Light. Multiple factors can influence pigmentation, increase melanocyte number or change the properties of melanocyte distribution.

Causes of Hyperpigmentation:

• Inflammation Caused by Sunlight: We all know that sunlight makes our skin darker. ...

• Skin Damage: Anything from a cut to a pimple can damage your skin, leading to excess melanin production. ...

• Allergic Reactions: ...

• Medication: ...

• Improper Hair Removal: ...

• Hormonal Change: ...

• Genetic:

If you see a suspicious spot on your skin, run through the ABCs of melanoma.

They are:

• Asymmetry means that the growth is different on one side than on the other. One side is typically bigger.

• Look at the border. "If it is irregular, that's a suspicious sign," says Wolf.

• The color of the lesion (or growth) is also telling. Lesions with more than one color are suspicious. The darker the lesion, the greater your concern should be.

• Melanomas tend to be larger in diameter than a pencil eraser. Wolf warns that this guideline isn't completely reliable, however - melanomas can be very small and still be problematic.

If unsure call your Dermatologist and have the lesion looked at immediately.

Thank you for all your questions as this is what leads to these articles. Sue

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