Hyperpigmentation occurs when melanin is overproduced in certain spots on
the skin. Hyperpigmentation results in flat, darkened patches of skin that are
light brown to black in colour, and can vary in size and shape.
There are many types of hyperpigmentation, but the following are the most
(1) Melasma, also referred to as chloasma, is a common acquired condition of
pigmentary disorder marked by irregular hyperpigmented macules or patches
and most commonly occurs in females with dark skin types living in areas of
intense ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. Many factors are linked with the
development of melasma, including UV radiation, pregnancy, hormonal activity,
thyroid abnormalities, and medications Furthermore, there appears to be a
genetic predisposition of melasma. All these diverse factors trigger the
increased synthesis of melanosomes in melanocytes and increased transfer of
melanosomes to keratinocytes.
The treatments for melasma are generally aimed at inhibiting the pathways
that synthesize melanin and decrease of melanosome transfer from
melanocyte to keratinocytes. Because both UV and visible light can induce
pigmentation, the therapy usually starts with the protection of UV sun, and
topical lightening formulation.
(2) Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation occurs when a skin injury or trauma
heals and leaves a flat area of discolouration behind. It’s commonly found
among acne sufferers, and can also be caused by cosmetic procedures such as
dermabrasion, laser treatment and chemical peels.