Hyper pigmentation: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Reviewed by Dr. Hasan Feroz, M.D.,

Hyperpigmentation causes darkening of the skin in the form of patches which is caused by the increased production of melanin in the body. It is usually harmless and causes no problem except cosmetically not looks good.

It is the common problem of the skin and may affect all peoples. Hyperpigmentation also occurs when our skin gets exposed to direct sunlight, Sunburn, Melasma a condition in which due to changes in hormone level in pregnancy causes patches causing hyperpigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation may also form due to burn, cut, acne, lupus in any part of the body.

Causes of Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is generally caused by melanin. When our body produces more melanin it causes hyperpigmentation. Melanin is like a pigment that gives color to our skin. It produced by melanocytes by the skin cell. Due to some hormonal and other changes in the body causes skin pigmentation.

Pregnant women are more prone to get pigmentation due to changes in hormone levels that may trigger hyperpigmentation.

Reaction to Drugs

Certain medications like Oral Contraceptives, Antimalarial Drugs and some kind of anti depressant may cause hyperpigmentation.

Sun Exposure

As our body produces more melanin when we exposed to direct sun light to protect our skin. This can cause hyperpigmentation.

Inflammation of the Skin

When peoples have inflammation in their skin due to acne, lupus, eczema or injury causes hyperpigmentation. If people have darker skin are more prone to get hyperpigmentation.

Addison’s Disease

A rare disease known as addison’s disease is an endocrine disorder that causes hyper pigmentation in the areas where the exposure to the sun is maximum like face, neck, and areas where the friction occurs like elbow and knees.

Symptoms of Hyperpigmentation

Darkening of the areas of the skin in the patches formed is the main symptoms of hyperpigmentation. Patches may be form in any part of the body but usually, it affects upper part of the body. Hyperpigmentation affects women but may also found in men.

Treatment of Hyperpigmentation

For the treatment of hyperpigmentation the topical prescription medication is used to treat. This medication contains hydroquinone and retinoid, which reduces the pigmentation color.

But hydroquinone has some side effects like prolong used may cause darkening of skin which is known as ochronosis. So one must avoid the prolong use of hydroquinone and should be use under the dermatologist to avoid any possible side effects.

There are more topical creams available which are as follows:-


Azelaic Acid


Vitamin C

Vitamin E


There are also some cosmetic procedures available at dermatologists and plastic surgeons clinic which are as follows:-

Laser Therapy


Intensed pulsed light

Any of the above topical cream prolonged usage may cause side effects like darkening of skin and irritation so it is advisable to avoid prolonged usage.

Prevention of Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is not purely avoidable but up to some extent you can avoid by:-

Avoid direct sun light on face

Use sunscreen of at least 30 SPF

Cover the parts which has hyperpigmentation in sunlight

Remedies at Home for Hyperpigmentation

There is studies or researches found on large scale that supports these remedies but it is still being used to treat hyperpigmentation at home. It makes the skin lighter and there is no side effects by using long term usage.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera may be helpful in treating hyperpigmentation. You can apply aloe vera gel directly to the affected part.

During pregnancy use of aloe vera gel on the affected part relieves the pigmentation.

Green Tea

Green tea extract may improve hyperpigmentation as it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which relieve from hyperpigmentation.

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