Pigmentation refers to the coloring of the skin. Skin pigmentation disorders cause changes to the color of your skin. Melanin is made by cells in the skin and is the pigment responsible for your skin’s color.
Hyperpigmentation is a condition that causes your skin to darken. This can affect patches of your skin or your entire body. Age spots, also called liver spots, are a common type of hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation is usually harmless but can sometimes be caused by an underlying medical condition. Certain medications can also cause your skin to darken. It’s more of a cosmetic issue for most people.
Sun damage is the most common cause of skin pigmentation and usually affects the parts of the body that are most frequently exposed to the sun. Other causes include:
- certain medications, including chemotherapy drugs
- pregnancy hormones
- endocrine diseases, such as Addison’s disease
- insulin resistance
- skin irritation or trauma
Depending on the cause of your hyperpigmentation, treatment may involve addressing an underlying medical condition or stopping a medication. There are several medical treatment options available if home remedies for pigmentation fail to give you the results you want. These include:
Hyperpigmentation is usually a cosmetic concern rather than a medical one. There are several remedies for pigmentation that can help you lighten dark patches.
Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you’re concerned about your skin pigmentation or suspect that your skin discoloration is caused by an underlying medical condition or medication.