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Understanding Dark Spots


Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of the skin that can result from skin injury (including acne), over exposure to the sun, inflammation, genetics, hormonal imbalance and the use of some medications. It is caused by an over production of melanin by the melanocyte cells within our bodies.



Darkening of the skin (age spots, brown spots) occurs as a result of excessive production of melanin by the bodies melanocyte cells. Most common occurrences are related to sun damage, inflammation, hormonal balances, genetics, injury (including acne), and the use of some medications.


Acne is caused by a rise in the androgen hormone levels. Increased androgen levels trigger excessive growth in the sebaceous oil glands. Excessive sebum leads to the degeneration of the cellular walls in the pores, resulting in the growth of bacteria. Acne may cause discomfort and changes to the physical appearance of the skin (redness, pimples, lesions, inflammation)


Melasma is a skin disorder which causes brown or grayish-brown blotches to appear on the skin. Melasma is caused by hyperactive skin cells which produce an excessive amount of pigment in areas of the skin. This mechanism is similar to what causes brown age spots and freckles, but melasma patches tend to be larger


Exposure to natural and artificial ultraviolet radiation (UVR). UVR is a component of natural sunlight and is produced artificially (e.g., by sunbeds) for cosmetic (e.g., to get tanned skin) or medical reasons (e.g., therapy of psoriasis).